Kenneth Afor with agency report
Africa’s biggest bank, Standard Bank has acquired Nomanini, a fintech firm that offers digital financial services to micro-business owners in the Southern region of Africa.
Standard Bank with this acquisition will look to further penetrate the region in offering credit facilities to petty shop owners after it has invested $4 million worth of assets in Nomanini.
The firm, Nomanini before its acquisition, has been connecting merchants with distributors in enhancing their financial needs and supporting micro-businesses.
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Nomanini had earlier planned to expand its operations to 14 African countries by 2021 via the e-wallet, cash or the already established money channel services in the region where it’s operating.
Standard Bank’s financial inclusion services with the acquisition of Nomanini will expand the service to these African countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, eSwatini and Lesotho.
Adrian Vermootem, head of digital Africa region, Standard Bank said, “Using Nomanini technology, Standard Bank will collect and analyze data on the retailers. Data on just one primary product line, such as pre-paid airtime, was enough to proxy the risk associated with that shop, build up a financial profile and understand its ordering patterns.”
Vermootem added, “This will allow the bank to pre-empt the trader’s-stocking needs and send them alerts offering to arrange and underwrite its next order, for instance. This could be done via Nomanini or Standard Bank devices supplied to the traders or by leveraging other existing networks or devices from third parties – whatever fits best in each market.”
He said that the bank is looking forward to working with tens of thousands of mobile money agents and retailers in the continent by helping them offer seamless financial services in cash deposits and withdrawals to their customers.
Vahid Monadjem founder and chief executive officer, Nomanini projected that 100,000 mobile money retailers could reach 50 to 150 million customers.
Monadjem speaking on the acquisition said, “The scale of the opportunity for Nomanini within Standard Bank’s footprint can keep us busy for a very, very, very long time.”
Standard Bank will be competing with other regional giants in the FinTech services like M-Pesa, FirstRand, and the newly launched TymeBank but it will deepen its services beyond what is already on the ground including short-term savings and offer insurance services too.