SME Advisory

How to start a Fin-tech Company in Nigeria


Fintech is the short form for financial technology and it is a business that uses software platforms and technology to provide financial services to its clients and customers. Fintech companies are now popular all over the world as well as Nigeria, as they battle it out with conventional banks to reach customers with innovative and mouth-watering services. Nigeria currently has about over 200 fintech companies.  Not all fintech companies indulge in the same activities. Most fintech companies offer the following services:

  • Money lending
  • Insurance
  • Investment
  • Betting
  • Money transfers
  • Payment
  • A saving platform
  • Retail banking
  • Fund raising

There are 3 main categories that the industry of fin-tech are divided into. They include:

  1. Fund movement

Fund movement or transactions category of fin-tech companies deals with giving and receiving payment. The services under this category include currency, payment solution, remittances etc.

  1. Fund placement

This category deals with financing of planned or unplanned financial regulations. Services under this includes savings, investing, borrowing and alternative financing

  1. Data management

The data management category deals with getting insights for improving the decision making of customers by providing financial management tools, research and data that will aid in making better financial decisions

Examples of fintech companies in Nigeria includes Paystack, Kudi, Piggy vest, Cowreywise, TeamApt, OneFi and Lidya. Fintech companies that wants to operate in Nigeria must note that starting a fintech company with virtual currencies will not enable you obtain a license in Nigeria because of a prohibition that was set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which doesn’t recognize virtual currencies as legal tenders and thus making them have no legal protection. Before a launching a successful fintech company in Nigeria, you will have to strictly adhere to the following guidelines and steps:

  • Choose a niche

The first step you will have to take when setting up a fintech company in Nigeria is to determine the fintech category you want to set up or you belong to.  There are 3 different categories in the fintech industry you can venture into, they include the fund movement, fund placement and the data management category. Knowing the niche you want to venture into will assist you in knowing the licenses that are specific or peculiar to the category you want to establish. It will also help you in knowing the solutions you want to provide to the society.

  • Draft a business plan

Having a business plan is very crucial before starting any business as it makes you understand the cost that will be borne in setting up the business, financial projections, competitors and other relevant information that will ensure that your business thrive in a competitive environment. A well detailed business plan will consider the following

  1. Executive summary (This will be done after the plan is written)
  • Business Overview
  • Market Overview: The Opportunity & Solution
  • Competition
  • Financial Highlights
  • Our Ask
  1. The company overview

This is the introduction and description of your company. It covers the following details

  • Mission and vision
  • Overview of company history/capabilities
  • Product description and present stage of development
  • Competitive advantage (what’s different or better than competition)
  • Past customers and performance (if applicable)
  • Legal entity, hours of operation, location description and attributes
  • Structure & Ownership
  • Management Team
  • Intellectual property status (if applicable)
  • Commercialization strategies (if applicable – timeframe and actions to move from idea to marketplace
  1. Product and services

This covers the following:

  • Definition of Products or Services to be Sold
  • Product Viability
  • Technology
  1. Industry analysis, market analysis and marketing strategy
  2. Swot analysis
  3. Market analysis
  • Market size(Estimate of the total market size for the product or service and trends
  • Quantification of the size of each market segment in terms of (Naira spent, units used, number of people, percent of income etc.)
  • Competition to the business
  • Market Segmentation and Demographics
  • Customer Profile(Actual and potential purchasers of product or services by market segments)
  • Barriers to Entry
  1. Marketing/sales plan
  2. Management and operations
  3. Summary of risks involved
  4. Professional and advisors
  5. Financials
  • Cash flow projection and/or existing (3 years) with breakeven analysis
  • Income/Expense projection and/or existing (3 years with ratios and benchmarks to industry)
  • Sources and uses of funds (funds needed, owner equity, how funds will be used/start-up cost analysis
  1. Funding
  • Amount of Money Sought
  • Use of Proceeds
  1. Project implementation schedule if any
  • Register your business

Before setting up your fintech company, you will have to register your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria. This will be a preamble towards acquiring a license for your start up business. The best structure for your business is to register it as a limited liability company in Nigeria. The following are the requirements for registering your company as a limited liability company

  1. The first step required by the applicant is to choose two suitable proposed names for the company. Where this is done, an availability check will be conducted on the CAC online portal to find out if the name is available and not already in use.
  2. Choosing the type of company to be registered whether a private limited company or private unlimited company or company limited by guarantee.
  3. The objectives and business of the company must be provided.
  4. The registered principal address of the company.
  5. The share capital and shareholding formula among shareholders will be required.
  6. The particulars of a minimum of two (2) Directors will be required. A copy of their means of identification such as voter’s card, national ID, drivers’ license or international passport.
  7. Particulars of the company secretary (one of the directors may also act as the Secretary of the company)
  8. The applicant will be required to furnish details of the shareholders of the company. Details such as names, occupation, residential address, email address, mobile phone number and means of identification such as driver’s license, international passport or national identity card. It should be noted that the directors listed can also hold the capacity of shareholders in the company if desired.
  9. The memorandum and Articles of association of the company to be registered which is advisable to be drafted professionally by a Legal Practitioner. However, the CAC has provided a generic MEMART, which any new company can be adopted.

