Stellar, a non-profit foundation that supports a universal financial platform, and Oradian, a FinTech company that provides core-banking software for local financial organizations in West Africa, today announced the launch of a low-cost live payment transfer network among microfinance organizations in Nigeria. Today, rural Nigerians will gain access to something previously out of reach: affordable direct payments.
Until now, sending money to the largely unbanked rural areas often involved delivering cash by hand or trusting a traveler or bus driver to deliver it. With this new ability to transfer money at very low cost, rural communities can leapfrogged into the future. By integrating the open-source Stellar network into its core-banking software, Oradian has made low-cost payments available to a select set of its customers. This network reaches a total of 200 microfinance banks and serves over 300,000 end clients (over 90% are women), mainly in rural areas across Nigeria. This network will continue to grow as more integrations are completed.
Moving money doesn’t have to be notoriously difficult and particularly punishing for the poor and in Nigeria today majority of the population is underbanked or unbanked.
Oradian’s innovative core-banking platform, Instafin is used by microfinance institutions all over Nigeria and by integrating the Stellar network, Oradian will enable two things: First, microfinance institutions (MFIs) will be able to transfer money between each other seamlessly. Second, MFI customers who are mainly based in rural areas will be able to send money to other MFI customers in distant villages or cities, in real time, by simply visiting their local MFI.
“We are delighted to be working with Stellar, as this supports our ambition to empower the delivery of financial services to the underserved. With Stellar’s technology, we change the way money is being handled and transferred across geographies, in a secure, instant and cheap manner. This new disruptive service further proves that Oradian’s core-banking system is the leader in bringing new services to the underserved at scale, ” said Antonio Separovic, Managing Director at Oradian.
“We’re beyond excited to be working with Oradian to launch the first live transfer network in Nigeria,” said Joyce Kim, Executive Director of Stellar.org. “With the Oradian integration, communities that primarily relied upon cash for money transfer in and out of their villages can now transfer money instantly and safely, regardless of their location. This is the first step towards creating a universal payment network for the unbanked, and brings us closer to fulfilling Stellar.org’s mission of using a universal platform to bring financial services to all.”
Nigerian startups raised $17.6m in Q1 2019, 8.5% higher than they did in Q1 2018. Find out more in the latest quarterly edition of the Nigerian Startup Funding Report here.
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