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Digital Bank in Nigeria: List of Digital Banks in Nigeria

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Digital Banks in Nigeria - Investors King

Neobanks, popularly known as digital banks in Nigeria, are fintech companies that offers mobile applications, software and other technologies to streamline financial services and banking in Nigeria. These digital banks are growing at a faster pace in Nigeria, especially given the fact that they do not charge certain fees imposed on customers by traditional banks and are easy to set up.

Generally, they tend to be more transparent and nimble than megabanks, even though many of them, like Kuda Bank, Vbank etc partner traditional banks.

Here is a list of Digital Banks Operating in Nigeria Presently

  • Vbank
  • Kuda Bank
  • Alat by Wema Bank
  • Sparkle
  • Mint
  • Onebank
  • Rubies

Lets quickly look at pros and cons of each of the digital banks in Nigeria

Vbank

VFD Microfinance Bank is a fully digital bank that offers a wide range of financial products and services to professionals and entrepreneurs across all sectors. The digital bank has over 100,000 downloads on Playstore. They offer zero charges on transactions. Free account maintenance, monthly interest on savings, swift and secure transfers, withdrawals, and bill payments.

Pros

  • Instant account opening without any paperwork.
  • Fingerprint authorization: Login with your fingerprint and authorize transactions using your 4-digit PIN.
  • Good customer service.
  • Set up and track your spend budgets.
  • Order debit cards from the apps.
  • USSD banking service available.
  • Easy bill payments on the app.
  • Target savings with 8% interest rate.

User complaints

  • New update causes app to crash.
  • Upgrading KYC takes relatively longer.

Kuda bank

Kuda Bank is a free, digital-only bank with a microfinance banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The bank includes tools for tracking your spending habits, saving more, and making the right money moves. They don’t charge card maintenance or account maintenance fees. Kuda has 1M+ downloads on Playstore. Its customers get 25 free transfers to other banks every month.

Pros

  • Free debit cards.
  • Good user experience.
  • Free withdrawals at over 3,000 ATMs across Nigeria.
  • 15% annual interest rates on savings.
  • No paperwork involved when signing up.
  • Automatic budgeting tools for easier money management.

User complaints

  • Cards often take a long time to arrive.
  • No SMS notification when you get credited.
  • No USSD code option for transactions.
  • Identity verification takes time.

AlatbyWema

ALAT is Nigeria’s first fully digital bank, designed to help you do more with your money. Alat is owned by Wema bank. Just like every other digital bank, there is no need to visit a bank to open an account. Alat has over 500,000 downloads on Playstore.

Pros

  • Free bank card delivery anywhere in Nigeria.
  • A Virtual Dollar Card for online payments.
  • Bill payments option.
  • Collateral-free loans are available.
  • Save easily with automated goal saving.

User complaints

  • The virtual card does not yet work.
  • Delay in physical card delivery.

Sparkle

Sparkle is a lifestyle and finance app. It is a digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle, and business support services to Nigerians around the world. Licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sparkle is all about helping people achieve what they want, whether it’s entertainment, education, saving, or investing in the future. Sparkle has over 100,000+ downloads on the play store.

Pros

  • Create an account with just your Bank Verification Number (BVN), email address and phone number.
  • If you ever lose or misplace your card, you can freeze and unfreeze it in the Sparkle app.
  • Save using Sparkle Stash for different goals at the same time.
  • Percentage savings where you determine what percentage of your account balance will be going to your savings every day, week or month!
  • Get real-time instant notifications for your transactions.
  • Bill payments; Pay your bills whenever you want, wherever you are.
  • Split bills with friends and family on the app.
  • Physical and virtual cards available.

User complaints

  • New update causes the app to crash.
  • Reversal on failed transaction takes time.
  • Cards can’t be used for international transactions.
  • Poor customer service.

Mint App

MyMintApp is a self-service platform developed for customers to carry out a range of digital and mobile banking transactions on their accounts. It offers customers benefits such as convenience, speed, online real-time access, the security of transactions and options to initiate basic service requests without having to physically visit the bank.

