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Here are 15 loan app companies in Nigeria licensed by CBN

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Digital money lenders, popularly known as loan app companies, are playing significant roles in extending credit facilities to the informal sector.

While there are now hundreds of companies playing in the digital lending space in Nigeria, the increase in unethical practices of loan recovery through harassment and defamation has prompted the  Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to develop a regulatory framework in collaboration with other industry regulators.

Through a Limited Interim Regulatory Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending, the FCCPC has been registering and approving digital lenders that meet the set standards.

While this has succeeded in bringing digital lenders under a form of control, it has not eliminated unethical practices in the market.  As of the last count, the Commission has approved over 260 digital lenders that have gone through the registration process.

However, checks by ThePressNG show that only a few of these lenders are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). These set of digital lenders are subjected to guidelines that restrict them to certain ethical and professional practices in the recovery of their loans, unlike the others. The FCCPC also indicated this by granting those licensed by the CBN a waiver under its regulatory framework.

Some of the digital lenders under the supervision of the CBN are licensed as finance companies (FCs), while others are licensed as Microfinance Banks (MfBs).

Although the CBN database shows that a total of 104 companies are licensed as FCs, and over 600 companies licensed as MfBs, only a few of them are operating in the digital lending space, where personal loans are the core of operations.

In no particular order, here are 15 companies licensed by the CBN that are actively providing digital lending services:

Fast Credit Limited (FCL) is licensed by the CBN to provide financial services. FCL commenced its operations in August 2014, offering various investment and loan products to both public and private sector employees and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The company recently launched digital banking channels such as its mobile app and USSD service, through which it offers micro and nano loans to Nigerians.

Baines Credit Microfinance Bank is a financial institution licensed by the CBN. The company says it is committed to solving all the financial needs of salary earners, micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs), and other corporate sectors. The company offers quick digital loans and salary advances for salary earners.

GreenBond Finance Company Limited is a CBN-licensed finance company whose core objective is to provide permissible financial services to individuals and business entities. The company says customers can apply for loans 24/7 through its app Apply 24/7 and receive credits in their accounts instantly without a collateral or guarantor.

One of its loan services is the Salary Advance, which covers salary advance loans against each monthly salary cycle. Another one is Asset Finance, which is designed to empower salaried customers in the acquisition of home appliances such as electronics, generators, inverters etc.

Ekondo is a licensed microfinance bank focusing on the South-South part of Nigeria. The company offers several credit facilities tailored to meet the varying needs of its numerous clients. Its loan offerings include civil servant loans, salary advance loans, and fast cash, among others.

Accion MfB Limited began operations in May 2007 on license from the CBN. Aside from its other financial services, the company offers both personal and business loans. Its School Fees Loan, for instance, offers parents and guardians a seamless process to secure quick and easy loans through its website or its mobile app to facilitate school fee payment.

Newedge is a financial institution established in 2019 and licensed by the CBN to operate as a finance company in Nigeria. The company provides instant loan services using multiple channels. Its loan apps include: Palm Credit, New Credit, Easy Buy, Xcross Cash, and Xcash. Each of the apps offers a wide range of loans tailored to meet the needs of the customers.

Shepherd Trust is a CBN-licensed microfinance bank providing savings, investment, and Loan products to MSMEs For individual loans, the company provides loans to salary earners who must have worked for their current employers for at least 6 months.

Firmus is licensed by the CBN as a microfinance bank. The company is providing financial services to individuals and SMEs. According to the company, it was founded as a response to the need for access to banking services for low-income households and businesses.

Through its Firmus mobile app, the company offers all kinds of loans such as personal loan, house loan, school, and car loan, among others.

Cashbridge is licensed as a Microfinance Bank by the CBN and it offers a variety of loans. According to the company, its loan solutions are designed to make its customers’ dreams a reality. These include business loans, school fees loans, and home loans, among others.

Zedvance Finance is licensed by the CBN and it provides instant loans through its MoneyPal App. According to the company, its loans are designed to help its customers achieve their financial goals and are tailored to their specific needs. “With MoneyPal, you can access collateral-free loans quickly and easily, without any paperwork or collateral,” the company stated on its app.

Credit Direct Limited is licensed by the CBN as a Finance Company. The company prides itself as a platform “providing quick turnaround loans with little documentation, efficient processes, and top-of-the-range customer service.”

The company said its services are hinged on a partnership with employers and its customers to provide friendly innovative loan and investment products.

FairMoney is licensed as a microfinance bank by the CBN. As a digital bank focused on lending FairMoney provides instant loans of up to one million naira, as well as a bank account and a debit card.  According to the company, FairMoney processes over 10,000 loans every day, with one loan disbursed every eight seconds.

Branch International Financial Services is licensed by the CBN as a finance company. Branch says all its customers need to do to get a loan is to simply apply through its mobile app and get approved in under 24 hours. The Branch app determines loan eligibility and personalized loan offers using users’ smartphone data.

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