Best and Trending Online Digital Microfinance Banks in Nigeria 2023
The year 2023 has given great rise to several microfinance and digital banks many of which have been existing but just didn’t receive enough attention. Primarily because of the scarcity of cash, as a result of the redesign of the naira notes, many people are now looking for alternative ways of sending and receiving funds.
Many conventional banks now have persistent network issues due to high traffic and the only hope remaining are these microfinance and digital banks. In this article, I will highlight the top 10 most trending microfinance banks in Nigeria in 2023, their pros and cons, and the several transactions that can be done with their mobile apps.
10 Best and Trending Digital Microfinance Banks in Nigeria 2023
- ALAT by Wema
- Pocket App
The best and most trending Microfinance Bank in Nigeria is Opay. OPay is a finance company that uses its smartphone app to enable mobile transactions. Using OPay, you may pay bills, reload your phone’s credit, send money to other users, recharge your airtime, and do a lot more.
Many people use the online wallet of OPay to conduct financial transactions and make payments directly from their mobile devices. OPay has an untold history which started way before the unavailability of cash. OPay actually debuted on the market in 2010. It was formerly known as PayCom and operated by PayCom Nigeria Ltd. The mobile money provider PayCom Nigeria Limited was developed by Telnet Nigeria Ltd.
PayCom was purchased by “Opera Group” in 2018. For the record, Opera Browser, Opera News, and Opera Advertising are all owned by Opera Group. In June 2018, OPay was introduced in Ikeja, Lagos, after the purchase from Paycom. The company is officially known as Olay Co. Inc and Opay is short for Opera Pay.
ALSO, READ Best Mobile Banking Apps In Nigeria
Now over to the OPay app. You may send and receive money, pay bills, reload airtime, receive cashback, and more using OPay. Downloading the OPay app and opening an account are the only requirements. The OPay app can also be used to buy airtime and purchase data subscriptions.
Other transactions that can be done with the OPay app include electricity bill payments, and subscriptions to DSTV, GOTV, and StarTimes. You can also obtain a loan by using the services of OKash. Using OWealth, you can invest money and earn interest every year. OPay then allows for online betting platform deposits. Supported sites include NairaBet, Bet9ja, Cloudbet, and Supabets.
Pros of OPay
- cashback and bonuses are available
- access to virtual and physical debit cards
- A wide range of products are being integrated
- Fast access to loans via okash
- Access to POS devices
- Free daily transfers
- USSD banking
- Access to secure savings with high-interest rates
- Fast transaction confirmation time, usually less than 5 minutes
Cons Of Opay
- Occasional network issues (system busy)
- The user interface can be overwhelming and confusing at first
DOWNLOAD PALMPAY APP BELOW
PalmPay is an e-wallet and online payment platform that provides customers with diverse financial services via the PalmPay app. Before considering the transactions that can be done, the ability for users to make money while using the mobile app is one of PalmPay’s great features. With PalmPay, rewards, bonuses, and cashback are offered for certain transactions.
Now, PalmPay offers its consumers a variety of options through which they can make payments. It serves as an ultimate alternative to using your standard bank account when conducting simple transactions. When compared to the majority of conventional banks, their service fees are negligible.
With PalmPay, you can also take advantage of Virtual Top Up services. Sending cash to friends and relatives is safe and takes only a few minutes. You can purchase different memberships as well as phone recharges.
Inside the app, you can also engage in affiliate marketing. Whenever your friends make their initial deposit, you can enjoy certain benefits by referring them. When customers open an account with PalmPay, they will also get a welcome bonus right away.
Using PalmPay is incredibly secure. Your deposits are held by a reliable and safe business. Transnet is the owner and operator of PalmPay. Transnet is a joint venture between Transsion Holdings and NetEase.
