Paylater, the fintech company which pioneered micro-lending in Nigeria, at scale, has hit one million app downloads. I wrote about this company and called it a brilliant business. With this growth rate, Paylater could be the largest “Nigerian bank” with no bank license by 2025. It will eclipse three banks in customer base possibly by the end of 2019.
That is why Paylater is exciting. Owned by One Finance & Investments Ltd,Paylater is going after that market where the highest pain points are found in the Nigerian banking sector. We can surely live without shopping through the modern digital payments. But we know that it is challenging when there is an urgent need for funds and no friend or family can help. That is what happens across Nigerian families today. Challenges go beyond how to move money fast across digital channels. Simply, we want credits. Paylater focuses on short-term loans, mainly for emergencies.
The mobile app provides Nigerian consumers with access to credit. And it does its entire works completely digitally, without seeing or speaking to customers. Call it AI or analytics, it is a leap ahead.
From an email sent to Tekedia, the company has disbursed N6 billion in 2018 alone.
In Nigeria, a country of nearly 200 million people, 61% of the adult population is un- or underbanked. Fintech companies like Paylater represent a tremendous opportunity to get formal banking services in the hands of Nigerian consumers to provide much needed liquidity for entrepreneurial investment, personal development, or unexpected expenses.
Consumer credit is nearly non-existent in Nigeria. But, Paylater is issuing loans to Nigerians completely digitally, without seeing or speaking to customers. Customers can receive funds in their account in as little as 5 minutes, with no need for paperwork, collateral or guarantors. Digital financial services platforms have been well received by consumers and it appears that fintech platforms like Paylater are here to stay.
The evidence is in the numbers. With over 800,000 registered users, across every Nigerian state, Paylater has loaned over $17M USD to Nigerian consumers in 2018 so far. The technology platform has supplemented that loan growth with very strong early adoption of its bill payments and investments features as well.
“We are very excited by the market adoption of Paylater and we believe there is still a significant growth opportunity ahead for digital financial services” – Co-founder and CEO Chijioke Dozie
Before Paylater, only commercial banks?—?with physical branches nationwide and extremely large capital bases?—?had the reach, stability and customer trust to offer financial services to a variety of people. Unfortunately, these same institutions turned record profits by taking deposits from average consumers, and reserving actual ‘banking’ services like loans and investments for large corporate entities and high-net worth individuals.
Access to credit is a fundamental human need and the foundation on which most modern economies are built. Pioneers like Paylater have embraced the difficult task of unlocking the power of financial access for the underserved, and so far, it looks like they are winning.