Embedding Digital Financial Services with Bloc

Bloc exists to serve customer-centric businesses while they build/scale their own products or business models.

Whenever people talk about the FinTech Industry, there is a general perception that you need a lot of money to start, and it’s also an industry where you can make a lot of money. Well, it’s not a lie.

Developing digital financial solutions requires substantial capital, and when you narrow your focus to Africa, there are many more nuances to consider in building a FinTech company.

FinTech leverages technology in delivering financial services like banking, investment, and savings, to name a few. The evolution from the traditional banking system to what we have now is quite impressive, and we owe a great deal of it to increased technology involvement in financial services.

The Origin Story of FinTech in Nigeria

The story of FinTech in Nigeria dates back two decades ago, with the first online MasterCard issued in 2000 by CTL Card Technology Limited. 12 years later, the National Financial Inclusion Strategy was issued to address the challenges affecting the finance industry and create a leeway for individuals and businesses within the country to access opportunities created by FinTech.

The strategy, later revised in 2018, highlights the following as metrics to judge its success across the nation;

  • Ease of access to financial products and services;
  • Use of a broad range of financial products and services;
  • Usability — financial products should be designed according to needs, and;
  • Affordability.

Currently, FinTech in Africa has grown from the “tech” used in the backend systems of well-established financial institutions into becoming a critical factor in the nation’s economic development. Beyond banking and finance, FinTech involvement in other sectors, like eCommerce, agriculture, real estate, entertainment, education, etc., has become very apparent.

This is a key motivation for our bet at Bloc that every company will become a FinTech company, i.e., anyone can embed financial services into their product or business model.

Highlights of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

The Impact of FinTech on Businesses

Today’s thriving businesses have leveraged at least one piece of FinTech — payments, inventory management, accounting, banking, lending, etc. — and it will not stop. The FinTech adoption rate has grown to 64% globally, with 96% of that number aware of at least one financial service.

Why is this important?

This technology revolution is significantly changing the industry and the overall economy, impacting every facet of our work, from payments to monetary policy to financial regulation. This change is focused on improving three key elements — connectivity, accuracy, and speed — and it has led to:

  1. Ease of transaction: It becomes easier for your customers to use your solution because it is easily accessible over the internet, with more digital solutions becoming increasingly available on mobile devices.
  2. Increased transparency and accountability: With features like save-as-you-spend (SAYS), budget control, daily transaction limits, etc., available at a click of a button, businesses can now give customers greater control over their purchasing decisions.
  3. Improved UX design: Customer experience in financial services has taken a dynamic shift owing to the involvement of UX design. For instance, we now have AI-powered conversations, real-time customer care, self-servicing, improved onboarding experience, in-app product education, and so much more. FinTech has taken the experience of the everyday customer to new heights.
  4. Better security: Improved cybersecurity methods have enhanced customer data storage and security on the cloud. Businesses can now include extra layers of security, such as biometrics and face ID, while building their systems. This has reduced the danger of fraud, and cyber-attacks.
  5. Better customer acquisition: FinTech gives businesses access to underserved markets filled with people with zero access to banking services or businesses with low-profit margins. The continued penetration of the internet and financial inclusion in these regions provides businesses with new opportunities in new markets.
  6. Opportunity to scale: FinTech offers a future of possibilities for businesses to innovate their present solutions. Companies that leverage technology to create better human-centric experiences continue to enjoy the benefits of larger markets and better customer retention.

Embedding Digital Financial Solutions with Bloc

In a world where every business will eventually need FinTech, businesses that build fast and with ease drastically increase their chances of success.

Bloc exists to serve customer-centric businesses like these while they build/scale their own products or business models. We have levelled the playing field for any company — small startups and large organizations alike — that intend to build FinTech solutions, making it easy for them to start, build, launch, and scale them.

What You Can Do With Bloc

At Bloc, we have built an ecosystem of solutions that meets the full project scope of anyone who wants to embed financial services into their product or business model.

We have taken care of all the things you’d need to worry about — infrastructure, licences and certifications — so that you can focus on building a sustainable solution with our suite of banking services made accessible via our dashboard or API.

Here are some of them:

  • Virtual Accounts: Instantly create and issue KYC-compliant virtual bank accounts to your customers with the Bloc API and dashboard.
  • Bills Payment: Our Bills Payment API allows you to sell airtime/data from any telecom provider (MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile & GLO), Cable TV (DSTV, GOTV & StarTimes) and electricity from 9 out of 11 national discos — excluding Yola and Benin Discos — to your customers.
  • Transfers: Send money to any bank account in Nigeria with Transfers.
  • Payments Orchestration: Payment Orchestration is the simplest and fastest way for developers to integrate more than one payment provider/method in less time. With Bloc's payment orchestration feature, you can add and easily provide your customers with multiple payment methods from one dashboard. This reduces the cumbersome process of integrating or switching between payment providers one by one.

What Does the Future Hold?

The future for businesses, irrespective of their size, is hinged on the necessity of leveraging technology to improve the lives of their customers. At the heart of any major development is the consumer’s benefit, and innovation will continue to tilt towards ensuring that customers’ needs are met.

Bloc ensures you’re not only aware of this trend but gives you the tools to participate in it.

Learn more here.

Toluwase Olugbemiro