Startups offering financial-related services in Nigeria have grown over the years and Nigeria has gradually been termed the FinTech hub for Africa housing over 250 financial technology companies.
These companies play a huge role in transforming the banking processes and how financial services are carried out, from payments to lending.
Despite the large amount of fintech in the country, starting one is a tough nut to crack especially if you are new to building businesses.
There are legal requirements, funding options, and critical factors that are relevant to your success.
Starting a FinTech company in Nigeria isn’t an easy process, especially for first-time entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs new to the industry. In this article, you will explore how to start a fintech company in Nigeria, the legal requirements, funding options, and critical factors that determine your business success.
Starting a fintech company requires that your business must be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the federal government of Nigeria and includes;
- Registration: Your startup must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). You will require to provide details of the company’s directors and shareholders, as well as the company’s address, and submit the necessary documentation. These documents are a utility bill that validates proof of address, a Tax Identification Number (TIN) issued by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), as well as the company’s memorandum and articles of association which outline the objectives of your fintech company, its share capital, and the rules for the management and operation.
- Licenses: Licenses defer depending on the type of fintech you want to start, and you have to obtain your licenses from regulatory bodies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Read about fintech regulators to know which suit your product
- Capital requirements: Your startup will be required that have to meet certain minimum capital requirements to operate. The minimum capital requirements vary depending on the type of fintech you want to start.
- Compliance: As a fintech, you will be required to comply with various regulations and guidelines set by regulatory bodies such as the CBN, SEC, and NCC. These regulations are designed to protect consumers and ensure the safety and soundness of the financial system.
- Cybersecurity: You must have solid and proven security measures in place to ensure that your user data are secured and prone to cyber-attacks.
- Partnership with banks and other fintech: Some fintech in Nigeria partner with traditional banks and licensed API providers to provide services such as payment processing, lending, bills payment , and other financial services. You may need to form partnerships with banks to offer certain services.
How to Raise Funding for Fintech Startup
Fintech startups in Nigeria can access a range of funding options. However, securing funding can be challenging, especially for early-stage companies without a proven track record. To increase your chances of success, you should prepare a solid business plan, identify potential investors, and network with other fintech entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
Some of the most common funding options for fintech include:
- Venture capital: These firms provide funds to start-ups in exchange for equity ownership. In Nigeria, they include Ventures Platform, EchoVC Partners, and Greentree Investment.
- Angel investment: These are high-net-worth individuals who invest their own money in exchange for equity ownership.
- Bank loans: Banks in Nigeria provide loans to businesses, including fintech start-ups and they usually require collateral and high-interest rates.
- Crowdfunding: This option requires asking a number of people to invest small amounts of money for an expected ROI. Several crowdfunding platforms in Nigeria, such as Cowrywise, and Getequity can be used by fintech start-ups to raise funds.
- Incubators and accelerators: This option involves organizations that provide resources and support to start-ups. In Nigeria, there are several fintech-focused incubators and accelerators, such as the Africa Fintech Foundry and the Lagos Innovates program.
It is worth considering that each option has its own requirements and criteria. Carry out your relevant research and ask questions from experienced founders before applying for funding.
Key Considerations for Success
Starting a fintech company in Nigeria requires a thorough understanding of the market, customer needs, and the competitive landscape. You should conduct market research to identify gaps in the market and develop innovative solutions that meet the needs of Nigerian consumers. Additionally, you should build a competent team with expertise in technology, finance, and marketing to develop and promote your products or services. Finally, you should prioritize cybersecurity and data protection to ensure the safety and privacy of your customers’ financial information.
Starting a fintech company in Nigeria is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the growth of the financial industry and improve access to financial services for Nigerians. However, it requires careful planning, a solid business plan, and a deep understanding of the regulatory framework and market dynamics. By following the legal requirements, securing funding, and focusing on key success factors, you can set your fintech company on the path to success in Nigeria.
A major challenge can be the technical know-how required to build and maintain a fintech platform. However, with the help of BillsAfrica, entrepreneurs can now easily build a fintech platform without having to code.
BillsAfrica offers a fully-fledged infrastructure that allows entrepreneurs to build a complete fintech application that includes a wallet system, payroll, agent banking, virtual and physical cards, and more. This makes it possible in order to allow entrepreneurs to focus on the business side of things, while BillsAfrica takes care of the technical details.
Furthermore, BillsAfrica partners with third-party API providers to offer a wide range of integration services to entrepreneurs, making it possible to create a comprehensive fintech platform without having to build everything from scratch offering a significant advantage, especially for entrepreneurs who want to focus on catering for their customers.