Ecobank Kenya takes on NCBA LOOP with new Fingo Africa app

According to a report by Mastercard and International Finance Corporation (IFC), released back in 2018,  young Africans are less likely to have a bank account than adults on the continent. At the same time, the report notes that they are more likely to have a mobile phone, try out new things and be aware of digital channels.

This seems to suggest that digital banking could be a winning strategy for advancing financial inclusion among the youth.

The report adds that youth in Sub-Saharan Africa have limited access to formal financial services despite their active financial lives.

Over the years, a number of fintechs and banks have been rolling out products and services targeting the youth. In 2017, for example, Kenya, NCBA bank launched LOOP under the tagline ‘’Unbanked’’. The mobile-based banking service which recently rebranded sought to capture tech-savvy individuals looking for a banking experience devoid of the bureaucracy, duration, and paperwork associated with traditional banking.

It eliminated the need for visiting a physical branch for any of the core banking services they were now available on a single. mobile phone app. Its recent rebranding had its own fair of criticism from customers, complaints that the company tried to address in an episode of one of our 24Bit podcast. 

Ecobank Kenya is now taking on LOOP and has unveiled the Fingo Africa app, which it says is set to revolutionize financial inclusion for young people in Kenya and across Africa. The app was developed in close collaboration between Fingo Africa, a Kenyan Fintech company, and Ecobank.

Fingo Africa app which was unveiled on Thursday allows users to open a fully-fledged current account within 4 minutes as long as they have the relevant documents (i.e. a Kenyan ID or passport for now). Users can also send money to fellow Fingo users for free and to M-Pesa at subsidized rates, pay their bills from the App, make utility payments, and buy airtime.

The Fingo Africa app also allows users to save money easily for set goals and set recurring transfers to the set goals to create a frictionless savings habit. Users on the app can easily create and send payment links with full payment details to ease receiving payments from those who owe you, receive funds using QR Code as well as earn a cash reward by completing a few simple actions after self-onboarding.

“We are proud to support the deployment of the Fingo App, a game-changer in digital finance in Africa that brings many young people into the mainstream financial sector and caters to their needs and preferences. By simplifying access to finance, it overcomes the entrenched issues that have often acted as barriers to entry for young Africans. I want to thank our partner, Fingo, for driving such innovation that is aligned with one of our core missions to drive financial inclusion across the continent.”  Jeremy Awori, CEO, of Ecobank Group, said.

The Fingo Africa app empowers Africa’s youth by enabling them to open a bank account via their mobile phone, send money to other Fingo users for free and to M-Pesa users, and pay bills via Paybills and Till numbers at subsidized rates. Users, therefore, get instantly rewarded whenever they use the App for their day-to-day transactions.

Opening the Fingo digital account is free, safe, and easy. It attracts no minimum balance and no monthly fees.

Kiiru Muhoya, CEO and Co-Founder, Fingo Africa noted that the Fingo Africa app will accelerate financial inclusion for Kenya’s youth and empower them just by using their mobile phones. ‘’We are looking forward to rolling-out the app’s availability throughout Ecobank’s 33-country footprint, which will deliver on our vision of empowering Africa’s youth to create wealth in a way that is simple, fun and educative,” he said.

The Fingo Africa app is currently available in Kenya, prior to a wider roll-out across Ecobank’s entire 33-country sub-Saharan African footprint.

Source; Tech trends KE

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