Nigerian digital banking startup E-Settlement processes $2.5m daily

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Nigerian fintech startup E-Settlement is processing US$2.5 million in transactions daily across its various platforms as it seeks to extend banking services to all.

Founded by Olaoluwa Awojoodu in 2017, E-Settlement provides financial services to different target markets through its platforms, placing itself at the forefront of innovative, easy-to-use, affordable, secure and inclusive payment solutions for Africa.

Named in this year’s Inclusive Fintech 50, a global competition to elevate early-stage fintechs driving financial inclusion run by MetLife Foundation and Visa, E-Settlement has made a huge impact in its short life, processing more than NGN1 trillion (US$2.7 billion) in transactions so far, a figure that is growing by US$2.5 million every day.

These transactions are being made across multiple platforms, targeting different customer segments. Its flagship solution is PayCentre, an agency banking solution that provides regular bank services such as cash-in and cash-out, funds transfer, and bill payment, in peri-urban and rural areas. 

“These are regions where people have no access to banks or ATMs. PayCentre is targeted at the financially excluded or underserved, and in practice, creates new jobs and improves the economy of the community in which it is deployed,” Awojoodu told Disrupt Africa.

E-Settlement has a 7,500-strong network of agents powering PayCentre, and also owns PayPad, a white-labelled mobile point of sale(mPoS) solution, and CashEnvoy, an online payment gateway.

All of these services were rolled out in order to better spread financial inclusion outside of major Nigerian cities.

“People outside of Lagos have limited access to financial services. The banks are too far away. We bridge this gap by converting existing retail outlets like pharmacies and grocery stores into agent locations that can provide access to financial services,” Awojoodu said.

In this respect, E-Settlement’s competition includes mobile money operators, but in Nigeria that is less of a challenge than it would be in, say, Kenya, and E-Settlement has established itself in a strong position. Funded by local and international investors, it is already profitable, and seeing 50 per cent month-on-month growth in transactions made through its platforms.

“Uptake has been encouraging,” said Awojoodu. “As the country begins to shift from a cash-based economy to a cashless one, more people are beginning to accept and adopt systems and solutions that push the cashless mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

More importantly, he said, the startup’s agents love its solution.

“We offer business growth opportunities in terms of loans, the lowest charges in the market, referral bonuses, and so much more. We have been able to impact communities, create employment and help our customers also become employers of labour,” Awojoodu said.

E-Settlement, which charges a fee on all transactions made through its platforms, is currently operating primarily in Nigeria, though its business extends into neighbouring countries such as Ghana. It is looking at further expansion in the next few years.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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