Nigerians Turn to Digital Banks as Traditional Banking Apps Face Challenges
Due to the shortage of physical cash flow in Nigeria, caused by the Central Bank‘s policy to redesign the old Naira, many citizens have turned to mobile bank transfers.
However, this has led to various problems such as failed transactions and network issues, pushing individuals towards digital banks for transactions.
Traditional bank apps have also faced numerous challenges, including hanging transfers, login refusals, no reversal of funds, and recipients not receiving transferred funds. These issues have frustrated bank customers, leading to increased adoption of alternative transaction channels like USSD, which has recorded an increase in failed transactions.
Fintech experts explain that the downtime recorded in most banking apps is triggered by a jump in transactions, revealing that some of the banks’ IT systems are not scalable enough to handle sudden surges. This has spurred Nigerians, particularly businessmen and women, to embrace digital banks like Palmpay, Opay, and Kuda, due to the ease of sending and receiving money and low transaction costs.
Reports reveal that traditional banks in the country are growing increasingly anxious over the rising popularity and adoption of digital banks. Nonetheless, the lack of physical money in circulation has been a catalyst for the adoption of digital financial services, helping the Central Bank achieve its cashless policy and move towards a cashless economy.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is pleased with the growing use of e-payments, which will increase the number of citizens in the formal financial system and reduce reliance on cash. In December of last year, the CBN rolled out a new policy that limited cash withdrawals for individuals and companies to N500,000 and N5,000,000 per week, respectively, in a bid to limit the excess flow of cash.
Fintech Startup Payday Secures $3 Million Fund to Transform Africa’s Borderless Payments
Pan-African Fintech startup Payday has secured a $3 million investment to transform Africa’s borderless payments.
The funding round was led by Moniepoint, a fintech company that provides an all-in-one payment, banking, and operations platform for businesses. Other investors include; HoaQ, Ingressive Capital Fund II, Techstars, DFS Lab’s Stellar Africa Fund, Angels Touch, and Norabase CEO Tola Onayemi.
The recent investment brings PayDay’s total investment to $5.1 million following a $2m+ pre-seed round secured in 2021. The new capital raised will be used to secure operational licensing in the United Kingdom, where the company has been incorporated.
Speaking on the recent fund secured, the CEO of Payday Favour Ori said, “We are building TransferWise for Africa, we want our customers to move money faster with the bank accounts and cards we issue. Other platforms focus on Africans in the diaspora. We are focusing on people in Africa while planning to focus on those abroad by expanding to the U.K.
“We are targeting the future of work by targeting remote workers and freelancers, and we want to be able to study customer and spend behaviors and use that to offer loans. We also want to issue credit cards where if you are a student trying to go to the U.S, you can start building your credit from Nigeria with PayDay”.
Founded in 2021 with its headquarters in Rwanda, PayDay is revolutionizing the way African remote workers and freelancers in Rwanda and Nigeria handle their finances. By allowing users to send and receive money in a different range of currencies which includes, Dollars, Pounds, euros, and several others.
The startup has enabled users and those in the diaspora who work remotely for international organizations to be paid and withdraw money in their preferred currency. With its operations in Nigeria, Rwanda, and the UK, Payday offers its thousands of users virtual, visa and Mastercards, which can quickly be generated using the PayDay App.
Currently, an estimated 80 million Africans work remotely, with PayDay’s global payment processing capabilities, it has made the platform a desirable tool for the continent’s growing digital nomad population looking to make and accept payments from anywhere in the world.
PayDay has so far amassed remarkable traction since its inception. The startup processes an impressive average of 40,000 transactions per day, with its user base continuing to increase.
It is interesting to note that in February 2023, following complaints from Nigerians over the inability to purchase Starlink internet locally, the Internet satellite company partnered with PayDay to facilitate payment transactions in Nigeria. The groundbreaking partnership has processed nearly $1 million, Investors King understands.
