Embedded finance, a key to unlocking mass prosperity


Graduating in the top 5% of her class gave Olayinka a sense of accomplishment. She felt like she was on top of the world until her family’s subtle insults replaced adornment songs as she grew addicted to them after struggling to find a job.

“Sapa, no good o,” she said, as tears rolled down her eyes as she lamented to her friend Ope.

Realizing that tears wouldn’t count and that the only sane path was entrepreneurship, she took to the streets.

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Quickly, she writes a business plan and organizes a team. But by obtaining a loan, she understood that the street also had its misfortunes.

Writing a business plan was not difficult, neither was management, his main obstacle to difficulty was getting a common loan of 300,000 naira.

Like Yinka, many Nigerians who have ventured into entrepreneurship – juggling one type of SME or the other to meet needs – struggle to secure working capital. This unpleasant incident has resulted in heavy cash handling as many hardly see the benefits of banks. Thus, relying heavily on direct interaction between customers and sellers, fostering relationships.

Yet, while handling cash has costly ripple effects, relying on relationships has value. These relationships, now enabled by technology, promote inclusion and strengthen the supply chain. This inclusion has led to non-financial entities offering financial services, known as Embedded Finance.

Although not a new ideology, integrated finance has become a buzzword lately. Its main purpose is to simplify financial services processes for consumers, making it easier for the public to access the money and related services they need, anytime and anywhere. (Amosu, 2022).

It includes the following;

Integrated payment. It refers to the combination of payment infrastructures to create a seamless payment flow within an application or platform. Flutterwave is an example of a company that offers such a service, and its most common use is payment in ridesharing app like Uber.

Built-in credit. The burden of shopping has always created the need for short-term loans, but all the mechanisms to deal with this friction seem to be inadequate. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), an integrated credit example, solves this need.

This tailor-made loan allows companies to develop and manage their capital in the way that suits them best. This credit system also includes payroll assistance, as offered by Earnipay, and B2B loans by Tradedepot.

Integrated insurance. While many still cling to the Blood of Jesus as a source of coverage, statistics show that SMBs suffer costly crashes and still struggle to find stability afterwards. The integrated insurance services offered by Curacel and Insurpass make it easy for individuals and businesses to make claims on what’s theirs.

Although the concept is still working its way into the mainstream, if maximized, it can turn an everyday side business into a conglomerate.

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