People no longer need to go to banks to complete specific transactions because we now have merchant banks all around us to assist us. Such banks exist in the form of human-operated point-of-sale systems. These individuals are regarded as human ATMs.
Banks and telcos, as well as startups like China-backed unicorn OPay and TeamApt, are major players. E-Settlement, founded by Olaoluwa Awojoodu, is another notable player. Paycentre Africa, the firm’s agent banking platform, is available in Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Togo.
Last year, the business claimed that its network of 100,000 merchants helped over 5 million clients transact more than $2 billion.
With so much force at his fingertips, Awojoodu formed a partnership with Airende Ojeomogha and Garry Ottosen to launch Yep!, a neobank that will use E-network Settlement to move underbanked consumers to the internet as well as attract those who are already online.
Yep!, a “financial super app” with payments, remittance, and banking functions, announced recently that it has secured $1.5 million in a pre-seed round sponsored by Greenhouse Capital, a pan-African venture capital firm.
Customers, small company owners, and merchants will benefit from digital financial services provided by the firm in the five regions where E-Settlement operates.
The startup presently has a $500,000 credit line to help established retailers get started with working capital loans. According to the creators, they are in talks with foreign loan lenders to raise the amount to $10 million by the end of 2022.
Yep! is experimenting with remittance products in order to set itself apart from the same platforms and to make its super app dreams a reality. With $45 billion in remittance outflows, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most costly area to send money to.
Yep! recognizes potentials to capitalize on remittance flows, in which agents function as intermediaries, collecting funds from the diaspora and delivering them to those on the ground. More on the diaspora, the company wants to provide African migrants checking and savings accounts, a credit card, and a physical bank.
But that’s all in the works for Yep! As part of its mission to increase financial inclusion, Yep! plans to use the pre-seed investment to expand its agent network to over 200,000 by the end of 2022.
The money will also help the company launch its digital banking services in Nigeria and the other four nations, which the founders feel are ready for the grabbing because there is less rivalry than in Africa’s most well-known fintech industry.
Fintech has long been associated with phrases like financial inclusion, unbanked, and underbanked, one could say they are 5 and 6.
Financial inclusion has been viewed as a way to bring larger societal rewards due to its availability and fairness of access to financial services.
Even the most basic bank account, which acts as a doorway to additional financial services such as credit and insurance, can be the first step toward greater inclusion.
Fintech is frequently linked with new start-ups. The growth of the fintech business has been aided in part by a general distrust of traditional financial firms for their inability to adapt to changing client needs.
Fintech innovation concentrates on unbundling financial services for retail clients and enhancing their front end via better service, branding, and price. Frontends that specialize in offers that improve the customer-centric aspects of financial services encourage innovation.
Users that utilize banks and other digital-only platforms such as Kuda, Carbon, and FairMoney will be targeted by the San Francisco and Lagos-based business.
It will offer online customers account opening, debit card issuance, bill payment, credit financing, and financial management services, as well as financial management services for both customers and firms.
However, Yep!’s offline and online acquisition technique is nothing new. OPay, which specializes in delivering financial services to underbanked people, officially debut its digital banking arm in 2021 after converting millions of subscribers gathered through a variety of vertical services. Last year, TeamApt suggested a digital banking play for the unbanked.
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