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  FinTech companies in Nigeria have to make do with a target market comprising mostly of persons with low disposable income. The limited spending capacity of consumers can affect adoption rates and revenue generation. However, as we’ve already seen, a good number of businesses in the space are doing well despite this constraint. This article explores key strategies that these successful startups have adopted, which can empower emerging FinTech startups to overcome the obstacles posed by low purchasing power and create sustainable growth.
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Tailor Solutions to Local Needs

If you’re going to win in Nigeria’s challenging terrain, you’ll need to understand the specific needs and constraints of your target market. You should develop products and services that address the unique challenges faced by customers in a market like ours, such as:
  1. Microfinance and microloans: Offer affordable and accessible microloans tailored to the financial capabilities of the target market. When your FinTech provides small, manageable loans, you’ll enable individuals and small businesses to access much-needed capital.
  2. Financial education and literacy: Develop user-friendly educational resources to enhance financial literacy and empower consumers to make informed financial decisions. This can help build trust and confidence in using your services.
  3. Digital payment solutions: Facilitate affordable and convenient digital payment methods that reduce reliance on cash. If you support secure and efficient payment options, that are accessible to the financially underserved, your FinTech can drive financial inclusion and expand its customer base.

Foster Strategic Partnerships

Collaborations with established institutions and organizations can significantly benefit FinTechs in low purchasing power markets. By forging strategic partnerships, FinTechs can:
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  1. Tap into existing customer networks: Work with local banks, cooperatives, or community organizations to reach underserved populations. Leveraging the established customer bases of these institutions can help you expand your coverage more rapidly.
  2. Access infrastructure and resources: Partnering with established players can provide access to vital resources, such as banking infrastructure, regulatory expertise, and established customer trust. This expedites market entry and mitigates operational challenges.
  3. Co-create tailored solutions: Collaborate with local entities such as cooperatives and informal unions to develop customized solutions that address the unique needs of the market. This collaborative approach could increase the relevance and effectiveness of your FinTech offerings.

Embrace Innovation

Innovation is the lifeblood of FinTechs; this is just as true in low-income economies as it is in developed ones. If you take advantage of contemporary technology and adopt innovative approaches, you can overcome the limitations imposed by the economic environment:
  1. Use alternative data sources: Traditional credit scoring models are seldom applicable in low purchasing power markets. FinTechs can leverage alternative data, such as mobile usage patterns, utility bill payments, or social media data, to assess creditworthiness and expand financial services to underserved segments.
  2. Tap into mobile technology: Mobile penetration is often much higher than traditional banking infrastructure in developing countries, including Nigeria. FinTechs are tapping into this opportunity by offering mobile-based solutions, such as mobile wallets or mobile banking applications, to enhance accessibility and convenience.
  3. Promote collaboration and interoperability: In markets with numerous FinTech players, promoting collaboration and the ability of applications to work on multiple systems can facilitate seamless integration and enhance the overall customer experience. Open APIs and partnerships can enable customers to access a broader range of financial services within a single platform.

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Final Words

Low purchasing power markets may present difficulties for FinTechs, but with the right strategies, these issues can be transformed into opportunities. FinTechs have the power to drive financial inclusion, improve access to capital, and empower individuals and small businesses. With a customer-centric approach and a deep understanding of the local context, your startup can get beyond surviving to thrive in a market like ours, creating a positive impact in the process. Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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This article was first published on 3rd July 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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