Opay And Palmpay Ranked Top as Most Downloaded Fintech Apps Amid Naira Shortage
A new report has shown that Chinese-owned fintech apps Opay and Palmpay are the most downloaded digital banks in Nigeria in 2023, thanks to the cash crunch and failure of traditional banks.
In the report compiled by Similar Web, a web analytics company, both apps became the main alternative to bank apps for money transfers and bill payments during the cash crunch. These apps were reported to be mostly used by vendors and businesses to send and receive money due to the seamless transaction it offers to users.
A large percentage of users disclosed that by using these Fintechs platforms, they do not have to worry about network issues as both apps are always available 24/7. Opay and Palmpay have been lauded for offering relief to Nigerians, especially at a time of unprecedented transaction failure.
It is interesting to note that both Fintechs are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), insured by the NDIC, and trusted by millions of users. Last week, Opay expressed appreciation to millions of users for increased usage of the platform in the last three months. The payment and financial service company disclosed that its customer base crossed over 30 million registered app users, as well as 500,000 agents and 100,000 merchants.
Investors King understands that the naira redesign by the CBN which led to cash shortage in the country, prompted a huge percentage of the Nigerian population to resort to the use of mobile bank apps for transfers. Unfortunately, the increased reliance on banking apps and USSD platforms negatively impacted bank performance, and put a strain on the already unsteady infrastructure of digital banking. This saw bank transfers often take longer than usual and failed transactions take up to five days or more to be resolved.
This prompted customers who did not hesitate to resort to the use of Fintechs which they revealed was more reliable than bank apps. Meanwhile, the transaction glitches experienced by bank customers have no doubt benefitted several fintech platforms, which had tough times wooing customers before the recent cash crunch that saw them gain a significant amount of users.
These platforms have been able to wrap themselves around the fabric of society and have been massively adopted as reliable alternatives to the epileptic services rendered by conventional banks.
Opay Expresses Appreciation to Millions of Users Over Increased Usage of Its Platform
Nigerian fintech platform Opay has recently expressed appreciation to its millions of users over the increased usage of its platform in the last 3 months.
The payment and financial service company disclosed that its customer base crossed over 30 million registered app users, as well as 500,000 agents and 100,000 merchants.
Expressing appreciation to users and merchants, the company said, “We express our appreciation to over 30 million registered app users 500,000 agents, and 100,000 merchants who use Opay daily to make transactions and ultimately spread OPay’s mission of shared prosperity to all”.
Opay is reported to have gained widespread adoption in the past three months by individuals and merchants, following the failure of several traditional bank apps that prompted a lot of Nigerians to resort to various fintech startups to carry out transactions.
The naira redesign and subsequent cash shortage made digital banking more challenging for Nigerians. Increased reliance on banking apps and USSD platforms negatively impacted bank performance, putting strain on the already unsteady infrastructure of digital banking. This saw bank transfers often take longer than usual and failed transactions take up to five days or more to be resolved.
According to findings by Investors King, it was discovered that among several fintechs used by Nigerians for transactions, Opay is said to be the most widely used due to how seamless it is in receiving and sending funds. On social media, the app has seen a lot of positive PR among Nigerian users.
A large percentage of users disclosed that with Opay, they do not have to worry about network issues as the app is always available 24/7. The app has been lauded for offering relief to Nigerians, especially at a time of unprecedented transaction failure.
Aside from its swift transaction process, Opay also offers users various flexible savings tools to users, in which they get to enjoy up to 18% annual interest and get expert financial management to help them reach their goals faster when they bank with the platform.
It is interesting to note that the fintech startup is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, insured by the NDIC, and trusted by over 18 million users. OPay is a leading mobile money (MMO) and financial technology platform in Nigeria. The mobile payment operation focuses on reaching the massive unbanked population of Nigeria.
It was reported to be the fastest African startup to cross a $1 billion valuation mark and has continued to create the perfect recipe for a thriving fintech sector. OPay went from a popular startup with commercial motorcycles in Lagos, Nigeria, to a financial services company worth $2 billion. The startup’s mission is to make financial services more inclusive with technology.
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