Sparkle, Nigeria’s digital bank, to commence lending September
Sparkle, a Nigerian digital platform providing financial, lifestyle and business support services to Nigerians around the world, will in September 2021 commence loan services to individuals and small businesses across the country.
Uzoma Dozie, founder/CEO, said during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos that Sparkle is currently building its engine that would enable loan service delivery.
“We also want to lend differently to people and we want to lend at a price that is very competitive and not the typical pricing that you see from financial banks,” Dozie said.
He said Sparkle is going to be as fast as commercial banks in terms of lending but a fraction would be charged in the process.
“We are going to be faster than traditional banks and we are also going to be cheaper than them as well. We are going to be giving value loans. Part of it is that we are also going to teach our customers how to lower cost of borrowing,” Dozie said in an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.
The bank assures its numerous customers of security of their information as it is partnering with international organisations such as Visa and Microsoft.
“One of the things they gave us is access to cyber security platforms to secure our data. All our data are in the cloud. So we are a cloud-based company. All our customer information is stored on their phone just like any bank,” Dozie said.
He said Sparkle is the only bank in Nigeria that has gone completely paperless.
“The organisation that we have built is Sparkle. It is not only digital/electronic at the front end, even at the back end and operational side. We have started our robotic process automation. We are actually using robot to carry out processes that normally will take may be two or three people, two hours to do, they do in minute second,” he said.
Furthermore, he stressed the need for digital and traditional banks to work with each other.
“They have the flexibility, they have the balance sheet. We are good at identifying opportunities where we can provide services. We also have a strategic bank in Nigeria that has the biggest customer base in Africa,” he said.
Pat of the key achievements in the last one year of its operation is that the bank so far has over 25,000 customers.
“We started in a period of economic uncertainty and covid-19 massive business disruption. A year ago, nobody knew Sparkle but today, in every digital banking, our name will be mentioned. It is not just about helping you to make payment, it is about helping you put all your information in one place,” Dozie said.
Speaking about the uniqueness of the bank, he said there is no banking or FinTech type of business that has banking and non-banking solutions in one platform and there is nobody that offers these things for free.
“We built these solutions from the ground up. Before you open a business account, you have to open an individual account,” Dozie said.
“I believe that Sparkle will be a good platform for small businesses. We are not just providing banking services; we are also building a roadmap for small businesses. We are defining the way partnerships work. Our role is to make life easier,” he said.