Rewards are given in Palm pay as palm points. One palm point is equal to 1 naira. At any time you need to recharge your airtime, you can get discounts of up to 50%. You might have 100 PalmPoints, for instance, and you will receive a 50% discount if you use those 100 PalmPoints to buy 200 Naira worth of airtime. Thus, you will only pay 100 Naira for 200 Naira airtime.
Your earnings in PalmPoints are based on the value of your transactions. You will receive a 2% bonus (in the form of PalmPoints) anytime you pay bills like cable TV and electricity bills. This only applies to the initial five bill payments, though.
Pros Of PalmPay
- Very secure banking experience
- Free 3 transfers daily
- fast transactions confirmation, transfers take less than 5 minutes to appear
- Access to POS device
- You can convert unused airtime to cash on the application
- Split bills with other palmpay users
- Cashback and bonuses are available
Cons Of PalmPay
- The loan takes longer to be eligible compared to okash
- The user interface can be very confusing and bulky at first
- No USSD banking
- Occasional network issues
- No access to physical debit cards
DOWNLOAD PALMPAY APP BELOW
The next best microfinance bank in 2023 is Kuda. The Kuda Bank app gives users access to a wide range of financial services without the fees that other traditional banks impose. This includes free money transfers to other Nigerian banks, no-cost debit cards, and loan services for customers.
Because of the hefty fees required by traditional banks for services like issuing debit cards, transferring money between banks, and maintaining ATM cards, choosing Kuda is a no-brainer.
The Kuda bank app uses savings to finance loans to borrowers at a particular interest rate. Savings can also be used to invest in other businesses, with the bank receiving the interest.
As Kuda Bank doesn’t construct physical branches, the profits from these investments are enough to maintain the bank.
To begin to bank on Kuda, after downloading the app, you must create an account. You then utilize the account number provided by the Kuda app to carry out transactions.
Kuda bank offers three tiers of accounts with different possibilities which are Lite, Basic, and Premium. With the Lite account, you only need to submit your name and phone number; however, for the Basic account, you also need to supply your name, phone number, and BVN.
The top tier is the premium account. You need a name, phone number, legitimate ID, and BVN in order to register. With the premium account, you can transfer a maximum of N1 million every day and up to a maximum of 250k at once, however, 500,000 on a POS.
Pros Of Kuda
- Very secure banking experience
- The app is very stable, you hardly encounter bugs or hiccups
- A very clear and straight-to-point user interface, beneficial to people just starting out
- Free 25 transfers monthly
- Fast transactions confirmation, transfers take less than 2 minutes to appear,
- Access to POS device
Cons Of Kuda
- Lacks some features like bonuses and cashback
- The referral system doesn’t work all the time
- No SMS alert, for people that would love that though
- Loan takes forever to be eligible if you don’t receive large sums in your account
DOWNLOAD THE KUDA BANK APP BELOW
Since 2019, 162,000 small business owners have used Moniepoint to handle over a billion transactions totalling 23 trillion naira. They discovered that many of Nigeria’s 41 million small businesses struggle with managing operations, taxes, insurance, and employee welfare and they worked to find a solution to these payment issues.
Moniepoint has now developed into a full-service business bank in order to address this issue and fuel the aspirations of SMEs. You can avoid the burden of visiting banks and standing in lines to make deposits and withdrawals by using Moniepoint. You can also use Moniepoint to instantly transfer money to any bank. You will like the quick response and trustworthiness of the transactions.
Also, payment for services like power or TV subscriptions can be done with Moniepoint just like the other digital and microfinance banks we have covered. Every airtime or data transaction you make on Moniepoint will result in a commission, and the procedure is quick and simple.
Pros Of Moniepoint
- Quick transactions
- Commissions on Airtime
- Fast payment confirmation
- Availability of POS
Cons Of Moniepoint
Highly dependent on POS for transactions
DOWNLOAD THE MONIEPOINT APP BELOW
The next best microfinance bank in Nigeria for 2023 is Paga. Paga is a mobile payment platform that enables users to send and receive money digitally and to pay using their mobile phones. Any user with a mobile device can conduct transactional operations utilizing their smartphone using the Paga app, which functions as a mobile wallet.
