Nigerian fintech startups PiggyVest and Cowrywise are scaling up to become digital banks

by | Jul 30, 2019

Earlier today, users of Nigerian online savings and investment platform PiggyVest received emails introducing them to “NUBAN Account Numbers for PiggyVest”.

The new feature allows users to fund their PiggyFlex accounts via a dedicated bank account number from Providus Bank. The PiggyFlex Account, launched in June 2018, is a sub-account where all interests earned on PiggyVest are paid to users.

According to the mail, users can now fund their PiggyVest accounts “directly with Internet banking, USSD and other bank transfer channels (without the need for a debit card.”

They can also accept transfers from family and friends as well as payments for services directly into their PiggyFlex accounts which can be accessed anytime, at no charge.

Shortly after this announcement by PiggyVest, Cowrywise, another Nigerian online savings and investment platform also announced Stash, a new feature which it launched last week Friday.

Much like PiggyVest’s new feature, Stash allows users to fund their Cowrywise accounts through all transfer channels from any Nigerian bank.

“What we have done with Stash is to plug Cowrywise into the instant payment gateway, just like any other bank account,” said Rasaq Ahmed, co-founder and CEO, Cowrywise during a brief chat with Techpoint. “And what it does is you can move money from any bank account in Nigeria and transfer it to your Cowrywise Stash.”

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Like PiggyFlex account, Stash also has a dedicated virtual account number for each user powered by Providus Bank.

“We worked through TeamApt to get it done. Providus Bank is the available bank at the moment. But in the coming weeks, more banks will join the race and begin serving virtual account numbers that anyone can create on the back of any fintech platform. You’ll get to see GTBank, Zenith Bank, Sterling Bank, and Wema Bank account numbers in the next few weeks,” he explains.

Unlike PiggyVest however, Cowrywise users can transfer funds from their Stash accounts to any third party account numbers which attracts a transfer charge ₦25; way less than the usual ₦52.50 charged by Nigerian banks for inter-bank transfers.

Both PiggyVest and Cowrywise say their new features look to help users fund their savings and investment plans, while also stashing up emergency funds that can be accessed anytime.

These announcements are the latest in the series of added features and products on both platforms. Just a few months ago, they each launched investment plans to help their subscribers grow their wealth irrespective of their disposable incomes.


Suggested Read: Fintech startups are democratising investment opportunities for Nigerians, irrespective of their disposable income. 


In April, about two months after it changed its name from PiggyBank.ng to PiggyInvest, the startup introduced its investment product, investify. Not long after, Cowrywise announced the introduction of Mutual Funds on its platform, giving users the opportunity to invest in Nigerian companies for as low as ₦100.

While both platforms seem to be scaling up their products at the same pace, it is evident that they want to be more than just savings and investment platforms to their users. Full fletched digital banks, maybe.


Also read: Fintech startups are getting a delicious piece of the pie but Nigerian banks are not worried

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