Paystack, Interswitch, Flutterwave… Nigeria’s fintech revolution

By Ruth Olurounbi

Posted on Friday, 12 March 2021 14:37, updated on Monday, 15 March 2021 12:23
A staff member works at the reception of the paystack online payment company in the government reserved area in Ikeja, in Lagos
Analysts fear companies like Paystack will be less attractive to investors if Nigeria follows through with its digital economy bill. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

It is a familiar story: Nigeria has the potential but progress is not coming quickly. It has a huge economy and the continent’s biggest population, and yet South Africa has the biggest banks and Kenya leads the continent in mobile-money use.

The Covid-19 pandemic, with its twin forces of disruption and acceleration, is pushing actors both foreign and domestic to develop opportunities in the financial technology (fintech) space. The October announcement of the purchase of Nigerian payments company Paystack by global fintech giant Stripe for a reported $200m, MTN’s move into mobile money in Nigeria and banks’ drives to digitise their operations are all signs of things to come.