EFInA Fintech Challenge Grant Request for Proposals: Supporting new concepts to enhance the uptake
and usage of financial services by the low income population in Nigeria through leveraging on
financial technology delivery channels provided by the FinTechs.
EFInA is pleased to announce its ninth request for proposals (RFP 9) for the Fintech Challenge Grant
which focuses on supporting new concepts to enhance the uptake and usage of financial services by the
low income population in Nigeria through leveraging on financial technology delivery channels provided
by the FinTechs.
EFInA recently launched a new Challenge Fund that will be used to pilot and support the development
of innovative financial products & services through the use of digital technology. In addition, this
Challenge Fund which comprises of the Fintech Challenge Grant will fund projects that help strengthen
financial resilience in Nigeria by aligning innovation and modern technology with the needs of the target
audience. The objectives of the EFInA Fintech Challenge Fund are to provide financial services that are
accessible to everyone especially
the low income segment, improve customer experience, enhance the
transparency of financial services and increase the adoption of financial services with reliable and
affordable products. In addition, the major purpose of this fund is to target FinTechs with innovative and
cost effective solutions to overcome the challenges or obstacles hampering financial inclusion in Nigeria.
The funding information for the Fintech Challenge Grant are as follows:
- $50,000 – $200,000 for Start-up FinTechs – Fintech Challenge 1 Grant
- $200,000 – $500,000 for Growth stage FinTechs – Fintech Challenge 2 Grant
The impact of the financial technology wave is becoming broader with emerging innovations. FinTechs
would therefore need to leverage on the opportunities in the Digital Financial Services space. Digital
Financial Services can be accessed via innovative technologies like mobile-phone enabled solutions,
electronic channels and digital payment platforms.
The EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2016 survey revealed that there is a significant
opportunity for FinTechs in Nigeria as 71% underserved adults indicated that they are interested in
adopting new financial technology.
- 19 million (38.4%) of the informally served and financially excluded population own a mobile
- 71% of the underserved adults mentioned that they are prepared to use new technology
- 33 million adults are willing to learn how to use new technology
- Over 20 million adults are open to the idea of using financial technology to manage their
Some of the active areas of FinTech innovations revolve around the unbanked and under-banked,
services that seek to serve disadvantaged or low income people who are underserved by the traditional
banks or mainstream financial services companies. Fintech services are positively disrupting a variety of
industries because of its focus on leveraging technology to improve the delivery of financial services and
make them more accessible to the general public.
In Nigeria, offering financial services through digital platforms is still in the nascent stage with a primary focus on payment services. Some of the constraints to the development of Digital Financial Services include weak cell coverage, power infrastructure, slow product development, poor agent network liquidity and expansion and low awareness of customers.
EFInA is focused on leveraging financial technology services to deepen financial access and therefore seeks to fund projects that will extend financial services to the low income population in Nigeria (defined as those earning N50, 000 or less per month).
Successful applications will provide a compelling use case that meets the needs of the low income population by offering different products through a range of channels and financial access points. Applicants are therefore encouraged to consider the relevance and affordability of the financial technology services offered.
What is EFInA looking for?
Focus area: FinTech projects proposed should cover most financial services, in particular savings,
investment (commitment savings), payments, lending and insurance, but also enabling technologies.
Thematic Areas: the thematic areas cut across the four stages of the Fintech Innovation Life Cycle:
Garage (Idea formulation Phase), Innovation Hub (Developing initiatives Phase), Accelerator/Business
Building Phase and Market Building. This includes FinTechs offering value services to support any of the
- Thematic Area 1 (Fintech Challenge 1 Grant): Development of Initiatives aided by formation of
clusters and refining ideas to bring about innovation (i.e. Garage and Innovation Hub). Designing
Financing and Risk Mechanisms to manage challenges with product and technology
- Thematic Area 2 (Fintech Challenge 2 Grant): Creating platforms that facilitate savings,electronic payments, loan disbursements and collections, etc. with products market ready forpilot and roll out.
- Applicants must have a track record of success for providing financial technology services
- Applicants must provide a strong business case that demonstrates how the proposed products/services and channels meet the needs of the low income population (defined as those earning N50,000 or less per month)
- Applicants must develop effective customer awareness campaigns that demonstrate the benefits of the products/services. and provide information on agent locations, if applicable
- Applicants must indicate that they have the capacity to implement the proposed project and demonstrate sustainable impact within 12 months
Who can apply?
- Eligible organisations are start-up and growth stage Fintech Companies in Nigeria offering
innovative financial services solutions that promote financial inclusion
- Applicant should be legally incorporated within Nigeria
- Have the capacity to implement the proposed project for the applied funding and evidence that the business is viable
- Applicant should have 2 Guarantors to provide a formal assurance, especially that all project conditions agreed by EFInA and Applicant will be fulfilled
- The EFInA Fintech Challenge Fund is open to proposals around two thematic challenges and a special focus area. Individual projects may focus on one or multiple thematic areas. A clearly identified need or problem and a practical application of the proposed innovation will be important for a successful proposal
- All proposals need to demonstrate a new or different approach which requires funding from the challenge fund to get off the ground, and the proposal should demonstrate why this could not be supported from the Applicant’s funding sources. Ensure that all approaches are scalable
- All products and outputs should show a clear path to ultimately be operationalized on-the-ground
How to apply?
All applicants must complete the EFInA Fintech Challenge Grant Application Form. For further
information on the application and submission process, please visit
All completed grant application forms, templates and required documentation should be submitted by
5pm on Friday, November 16, 2018. Shortlisted applicants will be notified of the outcome of their
applications by Friday, November 23, 2018. Shortlisted applicants will need to complete the second round application forms and required documentation by Friday, December 7, 2018.
On February 8, 2019, in Lagos Nigeria, Nerds Unite will expose IT professionals to the latest radical technologies available for business and their application to the Nigerian business landscape. Register now to attend.