NALA, a Tanzanian financial technology company licensed in the UK, EU, and US, has launched payments in Nigeria.
The announcement comes after a series of aggressive moves on behalf of the company, including a push to deepen local partnerships and acquire licenses across the continent.
Founder and CEO Benjamin Fernandes, who hails from Tanzania and has been working in African payments for 1 commented, “As we take our first strides into West Africa, Nigeria is a clear opportunity space for NALA. As a company we are committed to advancing payment solutions for Africans worldwide. We do so by innovating on status-quo tools while expanding access to improved technology infrastructure.”
According to Fernandes Launching in Nigeria amplifies NALA’s reach and capacity to drive meaningful innovation in the African payments landscape. “ We believe this expansion lays the groundwork for NALA to compete and win on a Pan-African scale. In turn, NALA will invest in Nigeria by increasing the number of local jobs we provide and creating partnerships with local players such as banks and payout providers.”
Nigeria is the largest economic market in Africa. As of 2021, Nigeria’s GDP totaled $441 billion, placing it ahead of economies like Egypt and South Africa. Nigeria also has a robust migrant population, with almost 400k diasporans living in the United States and 200k living in the United Kingdom. Together, Nigeria’s robust economy and healthy diaspora population contribute to massive remittance inflows, amounting to more than £3 billion from the UK alone, or 1% of Nigeria’s GDP.
This is a significant move for NALA given their strong roots in East Africa, and alludes to the company’s intention to compete on a pan-African scale alongside West African players such as Send by Flutterwave, Lemfi and others. Given Nigeria comprises ~20% of Africa’s total population, launching in this market unlocks a significant opportunity for NALA to realize its mission to increase economic opportunity for Africans worldwide.
Earlier this year, NALA announced its approval for a License to provide Payment Systems by the Bank of Tanzania, which will enable direct integration with Banks and Mobile Money operators such as M-Pesa. Further, NALA’s CEO Benjamin Fernandes announced in July a $5 million investment into Kenya, which is home to the company’s largest office worldwide.
Despite the many options for sending money to Africa from abroad, the continent continues to be the most expensive place to send money. The World Bank estimates average transfer fees to Africa at ~9%. Further, many existing options include hidden fees that make it hard to discern the true cost of sending money.
NALA is working towards changing the paradigm of financial tools for Africans by providing fair and transparent services to empower people with control over their finances.
NALA’s team is composed of some of the best talent worldwide, bringing together experts in African payments alongside leaders from American/European tech companies to produce alchemy.
NALA is available for download via the App Store or Play Store.