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Noddles-maker, Tolaram mulls digital banking license in some African countries

Following the success recorded in its cereals and noodles brands on the continent which generated about $1 billion in 2019,  Tolaram Group is planning to leverage its global and local relationships to move into the budding digital banking space.

The group already has Indonesia-based Amar Bank which is largely a digital institution, with loans and deposits for consumers handled over mobile phones.

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Under the brand name Tunaiku, the fintech product offers individual unsecured loans for the middle-class segment in Indonesia. Through a website, customers can apply for loans at their convenience. The company has also developed its own algorithm that allows speedy responses to assess applications and disperse loans.

According to Kunal Adnani, who also leads Tolaram’s mergers and acquisitions team, company is looking to do is take the same technology, the same systems, and the same learning into African markets where it has a presence, albeit in a very different area.

“We have access to thousands of distributors in these markets and that then can also have a knock-on effect to our business, the more credit we can give them, the more they can increase volumes,” he said.

While the African countries have not been finalized, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, and South-Africa are likely destinations.

If granted the license, this will pitch Tolaram against the likes of Wema Bank’s ALAT which was launched in 2017.

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