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One of the major missions of many Nigerian fintech startups is to promote financial inclusion to all segments of society. A task is easier said than done. Driving financial inclusion is not only a herculean task itself but the year-on-year growth of the Nigerian population is proving to be an Achilles heel for these startups. For instance, In 2020, Nigeria’s ambition to make 80% of its population financially included failed. It only managed to reach only 64% of Nigerian adults, leaving a staggering 36% of Nigerian adults (or 38 million adults) completely financially excluded.

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Before the emergence of the many technology-driven fintech startups, there were only traditional banks and their automated teller machines providing financial services for Nigerians. These banks had little success but they have continued to operate up till today. Some have even evolved to adapt technology-driven solutions to its operation. The advent of several fintech startups has seen improvements in the provision of digital financial services and agent banking alternatives. Hence, the fast-tracking of the drive toward financial inclusion. 

Fintech startups face one major challenge with traditional banks I.e fraud. For example, in 2020, $219 million was lost to identity theft. Identity theft comes in different forms from social media activities, emails, or credit cards. In every transaction one does, there is always a chance that the transaction details are exposed. It also opens up a loophole for identity theft. Stellas digital bank launched its “Ghost Mode” feature to combat this challenge among other things.

Stellas Digital Bank was launched in February  2022 to provide financial products that promote financial inclusion in Nigeria and to provide global standard financial services. It was co-founded by Emmanuel Ajaere and Uche Ajaere. Initially, Stellas was a microfinance bank that started in 2017 and has always provided easy access to financial services.  The neo bank is  Powered by Stellas Technologies, a financial technology company and fully licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).  All of its accounts are insured by Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and strictly comply with anti-money laundering and anti-fraud regulations. Stellas is one of Nigeria’s leading financial service platforms.

Sign up for the Connect Nigeria daily newsletter Stellas digital bank offers the following services to its users:

Ghost Mode feature

The ghost mode feature facilitates privacy and security in the financial services space. Making payments to random persons increases the potential for fraud to occur. Stellas’ ghost mode feature decreases the chances of fraud by helping users make payments anonymously. In return, the transactions become more confidential and private. The platform can even encrypt transactions so that even if fraudsters get access to users’ phones or that of the recipient, their data is secure.

Automated deposit feature

Stella’s allows its users to transfer funds from any bank account into the Stellas app without manually transferring from one bank to the other. This product saves users the stress of using several banking Apps to perform a transaction. Stella’s simply makes depositing money convenient, fast and efficient.

Budgeting Tool feature

The budgeting tool feature enables users to plan and allocate certain amounts to their monthly expenditures. Put simply, it helps users make a list of how to disburse their monthly income. Users can now track their actual spending to the budget in real-time and periodically. Hence it helps users check their spending habits.

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User Experience has always been important to Stellas. It always wants to create value that will resonate with its customers. Hence the goal is to offer customers a seamless banking experience.  It had over 10,000 users before launch with projections to onboard thousands shortly. Stellasoffers the lowest transaction charges in the industry, with transaction fees of less than 10 Naira for transfer.

Bottom line 

A Stellas account ensures that both android and apple users can have access to hassle-free banking. Users can perform all banking services such as spending, saving, paying bills etc right there on their devices. Stellas offerings are innovative with more to come by. You can choose to bank on the go through the web or download the app from both the Google play store and ios app store. Stellas faces competition from Kuda, Sparkle, Fairmoney, and Carbon. 

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This article was first published on 28th July 2022


I am an accomplished content creator and recently delved into technical writing. I enjoy using my skills to contribute to the exciting technological advances and create awareness of evolving technological trends in Nigeria.

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