After which a consultant will prepare the following incorporation documents. They include

  • Duly verified particulars of the director and statement of share capital known as CAC Form 1.1
  • Duly stamped Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • The individual completes all the incorporation documents with the input of an accredited lawyer to duly attest to the incorporation documents.
  • The payment of the prescribed fees will now be duly made online and the incorporation documents immediately stamped online.
  • The stamped incorporation documents will now be duly uploaded into the CAC online portal again for the final review of the commission
  • If all the incorporation documents are well completed and executed, the commission will incorporate the company and issue an incorporation number immediately online.
  • Certificate of Incorporation and the Certified True Copies of the other documents will be issued by CAC and received by the consultant or lawyer, usually in less than 48 hours after the company is duly incorporated by CAC

If the company has foreign shareholders, they will be required to:

  1. Register with the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC)
  2. Obtain a business permit
  3. Register with the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP)
  • Obtain licensing for your fintech company

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the one responsible for all fintech companies in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) established a licensing regime for fintech companies that is called the Payment Systems Providers (PSP) in order to prevent and tackle issues such as risk management, cyber risks, capital adequacy. Obtaining a license for your fintech company is a major achievement and different regulations apply to different fintech companies depending on the type of services that you offer. The licensing system by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is divided into three groups which are known as:

  1. Super license

The super license is a requirement for companies that operate payment gateway platforms such as the Point of sale (POS) services and switching services. In order to acquire the super license, one will need to maintain at least N5 billion shareholders’ funds and pay a licensing fee that ranges between N1-2 million per year for 3 years

  1. Standard license

The standard license is for fintech companies that are operating e-money issuers, agent recruiters and managers, wallet creation and management etc. in order to acquire the standard license, one will need to maintain a shareholders fund of at least N3 billion and pay a licensing fee that ranges between N500,000 – N1,000,000

  1. Basic license

The basic license is required by companies that run either Point of sale (POS) deployment or terminal services and those that provide payment processing gateways, portals and payment applications or solutions. In order to acquire the basic license, you will need to have a shareholder requirement of at least N100, 000, 000 as well as payment for a licensing fee that ranges from N100,000 – N500,-000

  • Obtain funding

Raising capital for your company is very important as it is one of the first things that you should do as a business owner. Without proper funding, your business may cease to exist. . As a business owner who wants to set up a fintech company in Nigeria, you could obtain funding through the following:

  1. Self-financing: This has to do with the capital provided by the owner of the business
  2. Grants from government agencies: Various grants can also be gotten from the programs run by the state government or federal government
  3. Loans from banks: Having a detailed business plan and registering your business name will enable you access various bank loans
  4. Investors: Investors who have gone through your business plan and are assured that your furniture making business is profitable can invest millions of naira in your business
  5. Family and friends: Finance can also be gotten from families and friends that are willing to support your business
  6. Venture capital : This is provided to companies that have a high growth potential
  • Office location

After obtaining the necessary funding for your business, the next step to take is to acquire a spacious space for your office that will be able to accommodate all your teams. Your office location must be easily accessible. This will also serve as a place where administrative and other duties will be carried out in.

  • Hire and build your team

The hiring of staffs for a business could make or break you as an entrepreneur. For a fin-tech company, there are categories of employees or staffs that you will hire for the growth of your business. They include the following

  1. Product design team

The product team will be in charge of ensuring that your products are appealing and attractive to investors who will help you grow your business with funds. The product team will also consist of those who will be in charge of the User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI), programming and the engineering needs of the company. The product team will also consist of the product manager who is the head and will oversee the activities of the product design team

  1. Marketing team

The marketing team will be in charge of spreading the word and advertising your products by making it appealing to prospective clients and customers. The marketing team will ensure that various means are adopted in order to advertise and ensure that your product is out there in the public.

  1. Finance and accounting team

The Finance and accounting team will consist of those who are certified with  professional certifications and years of experience who will be in charge of implementing various accounting strategies, making financial analysis, financial projections and as well as budget estimates. The finance team will consist of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who will oversee all the activities and report directly to you

  1. Legal team

The legal team is very important for any fintech start-up company because they are in charge of ensuring that the company strictly adhere to all rules and regulations as well as acquiring all the necessary licenses needed for the fintech company. The company could hire a legal counsel or consultant with years of experience and understanding of your industry

  1. Other positions or teams

Every position is relevant in a start-up company. Other positions includes

  1. Receptionist
  2. Cleaners
  3. Security guards
  4. Customer relations

Personnel can be gotten through

  1. Posting about the vacancy on your website and across any social media or email marketing channels
  2. Asking your business network, as well as friends and family if they know anyone suitable
  3. Adding the vacancy to general recruitment websites
  4. Advertising the vacancy in industry trade media or local newspapers
  • Market and promote your business

When running a fintech company, you must ensure that you employ certain means in order to promote your business and attract customers to patronize your product. These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your fintech company

  1. Direct Marketing
  2. Sponsor TV and Radio Programs
  3. Erect your Billboards in Strategic locations around the city
  4. Making use of sales Agents and sales reps
  5. Online Marketing
  6. Referral Marketing
  7. Ensure that all your employees wear your branded shirts during work hours
  8. Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Launch your business and maintain your reputation

After all the above steps have been taken, the final step to take is to launch the business and maintain a good reputation with customers by delivering excellent services. You must ensure that your services are appealing to the general public in order to build a good reputation for your fin-tech company


Starting a fin-tech company in Nigeria requires some certain procedures and special licenses that one must have before commencing the business. The fin-tech company is trending and it is a very profitable venture to invest in. For more information on how to start a Fin-tech company in Nigeria, you can contact us on 08023200801, 08075765799, Email:

About the author

Onamakinde Dare Daniel is a highly motivated accountant with knowledge in Accounting, Taxation, Management, Audit, Costing and Research. He is keen on tax matters due to its ever dynamic nature.

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