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Fintechs Democratizing Financial Wellness On The African Continent- 2


Oct. 24, 2022, 9:39 a.m.

Last week, we looked at the apps that provide the first steps toward financial wellness for the average African. Starting with Tala, an app that helps build creditworthiness and pull users out of financial potholes, to The Money School and Sproutly, 2 fintechs that are promoting financial education, with The Money School focusing on enterprise employees and Sproutly on youngsters. We also looked at savings and how Piggyvest and Chumz are using psychological triggers to build the saving culture. This week, we move on to financial planning, foreign exchange, remittance, and investing.

Financial Planning

Managing one's finances properly and allocating income to the right expense buckets while creating space for a financial safety net and a savings/investment plan is critical to building financial stability. In Africa, some startups helping users do this include:

Zazu (Zambia): Zazu is a spend management and financial planning solution that allows its users to visualize how cash flows in and out of their wallets and help block the gaps in their spending habits. Zazu offers a physical and virtual Mastercard card to ensure that their solution captures all expense flows.

Envel (South Africa): Envel is a smart money management solution that analyzes the user’s income and recurring expenses and helps create a financial fitness plan that gets them toward financial stability. The app allows users to organize their money into envelopes and track when they're over budget or lagging behind on a financial goal.

Foreign Exchange

As the world becomes more connected, the workplace goes remote, and demand for virtual / gig workers grows, Africans are providing more services to global employers, but international payments with the traditional financial system are broken. Some startups helping fix it include:

Bloom (Sudan): Bloom is a digital banking solution that provides its users with local and foreign accounts to process international payments fast and cost-effectively. Bloom also offers its users debit cards that can be used for purchases.

Grey (Nigeria): Grey provides its users with USD, EUR, and GBP accounts that can be made available within 30 minutes of signing up either through its web interface or by downloading its app. With the constantly fluctuating local currency rates, Grey ensures that its customers in Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania get the full value for their money during an exchange.

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Many families in Africa are heavily dependent on remittances from relatives abroad to support themselves financially. According to World Bank data, in 2019 alone, families in Nigeria received 23.81 billion USD in remittances compared to a foreign direct investment inflow of 2.31 billion USD. Companies simplifying the complex remittance landscape across the continent include:

Mama Money (South Africa): Mama Money is a remittance processor that allows South African residents to send money to their loved ones across and outside the continent. The company charges a flat fee of 50 ZAR for remittances below 10,000 ZAR, 70 ZAR for remittances between 10,001 - 20,000, 80 ZAR for remittances between 20,001 - 25,000, and 180 ZAR for amounts above 25,000 with a cap of 50,000 ZAR.

Payday (Rwanda): Payday offers an international payment solution that users across borders can use to send money to those they care about. PayDay helps process remittances to Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda, among other African countries.


The sweet spot anyone wants to get to with their financial wellness plan is a place where they invest their income and get their money to make them money. Companies powering this on the African continent include:

Trove (Nigeria): Trove is a micro-investing application that avails users the opportunity to invest as little as 1,000 NGN in stocks of companies like Netflix, Dangote, and Microsoft. The app's financial instruments available to users include stocks, bonds, ETFs, and more.

Xeno (Uganda): Xeno is an investment company founded by Aeko Ongodia, who was responsible for investing USD 1.3 billion in the largest retirement fund in East Africa, and with that wealth of knowledge, he founded Xeno to democratize investing. Xeno offers users the option to invest as little as 10,000 UGX, with a consistent monthly investment plan over long periods, and demonstrates the long-term yield using an exponential curve.


tag: Africa, finance, Apps, Fintech,

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