Tayo Oviosu created Paga in Nigeria in 2009, and the company went public in 2011. Customers can deposit and save money with Paga, buy prepaid phone credit, pay their cable and utility bills, and pay merchants.
The collaboration between Paga and Western Union provides the additional advantage of allowing users’ Western Money transactions to be transferred into their Paga accounts.
Paga has various locations across the nation where its employees serve as walking ATMs. When transferring money, a Paga account holder or non-holder would provide the agent with the recipient’s phone number. In order to complete the transaction, the agent uses their phone. The amount to be sent and the transaction fee are debited from the sender’s account.
The online option, in which the account holder uses a mobile device with internet access to complete the transaction themselves, is another choice that is only available to account holders. The Paga account can be funded online, at a bank, with a debit card, or by making a deposit with an agent.
Paga is a checkout payment platform that business owners, Entrepreneurs, and merchants may incorporate on their own websites in addition to the standard banking transactions made available through the mobile payments app and website.
Customers of these companies can also use Paga’s mobile services and agent locations to send and receive payments.
Pros Of Paga
- Low to zero transactions fees
- Online chat for support
- A variety of payment platforms (online and offline)
- Low network issues
Cons Of Paga
Single currency transactions
DOWNLOAD THE PAGA APP BELOW
6. ALAT by Wema
The next most trending bank app is ALAT by Wema bank. You can complete all of your banking transactions quickly and easily with ALAT, a digital bank. Being the first operational digital bank in Nigeria, the platform has a good reputation. With the help of the bank, you can borrow loans, and make payments.
You can transfer money between your accounts or directly fund your ALAT account using another local or foreign card from any bank. This process only requires one click and is smooth. Of course, the platform also allows you to send money to a third party. For corporations and individuals, respectively, ALAT offers corporate and personal debit cards to its customers. Fundamentally, this debit card offers you the advantage of having no monthly fees. As a result, you do not need to be concerned about extra fees.
You can use ALAT by Wema app to carry out large transactions totalling more than N2 billion on your business account. The entire transaction process is computerized. In essence, this indicates that you can complete the transaction from any location in the world.
If you run out of money, you can request a quick loan through the smartphone app. You can apply for low-interest short-term loans to meet your demands in just one click. You may effortlessly pay your utility bills using ALAT’s digital platform. The platform differs from others due to these aspects.
Pros Of Alat By Wema
- Large volume transactions
- Access to loans
- International transactions
Cons Of Alat By Wema
- No POS available
- Sometimes unstable network
DOWNLOAD ALAT BY WEMA APP BELOW
Prospa is the next trending digital bank and it is focused on business owners. The app essentially focuses on helping users create a current bank account. The benefits associated with this bank account are appropriate for the expansion of your company.
The privately held business was established in 2019 to offer Nigerians financial services. In essence, the organization’s only goal is to aid Africans in achieving greater financial wealth.
After your small business is registered, you are given a bank account number that is registered in your company name. By doing this, you can avoid the hassle of opening a business account at a traditional bank. The business bank account you open operates essentially in the same way as a regular bank account. You can send money to other Nigerian bank accounts from your account and receive money from other bank accounts.
A widget on the platform for tracking spending automatically organizes your transactions. You also have access to one dashboard from which you can open and manage all of your company accounts. You can easily navigate between your bank accounts with this functionality. You can use money from your company account to conveniently pay bills. In essence, you can use this option to pay your utility bills from the convenience of your home.
The platform is also secure and safe. You can effortlessly expand and manage your business with the aid of these features.
Pros Of Prospa
- Access to current account
- Helps to scale small business
Cons Of Prospa
Not available to average users
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Gomoney, which was introduced in 2020, takes pride in being a full-fledged digital service provider that streamlines the banking process for its customers while also assisting them in making wise financial decisions thanks to its extensive features.
