Nigerian fintech startup, TeamApt, secures a switching licence from the central bank

TeamApt, a Nigerian fintech startup, has secured a switching licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The license allows TeamApt to switch money between banks by debiting them whenever customers request this. The license will power one of the startup's products, AptPay.

Members of TeamApt in a meeting

TeamApt, based in Lagos, Nigeria develops digital banking, digital business solutions and runs payment infrastructure for a customer base of 26 banks across Africa, including Zenith, ALAT by Wema, UBA, First Bank, GTBank and Access Bank.

CEO, Tosin Eniolorunda, describing the impact of the license says, “It is the highest license awarded to any fintech by the CBN because it allows you to put all the banks together and be able to debit their banking position with the central bank. What this translates to is that with AptPay, TeamApt can actually move money across the banks without putting our money down. This license puts TeamApt on the same level as other Tier-1 financial technology companies.”

When customers pay for products online, the payment gateway provider will needs to pay the merchant immediately. Without the license, the payment provider will have to pay from its pockets, from money it has already set aside for transactions of this nature. The challenge comes, however, when the amount of transactions exceeds what the provider's deposit allows. However, a payment gateway provider that has a license is able to directly debit the customer's bank and transfer the money to the merchant's account instantly. No deposits required for the transaction.

Dumebi Duru, the team lead for AptPay, says the switching license is the "last piece to the matrix".

Furthermore, having raised $5.5 million in Series A funding recently, Olorunda says his company is now planning to expand to other countries, starting with Ghana.

He revealed that the company was already in advanced talks with 6 banks in Ghana with expansion plans underway in Tanzania. He also hinted at plans to expand outside Africa before the end of Q4 2020.

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