Can Fundall become the one-stop shop for the financial needs of young Africans?
When Fundall users talk about the product, they’re usually beaming from ear to ear. The company has taken time to listen to its customers on their needs and create products fitted explicitly to them.
Fundall is a Nigerian neobank that wants to help young Africans manage their money, build wealth and grow their businesses.
Since it announced its $150,000 pre-seed raise in October, Fundall has been quietly building one of the best neobank products on the southside of the equator. In that time, it has acquired over 15,000 customers and is creating delightful experiences for its users.
The silky smooth onboarding and intuitive experience of the Fundall mobile application rivals that of any other Nigerian fintech products.
However, having a beautiful app is never enough. Creating products that meet the needs of customers is the ultimate aim of companies. When Fundall users talk about the product, they’re usually beaming from ear to ear. Over the past few months, the company has taken time to listen to its customers on their needs and create products fitted explicitly to them.
Meet the Fundall Lifestyle Card
Perhaps, most illustrative of Fundall’s commitment to helping its customer’s financial safety is the Fundall Lifestyle Card.
The card is designed to help people control their finances in a way regular debit cards can’t. For starters, the card isn’t connected to the user’s Fundall main account. Instead, the Lifestyle card is designed as a wallet to which money can be transferred on a need-to-use basis.
Babafemi Ajobiewe, a Senior Developer at Fundall, explained the technology behind the card to the Benjamindada.com team. “The Lifestyle card is a result of innovating to solve customer pain points by layering proprietary tech algorithms & new architecture over existing traditional Card Payment System. “We have designed the card to be security first, and also ensured the delivery is easier & flexible to use for anyone,” he said.
Commenting on the innovation, Ayomide Ajayi the Marketing Lead at Fundall describes how the Lifestyle Card is a multiple-use case product that transcends user's need to manage spending habits and also helps people minimize their exposure to risk.
In his words "The Lifestyle Card also allows people to protect themselves especially in cities where there have been reports of criminals using POS machines to withdraw from the bank accounts of victims after harassing and threatening them. With the Fundall Lifestyle card, a user can limit their liability when visiting sketchy areas. Since your card is only funded with a limited amount of money per time."
Budgeting is one of the most popular uses on Fundall, having created a budget on the app, users can then fund their card in line with the amount required to spend for each expense category.
More importantly, users can set a cap on how much they want to spend using the card. This feature can prove helpful when you need to give other people your card.
According to Praise Philemon, a Fundaller, it is his favourite feature. “My favourite Fundall feature is the Lifestyle card. It allows me to separate the money I can spend from the money I'd rather not spend. I can give a friend my card and decide a limit on how much they can spend,” he said.
The Lifestyle card is not just useful for individuals. Companies registered on Fundall Business—the business banking option on Fundall—can also use it when sending employees on assignments. With the card, you can easily track and cap expenses where necessary, ensuring that the employee stays on budget.
According to Ayomide, requesting the Lifestyle card comes with no fees as users are only charged for doorstep delivery. The card also comes with no monthly fees and can be used for any ATM or POS transaction like a regular debit card.
Exciting features Fundall is building
As part of Fundall’s vision to build a one-stop-shop for all the financial needs of young Africans, it is planning to roll out a couple of products in the coming weeks. The company says it is modelling its service after Revolut, a UK-based fintech company that allows people to invest, save, spend and manage their finances in one place.
The Virtual US Dollar Card is one of the top priority projects at Fundall. It is a non-physical card that will allow Nigerians to take part in global commerce. According to Fundall CEO Taiwo Obasan, the Mastercard-powered card is a “passport to the world.”
The virtual dollar card removes limits on how people can participate in the global financial economy.
Asides from empowering individuals to pay for items and services, the virtual card will also come in handy for companies that need to make monthly subscription payments for infrastructure services like AWS, Heroku, Ad purchases, etc.
Fundall is learning from its members as it looks to centralize their financial needs. There is already a savings feature, but the team plans to add more financial services over time. According to Obasan, work is currently underway on creating investment assets.
Another exciting service the team has set its eye on is insurance services. Insurance is a grossly under-utilised financial service in Nigeria. Per Statista, less than 3% of Nigerians had insurance in 2018. That number hasn’t changed very much since then.
Fundall plans to bring different kinds of insurance to its users - Life, Work, Health, Car, Property, etc. According to the company, it has already started engaging partner companies to help facilitate these services and hopes to launch them in the coming weeks.
With a goal to eliminate the complexities around combining business and finance management with creativity and upskilling, Fundall also has its eye set on revamping business banking for self-employed individuals.
By creating a fully functional business bank on Fundall, gig workers and creative entrepreneurs are able to receive and make payments, issue invoices and receipts, create contracts, manage inventory, manage a team payroll, access gadget insurance, automate subscriptions, see their cash flow analytics and do many more on the go.
What’s the future for Fundall?
Much has been said about the re-bundling of fintech services in the future. For Fundall, the future is now. The company plans to roll out these new services over the next few months.
Its enterprise product will also be relaunched soon. It has been improved to include other corporate services, including payroll management, invoicing, joint account management, etc. As with the personal banking service, it is being redesigned to be a one-stop shop for African freelancers and SMBs.
Although the company is keeping a tight lid on its fundraising plans, it hinted at a big announcement to be made next quarter.
Right now, Fundall has set its sights on becoming the first Nigerian super-app - one place customers can access all their needed financial services. With the team's zen-like focus on customer needs, users can expect top-of-the-line delivery as usual.
One challenge the digital bank will have to overcome is user reluctance to trust one platform with all their needs. Despite being a huge fan of the brand, Praise, insists he's not ready to trust it for all his financial needs. "I like that Fundall does what I need it to do but I'm not ready to trust it with all my financial transactions." he says, citing centralisation concerns.
If Fundall will be successful in delivering its one-stop shop product, it will have to address concerns like Praise's. Speaking on the issue, Ayomide Ajayi reassured that the company is aware of the trust-barrier and is working to alleviate it. "We know that the bad experiences people have had with financial institutions make it hard for them to trust one platform for all their financial needs. That is why we are taking the time to build a solid infrastructure that ensures reliability," he said.