While some of its features, such as virtual cards, sending and receiving money, and paying bills and utilities, are quite similar to those of other digital banks, gomoney makes sure that these features are distinctive and unique enough in their offerings to provide users with premium service and set its app apart from rivals.
The bank further enhances the user-friendliness and intuitiveness of its app’s features, making it even more convenient and easy to use. Users of the gomoney app, for instance, can get paid by just sharing a payment link that the app can quickly produce.
Alternatively, users can simply tap “share details” to give others access to their accounts.
Gomoney also gives virtual cards which are now a common feature of most online banks. This function serves as a substitute for physical debit cards in that it enables users to carry out all of their transactions without running the danger of the card being destroyed, lost, or stolen.
The gomoney virtual card stands out as being the most adaptable so far in terms of being accepted on significant international and local platforms.
It is a Mastercard that is provided to users at no additional cost, and each user is allowed to request a maximum of three virtual cards. The “split payment” or “Group bills” feature, which is accessible on the app through the payment option, is another feature of the Gomoney app.
As the name suggests, this tool enables a group of users to effortlessly split costs among themselves, whether it is for a hangout or a fast contribution. The app automatically divides payments among users into equal amounts, and it also records this information in users’ transaction report trackers.
Pros For Gomoney
- Free and dynamic virtual cards
- Split payment
Cons For Gomoney
- No POS available
- Not widely known
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9. Pocket App
Pocket App is a social commerce and payments application originally known as Abeg. It assists both individual users and company owners in increasing their savings and income. The parent firm of the well-known PiggyVest savings platform, PiggyTech Global Limited also owns and operates the Fintech application Pocket.
You can send money to other Pocket users if you have a Pocket account. Money can also be transferred to or withdrawn from a local bank account.
In addition to being a mobile money application for payments and savings, Pocket also functions as an online store. Simply use the search button on your homepage and look up any item that comes to mind, such as shoes, purses, desserts, etc.
You can order any of them by clicking on them and doing so immediately from the Pocket app. Also, you can look up services like makeup, clothing, etc. A list of makeup companies that are listed on Pocket by PiggyVest will be displayed to you.
If you desire, you can list your service- or product-based company on Pocket, and together with other suppliers, you will show up in search results. Pocket does not charge commissions on your sales, unlike competing e-commerce sites like Jumia. Whatever you sell is wholly yours.
Pros Of Pocket App
- E-commerce store
- Easy savings and investment
Cons Of Pocket App
Sending and receiving money is not straightforward
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The last microfinance digital bank we’ll be considering in this list is MPesa. A SIM card is what is used to conduct transactions using the virtual banking system M-Pesa. Users can send money to suppliers and family members via SMS messages once the SIM has been placed into the mobile device’s card slot.
The various M-Pesa outlets dispersed throughout the nation are accessible to users without bank accounts. The cash to be saved is provided to the kiosk owner, who then electronically transfers the funds to the user’s M-Pesa account.
M-Pesa revenue is deposited into bank accounts controlled by Safaricom.
The Deposit Protection Fund insures bank accounts up to a maximum of about $1,000 and they function as standard checking accounts. Receipts are provided by M-Pesa as transaction verification. Because phone numbers serve as account numbers, both parties must exchange them before a transaction can be completed.
Following the settlement, an SMS notice with the complete name of the third party and the amount of money placed into or taken out of the user’s account is sent to both parties. The instantaneous mobile receipt aids in fostering transparency for all parties engaged in a transaction. Users of the M-Pesa mobile banking app can transfer and save money using their smartphones.
Pros Of M-Pesa
- Established network
- Available across Africa
- Higher transaction limits
Cons Of M-Pesa
- Higher transaction fees
- Limited services
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The following microfinance and digital banks highlighted above have erupted the banking sector in Nigeria and Africa. More than ever, we have now become independent of the conventional banking system and have more options and dynamism in banking.