The African market is huge and diverse, with Nigeria being its largest market and a growing fintech scene. To understand more, The FinTech Times sits down with Chioma Ugo of Prospa.
Chioma Ugo is a cofounder and head of growth of Prospa, a banking and business management platform for entrepreneurs.
She previously founded Hypebuzz, Nigeria’s leading influencer marketing agency. As well as working on campaigns with some of the worlds biggest brands, Chioma has extensive experience in growth strategy and communications. She started her career working with the former British shadow deputy prime minister and went on to consult for various high profile public office holders.
At Prospa she is responsible for spearheading the company’s growth strategy.
Chioma, for our global audience, can you explain what the digital and fintech landscape across the globe currently looks like?
Globally fintech is still one of the most interesting spaces in tech. Many talented founders and investors are building and operating in Fintech so that brings with it a vibrance and energy to the landscape.
Within fintech broadly there has been the emergence of fast growing niches beyond payments, the rise of neo-banks over the last 5-6 years, API’s and infrastructure technology has also taken centre stage, crypto currencies and what it means for the future of money.
As a global tech community we’re witnessing the emergence of fintech beyond the traditional American / European centric lens and understanding that the fintech space in other countries and continents are just as innovative and exciting.
How does this alter in Nigeria?
The main themes of payments, banking, infrastructure and crypto are still central. I’d also add accessibility to credit as a major theme in the Nigerian fintech landscape. However it’s how these products/technologies are applied that differs. Market dynamics are altered, the end consumer in Nigeria is accustomed to different levels of services, so how companies are building these key fintechs form for them.
Distribution is also very different, meaning how end consumers are reached is very different from other countries.
In Nigeria where fintech is concerned the excitement is that young people are building the future of finance
How have you developed your subject matter expertise Chioma and helped to share it across Nigeria and beyond?
As head of growth I work in a strategic role across teams. Experience has taught me to never make decisions based on thought. Data should always drive innovation. At Prospa I ensure that our growth is centred around the needs of the entrepreneurs in this market, this is one of the reasons we have been able to maintain a fast and steady growth trajectory.
This ethos is reflected in our products and services, we have built in data insight tools, automation and have created the infrastructure to leverage that, this I’m sure has sparked a trend with many fintech companies across the country following suit and partnering with us to provide their customers with a superior experience.
What are future trends and predictions you see happening in the region? And specifically with your company?
Fintech is a real game changer, especially in this region for example it’s now easier to make and accept payments than it was even 5 years ago. As a result of this people are able to expand their businesses both locally and internationally.
The digital economy is fast developing and now Nigerians can access a global market. I’m of the opinion that fintech will play a major role in transforming the continent and creating new wealth.
Chioma on a final note – any advice or recommendations you would give to other future fintech companies and entrepreneurs based in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region? Particularly with respect to fintech and the wider digital sector?
“Focus on creating real value”. There are so many fintech companies springing up everyday and particularly in challenging markets like Nigeria the companies that focus on creating tangible value, building products and services that people need, want and ultimately are willing to pay for, will stand the test of time.