Ecobank Kenya, in collaboration with Fingo, a Kenyan fintech, has unveiled the Fingo Africa banking app, aimed at young people. Launched last week in Nairobi, the app will roll out across Ecobank’s pan-African footprint of 33 countries as well as France, the UK, the UAE and China.
It is claimed that the app enables users to open a bank account via their mobile phone in less than four minutes, send money, pay bills and buy airtime. This is important given that, for young adults in Africa, opening an account can take from hours to days and involve expensive fees to send money and maintain accounts. The Fingo apps aims to change this.
Quoted by ITWeb Africa, Jeremy Awori, CEO Ecobank Group, explains: “Simplifying access to finance makes it possible to overcome entrenched issues that have often acted as barriers to entry for young Africans.
“We have spoken to youth and we've asked them what they want [and] how they want to bank, and it is very different than other segments of the population. They want a product on the go, that serves their needs, and is fun and exciting, convenient, and evolves over time.”
Fingo was founded in January 2021 to provide financial services that appeal to a fast-growing population of young Africans who are financially marginalized. It describes itself as a digital bank built for young Africans by young Africans with a founding team of 20-somethings born and raised on the continent.
Last week Fingo said it had acquired 10,000 active users with a waitlist of 100,000 customers within 24 hours of launch. But can it take on the mobile money giant Safaricom and a banking sector dominated by the likes of KCB and Equity Bank? Partnering with Ecobank, which has a significant footprint across Africa, may help it to do so.