Most African countries today are embracing online payment tools that are helping locals to do online financial transactions. A case in point is Payant, a Nigerian fintech startup celebrating over N1 billion in transactions in less than two years of existence. The startup has added new features to its platform that will facilitate online transactions for the ordinary citizen.
Fintech is fast gaining grounds in the economic sector. The emergence of Fintech has grossly disrupted traditional banks as investment rates in Fintech increase by 45% yearly, investing 10.3 billion pounds into startups within a year.
Payant is a startup based in Kaduna with solutions to online payments. Launched last year, it has as aim to provide invoicing and payment software to more than 1000 users to send and receive money from their websites, phone apps or directly from Facebook Messenger. The startup’s first transaction in January 2017 was worth N500.
However, the platform can boast of around 1,500 users, having as lowest single payment at N 1 and highest single payment at N400,000. This is very huge. It has also leaped from just an invoicing and software payment to other features such as Dot, a mobile banking solution, Payant Checkout and Payant Chatbot for banking transactions on social media.
The platform is now celebrating its first N1 billion in less than two years of existence. According to the startup’s CEO and founder, Aminu Bakori, merchants will get paid for invoices from over 5,000 bank branches across Nigeria via in-branch payment. In addition, Payant currently has cards, account numbers and internet banking options on its platform.
Payant fintech startup and challenges
There is no growing company that wouldn’t meet stumbling blocks in achieving its goals. So is the case of Payant fintech. Though this young company has been able to incorporate more payment and invoicing channels, the startup still faces challenges. It is true that users can pay using their debit cards, and their bank accounts. Customer acquisition, however, has been the biggest challenge, according to co-founder Kabir Shittu.
The startup’s main base in the Northern part of Nigeria has instilled fear in most clients who have become skeptical. But despite the skepticism, 60% of its clients still come from Lagos and the South West of the country. In addition to its challenges, Payant also lacks funding to expand its team.
The startup in the midst of these challenges intends to build out its system and improve the quality of services offered in 2018. It also plans to do more than N5 billion transactions by the end of the year, thanks to its new Dot digital banking platform.
Fintech’s position in Africa
African countries do not need to adopt previous technology advancements in banking like the ATMs and online banking. They can as well just move straight to the new frictionless mobile infrastructure. Mobile payment solutions are now available to those who do not have traditional bank accounts.
Fintech is very useful in a continent like Africa where many freelancers and SMEs are on the rise. The years SMEs and startups were finding it difficult to rais income are now gone. SMEs and startups usually find this difficult due to banks’ complete monopoly on how loans are given out. However, with the presence of Fintech, startups have the opportunity to provide efficient services to savers and borrowers.
Moreover, Fintech makes things easier for startups especially when it comes to avoiding risk. With Fintech, it is possible to scan a large range of information from social reviews to a company’s usage of logistics firms. Through this, Fintech is able to identify successful small businesses. Now, there is Fintech software that can fix damaged credit scores for consumers affected by the financial crisis, using a better approach to lend money.
The emergence of Fintech has brought the revolutionary idea of crowdfunding into the financial market. This has granted the layman access to loans to fund campaigns and other projects online.
Platforms in Africa such as Jumpstart Africa, Thundafound, Guanxi Investment and FundandImpact engage in crowdfunding to support entrepreneurs, especially, those in Africa, financially. They also invest in personal projects.
With the growth of Fintech in the finance industry, innovative ideas would not die anymore because of lack of funds. Payant is an example of a successful project. And with N1 billion in less than two years, the startup still has more to achieve.
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