This article contains 10 digital banks licensed by the CBN. Sure, it is no longer news that technology is the main thing in the world now. Different industries are moving to the tech world and the banking industry isn’t left out.
The global trend of growth in the digital banking industry is evident in Nigeria, driven by factors like low fees, convenience, and efficient internet-based transactions. These banks, staffed by tech-savvy personnel, pose a challenge to traditional banks with their innovative services.
Despite not offering as broad a range of services as traditional banks, digital banks provide unique and specific features that can benefit customers. While often grouped under fintech, they operate under distinct license categories issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), including mobile money operators, Payment Service Banks (PSBs), finance companies, and microfinance banks.
10 DIGITAL BANKS LICENSED BY THE CBN TO OPERATE AS MICROFINANCE BANKS IN NIGERIA
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has licensed 894 microfinance banks, with some evolving into fully digital banks utilizing mobile apps to offer financial services. These 10 digital banks play a significant role in addressing the financial inclusion gap in Nigeria.
Sofri, introduced in April 2022, stands out as a digital bank operating under the license of Links Microfinance Bank and approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Offering a comprehensive suite of banking services, including savings, loans, and investments, it operates seamlessly through its mobile app. Sofri aspires to evolve into a national microfinance bank in the future. Notably, its mobile app has garnered praise for its speedy transfer services, and Sofri has undertaken promotional campaigns, such as a raffle draw, to assist Nigerians during the cashless policy era.
Mint, a virtual bank licensed by the CBN and facilitated by Finex Microfinance Bank Ltd, provides a suite of services, encompassing current and savings accounts, low-interest loans, and a personalized money tracker. Opening a current account incurs no fees for maintenance or transactions. Additionally, the savings accounts feature goal-based savings plans, providing customers the opportunity to earn up to 36.5% interest as rewards.
Piggyvest, licensed as a microfinance bank by the CBN and insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), delivers savings and investment tools to its customers. The platform provides a range of savings options, including fixed, flexible, and goal-oriented plans, along with automated savings features. Additionally, PiggyVest offers pre-vetted low-medium risk primary and secondary investment avenues with durations spanning from 6 to 12 months.
VFD Microfinance Bank stands as a streamlined digital and mobile banking platform, providing individuals and businesses with fast, secure, and cutting-edge banking services. With a focus on aiding customers in achieving their goals, addressing intermittent challenges, and building wealth, the bank offers high-yield savings accounts and provides loans with low-interest rates.
Formerly recognized as TeamApt, Moniepoint operates as a CBN-licensed microfinance bank, providing digital financial services. The company, driven by the vision of fostering financial happiness for everyone, acquired a Switch and Processor license from the CBN in addition to its existing Microfinance license last year. This positions Moniepoint as a versatile player in the digital financial services landscape.
FairMoney operates as a digital bank with a primary focus on lending, holding a CBN license as a microfinance bank. The platform offers instant loans, reaching up to one million naira, along with the provision of a bank account and a debit card. FairMoney boasts an impressive operational scale, processing over 10,000 loans daily and disbursing a loan every eight seconds, showcasing its commitment to swift and accessible financial services.
Carbon operates as a CBN-licensed digital bank offering not only standard digital banking features. Like debit cards but also a loan facility and investment opportunities. Additionally, the Carbon app enables P2P payments, bill payments, mobile recharges, and functions as a microfinance bank, providing a diverse range of financial services through its digital platform.
Kuda, a fintech valued at US$500 million, holds a full license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a microfinance bank. Despite being headquartered in London, Kuda concentrates its operations on the Nigerian market. Kuda accounts offer a range of features, including a free debit card, budgeting tools, spending controls, as well as transfer and savings functions. Notably, the bank has eliminated maintenance fees and provides users with a specified number of free transfers each month.
Eyowo operates as a CBN-licensed digital microfinance bank, offering a unified platform that consolidates various financial tools for payments, receipts, budgeting, and savings. The bank is dedicated to promoting financial inclusion by granting access to financial services for every Nigerian. With a phone number, emphasizing accessibility and convenience in its approach to serving a wide range of financial needs.
Sparkle, established in 2019, functions as a digital bank licensed by the CBN under the microfinance category. With a mission to empower Nigerians and democratize access to valuable solutions for both business and personal needs. Sparkle goes beyond traditional banking services. The bank is dedicated to enhancing the financial lifestyle of its customers. Aiming to contribute to their overall well-being and potential fulfillment.
Is digital banking here to stay?
Yes, digital banking is here. There’s no going back as the world keeps moving into tech.