Financial service Sparkle launches in Nigeria after getting banking licence

New digital financial ecosystem Sparkle has launched in Nigeria. Graphic: Supplied by Sparkle
New digital financial ecosystem Sparkle has launched in Nigeria. Graphic: Supplied by Sparkle

JOHANNESBURG, June 4 (ANA) – Financial services company Sparkle said it had been granted a banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria and was launching a product for flexible payments, savings and analytics.

In a statement dated Wednesday, Sparkle said its new mobile app would give customers full and free access to one account offering multiple services and different wallets.

“Sparkle’s users will be provided with visibility over spending patterns, with a detailed breakdown of payments by category … Users will also have the ability to split payments and bills, make utilities and bill payments, as well as send and receive money in the Sparkle network and with other local banks,” it said.

Sparkle was founded by tech investor and financial inclusion advocate Uzoma Dozie, the former chief executive officer of Diamond Bank. 

“Sparkle is redefining Nigerian commerce by merging financial services with a seamless lifestyle solution,” Dozie said.

“We are removing barriers using technology and data, driving inclusion at scale. In doing so, we are empowering Nigerians to fulfil their potential, democratizing access to valuable solutions for both business and personal needs.”

The company is partnering with financial services company Visa, American multinational technology firm Microsoft and accounting company PwC Nigeria to redefine commerce in the West African country.

It said the partnerships would provide industry-leading expertise in APIs (application program interface), cloud computing, data science, machine learning, tax and financial advisory services .

Sparkle’s launch comes at a time when about 79 percent of Nigeria’s population has mobile connectivity while 39 percent has access to mobile broadband connections.

“This young and growing population – currently over 195 million people – are also digital natives, with social networks forming part of everyday life,” it said.

“The impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across Nigeria, accelerating the transition to more digitally enabled lifestyles. As such, there is a real opportunity for digital-only propositions like Sparkle to meet Nigeria’s needs, for individuals and small businesses to remain connected and thrive.”

Sparkle has recently joined Women’s World Banking, working to ensure greater financial inclusion for women, their families and communities in emerging markets, and has also joined Open Banking Nigeria, collaborating with the country’s financial services industry to transform and advocate open banking.

– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa