- Nigeria’s Fintech Startups Raise $400m in 2019 -CBN
Nigeria’s Financial Technology (fintech) companies raised a combined $400 million in 2019, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The governor of the central bank, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this said the apex bank issued 15 super-agent licenses and three payment service bank licenses to drive financial inclusion initiative in the banking sector in 2019.
Emefiele said, “In an effort to build a more inclusive financial system and to improve the efficacy of monetary policy tools, we provided 15 super-agent licenses as well as three Payment Service Bank licenses to telecommunications and fintech companies.
“These measures are aiding in the development of a robust payment infrastructure and an expansion of agent locations across the country. As a result of our policy measures, in 2019, over $400m have been invested in fintech companies, focused on supporting improved payment services in Nigeria.”
The two leading fintech startups in terms of amount raised in 2019 were OPay that raised a combined $170 million and PalmPay that just raised $40 million from Chinese investors and about to roll out its application on over 20 million Tecno phones across Africa.
According to Emefiele, with new entrants entering the payment services space, more Nigerians would have access to effective banking services.
The governor said going into 2020, the central bank plans to maintain stable foreign exchange policy despite foreign reserves dropping to $39 billion.
He said in an effort to improve access to finance and credit, the central bank would improve access to credit for Small and Medium Enterprises and farmers, deepening intervention efforts through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme and the Real Sector Support Funds, among others.
Emefiele, during the weekend, had said over $60 billion transacted through the Investors and Exporters’ forex window since it was established in April 2017 has helped stabilised the Naira.