MyMintApp also offers different banking services such as SME Banking, Personal Banking, Corporate Banking, Internet Banking (Electronic Banking), Current Account Opening, Savings Account Opening, Business Services, Loans, e-Business Solutions, Personalized Money Tracking and Card Solutions, etc. Mint has over 10,000+ downloads on Playstore.

Pros

  • Good customer service.
  • Seamless account funding via Paystack or directly from your existing bank account.
  • Different saving goals with competitive interest rates to help you save for a targeted purpose.
  • Money Manager to help you tag your expenses according to the most common categories, and see real views of how and where you spend monthly.
  • Zero transaction fees on bill payments.

User complaints

  • No bonus when you refer someone to the app.
  • The selfie verification process takes time.

Onebank

Onebank brings a whole new financial and non-financial experience to the digital space. This application comes with sophisticated features and an impeccable user experience. It is highly secure, convenient, and easy to use. Onebank also offers payments, lending, investment, advisory, informational, and lifestyle services which brings that intuitive banking experience on your mobile. Onebank is owned by Sterling Bank

Pros

  • Create a wallet account instantly with your mobile number.
  • Biometric authentication.
  • Instantly create your virtual card for online shopping and decide the card’s usage and expiry.
  • Investments; enjoy up to 100% returns on Naira and Dollar investments.
  • Quick loans of up to N5 million in 5 minutes.
  • Receive money from Onebank user via QR code scan.
  • Pay for airline tickets, cable & internet subscription directly on the app.
  • Cardless withdrawals are available.

User complaints 

  • Prone to error when you try to sign in.
  • Bad user experience.
  • Transaction history only shows debits and not credit transaction.
  • Failed transactions take time to be reversed.
  • Difficulty when you try to switch devices.

Rubies

Rubies is a digital bank that disrupts regular banking by providing 100% digital top-notch services and technology at its peak. With Rubies, you can decide what your account number looks like. Rubies give you the financial freedom to do more than just banking and the app has garnered over 100,000 downloads on Playstore.

Pros

  • No maintenance fees.
  • Free Debit Cards: Also comes with an option of free delivery.
  • Independent Banker: Refer people and earn every time they transact on Rubies.
  • Customizable Account: Decide what your Account Number looks like.
  • Proximity Transfer: Transfer money easily to friends on Rubies around you with a single tap.
  • Open Account: Get an account on the fly, from anywhere (App, Website).
  • Request Money: Request funds from friends on Rubies with a single button.

User complaints

  • Verification process takes time.
  • BVN verification unstable.
  • App downtime takes more than 24 hours to resolve.
  • Difficulties upgrading account.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Soft POS User Base to Grow 475% Globally by 2027

The total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027

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point of sales

A new study from Juniper Research has found the total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027; rising from 6 million in 2022. This growth will be driven by Apple’s entrance into the soft POS space; enabling iOS users to access an affordable mobile POS solution.

Soft POS enables NFC enabled smartphones or tablets to accept contactless payments, without additional hardware.

1.2 Billion iOS Users Added to Soft POS Market

The research forecasts that Apple’s decision to enable third parties to develop soft POS solutions leveraging iOS NFC capabilities will result in an influx of iOS-specific services; leading to innovative solutions for merchants. Furthermore, the research predicts Apple’s entry will provide 1.2 billion iOS users with soft POS capabilities; unlocking a previously untapped market.

Soft POS is the latest development from Apple within the payments space; building upon Apple Pay and Apple Pay Later. Soft POS vendors should leverage Apple’s payment ecosystem by developing innovative solutions such as integrated QR payment acceptance, using Apple Pay and Pay Later compatibility to attract a broader iOS user base.

