FINT.ng is a loan marketplace that connects borrowers to lenders. Borrowers get access to credit at affordable rates and lenders get their money back with interest. It is probably one of the more necessary innovations in Nigeria’s Fintech space at the moment because it solves two problems. The first is that it makes it easier to get a loan to do literally anything and the second is that it simplifies wealth creation, but more about that later.


The guys behind FINT

FINT.ng is run by a team of 4; Chiwete John-Njokanma is the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Nnamdi Okeke is the Chief Technology Officer, Eskor Toyo is the Chief Operating Officer while Reva Attah is Chief Strategy Officer.

Who is it for?

Its services are open to everyone, especially to people who have mostly been excluded from financial services that they should have had access to in the first place. It is for those with steady streams of income who lack the money they need to fund their dreams and also for those who are consciously seeking means for more financial freedom, who would like to see their money grow faster than the rate of inflation.

The only restriction so far is that everyone who uses the platform must have a bank account that is linked to a BVN.  Users can borrow anything between N60,000 and N2 million at rates as low as 8% for 3 – 12  months, which in Nigeria is remarkable because in the current environment, a loan from a formal financial institution with 20% interest would be a good deal.

Also, loans on the platform do not need collaterals. For lenders, your money grows at 26-39% for one-year loan tenures, which is at least 16% better than a fantastic fixed term deposit and 11% better than T-bills and average money market funds.


Pros for Borrowers:

  • Easy to open: When I did it for research purposes as both a lender and a borrower, it took less than 5 minutes.
  • Collateral: There’s no collateral required to get a loan.
  • Solely online based: You don’t have to go to anyone’s office. Everything’s taken care of online so it reduces the hassle.
  • The website: It’s one of the more straightforward ones out there.
  • It works: Loans get disbursed rather quickly. How quickly depends on how quickly borrowers upload the necessary documents.
  • Automated deductions: Deductions are made automatically when due.
  • Insurance: Borrowers are required to take insurance on their loans which cover for
    loss of life, permanent disability, and loss of job.
  • Cheap: The loans are among the cheapest you will find in the market, they charge as low as 2% monthly while competitors charge 5-12%.
  • Transparent: All charges for their services are disclosed upfront.

Cons for Borrowers:

  • You have to pay N3,000 for the risk assessment.
  • You have to pay 8% of the loan as your commitment fee once the loan is paid out in full.
  • There is a chance that lenders won’t feel comfortable with your risk score and what you want to use the money for, thereby leaving your loan to go unfunded.
  • For loans that last a year, you can pay as much as 39% in interest. This may seem a little high but it is still cheaper than the market rate.
  • As the FINT.ng risk algorithm is proprietary, borrowers have no real idea how their interest rates are calculated.
  • You need a steady stream of income to get a loan.
  • There is a late repayment fee and if you don’t pay back, you’ll probably be subjected to a couple of calls from their debt collectors and a number of other measures.

Pros for Lenders:

  • Attractive rates: At rates of 26-39% for one-year tenure loans, you will be hard-pressed to find better fixed-income returns.
  • Transparency: Each borrower is given a risk score, so you know what you’re getting into before you lend.
  • Portfolio Diversification: FINT.ng is a new asset class for your investment portfolio. This allows you to maximise your returns while mitigating portfolio concentration risks in stocks and the like.
  • Risk Sharing: You can spread your risk by lending in small amounts across different borrowers.
  • Automated payments: Repayments are made automatically.
  • It is online: You don’t have to go to anyone’s office to fill forms or pay homage. Everything is taken care of online so you can manage your loan portfolio from anywhere.
  • The website: If the website’s good for the borrower, then it is certainly just as easy to navigate for the lender.
  • Management services: If you want to lend a fairly significant sum on the service, then the FINT.ng team will help you manage your money. This way, you don’t have to worry about the administration of your investment selections.
  • Insurance: Loans on FINT.ng are insured against loss of work, permanent disability or death. So if you lend to someone who passes away, you don’t need to follow them to the great beyond to get your money back.
  • Debt Collectors: They are necessary for anyone in the loan business. If a borrower doesn’t pay back, then FINT.ng will deploy its team of professionals to get those repayments coming in.

Cons for Lenders:

  • You can only lend in multiples of N20,000.
  • They are Nigeria’s first loan marketplace, and they started in the year that  MMM went bust. Lenders may not be too keen to lend to anyone just yet.
  • As the FINT.ng risk algorithm is proprietary, lenders have no real way of knowing how they are calculated.

How does FINT.ng make money?

They fund their operations through the charges borrowers and lenders pay when they’re getting loans and repayments respectively. Operating online means that they don’t have massive running costs, so it is easier to turn a profit.

Alternatives or Competition

FINT.ng doesn’t appear to be the sole operator in this space. kiakia.co appears to do almost exactly the same thing. I would tell you more about them if I could but the company hasn’t deemed it fit to put its interest rate information out there.

Paylater is similar in that it’s a Fintech that disburses loans but the debt marketplace aspect that FINT.ng has is completely absent.

Can FINT.ng scale?

Yes, it can.  In 2015, the CBN published data revealing that only 5m Nigerians had taken out personal loans worth $7bn. With roughly 50 million in employment (per the NBS), there is an estimated market size of $71 bn in personal loans annually.

Furthermore, according to a recent report by the IFC and the CBN, less than a third of MSMEs have successfully obtained loans from financial institutions, and that is not for a lack of trying. Nigeria has over 35 million MSMEs and if approximately only 10 million MSMEs have been able to get loans from financial institutions, then there is a credit gap of about 25 million MSMEs. This means that there is demand for the service.

In terms of the lenders, with FINT.ng offering better rates than all saving accounts, fixed deposits and even the Nigerian fixed income market, savvy investors are likely to start looking at loans listed on the company’s platform as an attractive means of wealth creation. The only instruments Nigeria’s capital market offers that could be more lucrative would be its equities market, but that looks to be less of a sure thing than FINT.ng if everything goes according to plan.

The company will need to keep its insurance partners on the side if they are to grow the business further. FINT.ng will also need to get round to developing an app lest it loses customers to the first peer to peer lending platform that does.

By Afam Odiachi

4 COMMENTS

  1. Please can i get the source or the report that states this – “In 2015, the CBN published data revealing that only 5m Nigerians had taken out personal loans worth $7bn. With roughly 50 million in employment (per the NBS), there is an estimated market size of $71 bn in personal loans annually.”

  2. KiaKia is the first P2P platform and they’re functional too, innovatively applying AI to their platform. Everything is done through intuitive conversations. I have successfully lent out money from my base here in the UK.

    I don’t think an APP is suitable for P2P and there is a good reason leading P2P platforms rather have responsive sites.

    Overall, this is a great article. However, I think KiaKia is doing a super job and blazing the trail with innovation.

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