NALA enters Nigeria’s cross-border payment market

Tanzanian fintech startup, NALA has launched payments from the UK and EU to Nigeria.

NALA enters Nigeria’s cross-border payment market
NALA’s CEO Benjamin Fernandes

Nigeria is the largest economic market in Africa. As of 2021, Nigeria’s GDP totalled $441 billion, placing it ahead of economies like Egypt and South Africa. Nigeria also has a robust migrant population, with almost 400,000 diasporans living in the United States and 200k living in the United Kingdom.

Together, Nigeria’s robust economy and healthy diaspora population contribute to massive remittance inflows, amounting to more than £3 billion from the UK alone, or 1% of Nigeria’s GDP.

Tanzanian fintech startup, NALA wants to tap into this market. NALA has launched payments from the UK and Europe to Nigeria. Given that Nigeria comprises ~20% of Africa’s total population, launching in this market unlocks a significant opportunity for NALA to realize its mission to increase economic opportunity for Africans worldwide.

“We believe this expansion lays the groundwork for NALA to compete and win on a Pan-African scale. In turn, NALA will invest in Nigeria by increasing the number of local jobs we provide and creating partnerships with local players such as banks and payout providers,” says Benjamin Fernandes, Founder and CEO of NALA.

The East Africa-based startup will compete with Send by Flutterwave, Lemfi and either startups that are already existing in the market. Despite the many options for sending money to Africa from abroad, the continent continues to be the most expensive place to send money. The World Bank estimates average transfer fees to Africa at ~9%.

Additionally, many existing options include hidden fees that make it hard to discern the true cost of sending money. The company says it was to eliminate this.

NALA is licensed in the UK, EU and US. Earlier this year, NALA announced its approval for a licence to provide Payment Systems by the Bank of Tanzania, which will enable direct integration with Banks and Mobile Money operators such as M-Pesa. Further, NALA’s CEO Benjamin Fernandes announced in July a $5 million investment into Kenya, which is home to the company’s largest office worldwide.

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