Increasing Contactless Payment Adoption to Drive Soft POS Uptake

The research anticipates soft POS adoption being driven by the increasing use of contactless payments – with volumes expected to rise from 195 billion in 2022 to 408 billion by 2027. Therefore, consumers will come to expect contactless acceptance as standard; forcing smaller merchants to adopt contactless-capable POS solutions. Merchants are anticipated to embrace soft POS, based on cost savings achievable from eliminating the need for additional hardware, as well as mobility advantages over contactless POS.

This will be profound for small-sum and mobile merchants that must accept contactless transactions, but lack the need for high-cost dedicated terminals. As such, the research recommends soft POS vendors must look to target micro and mobile merchants; designing solutions that meet their unique needs.

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Buy Now Pay Later Users to Reach Over 900 Million Globally by 2027

Buy Now Pay Later users will surpass 900 million globally by 2027; increasing from 360 million in 2022.

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mastercard biometric payment card fingerprint

A new study from Juniper Research has predicted that the number of BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) users will surpass 900 million globally by 2027; increasing from 360 million in 2022. This substantial growth of 157% will be driven by the anticipated economic downturn, which will increase the demand for low-cost credit solutions.

BNPL schemes enable consumers to spread the cost of their purchases without interest charges; making them a highly attractive alternative to credit cards. Additionally, BNPL services do not require hard credit checks and an increasing number of merchants are accepting this payment method; making it easier to access for consumers than traditional credit.

India to Experience High User Growth

The research identified India as having potential for rapid growth in BNPL, with users predicted to grow from 25 million in 2022 to 116 million by 2027. This is due to rising eCommerce usage and growing interest in international goods available through online retailers. In turn, it recommends that vendors build strategic partnerships with vendors in developing markets with established consumer bases, to successfully capitalise on this user growth and associated revenue.

Virtual Cards to Further Boost Usage

The research predicts that the adoption of virtual cards, where digital only cards are used for purchases, will increase the usage of BNPL solutions, as they only require merchants to accept card payments – overcoming previous limitations on growth. The advancement of virtual cards allows BNPL schemes to compete with credit cards; particularly in-store, where single use BNPL cards can be used within a digital wallet to complete contactless transactions.

Juniper Research recommends that in order to compete in this highly competitive landscape, BNPL vendors must differentiate their services: including offering virtual cards, browser extensions that automatically facilitate BNPL payment services, and digital loyalty schemes.

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Digital Wallet Users to Exceed 5.2 Billion Globally by 2026

The total number of digital wallet users will exceed 5.2 billion globally in 2026, up from 3.4 billion in 2022.

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Digital Banks in Nigeria - Investors King

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total number of digital wallet users will exceed 5.2 billion globally in 2026, up from 3.4 billion in 2022; representing strong growth of over 53%. The research predicts that the presence of ‘superapps’ will drive digital wallet use in developing countries that are currently considered cash heavy.

Superapps are multipurpose apps able to integrate digital payments alongside other services, including wealth management and eCommerce.

Asia Pacific Countries to Experience Rapid Growth

The study identified three countries in Asia Pacific primed for rapid growth over the next four years:

1.    Philippines
2.    Thailand
3.    Vietnam

It predicts that the adoption of digital wallets will near 75% of the population in each of these countries by 2026. It cited the rising access to online and mobile commerce services as driving forces behind the use of digital wallets, notably through superapps.

Research co-author Damla Sat explained: “These rapidly growing markets represent a significant opportunity for digital wallet vendors, but they must work intelligently to maximise their position. A highly competitive wallets’ landscape means that vendors must differentiate themselves by integrating machine learning to provide spending insights and introduce new services such as wealth management to add value.”

Innovation Needed for Future QR Payments Growth

Additionally, the research identified QR code payments as the most popular digital wallet transaction type in 2026; reaching 380 billion transactions globally, and accounting for over 40% of all transactions by volume. However, as usage within markets including China and India reaches its apex, vendors must innovate to remain competitive entering new geographic markets. Therefore, the research recommends that QR code payment vendors integrate loyalty features and personalised marketing capabilities to incentivise merchant acceptance, which will be critical to driving adoption.

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