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Nigeria’s number 1 problem: Financial Inclusion?

Nigeria is a large complicated economy. A population of 200 million people, a GDP of over 445 billion & 75% of its GDP is in services and industry. These are all signs pointing to a soon to be developed country. However, access to the financial ecosystem, especially to affordable credit is incredibly low. This threatens poverty alleviation opportunities for the majority of the adult population.

Banks, micro-finance institutions & digital lenders are the most common financial institutions that Nigerians rely on for loans. They mostly use credit bureaus that have very thin profiles of borrowers. It's hard for these lenders to assess a borrower's creditworthiness if they lack quantifiable data. Access to alternative credit data & a more inclusive credit score could lend entrepreneurs access to finance even if they don't have a bank account.

Financial inclusion in Africa

Financial inclusion has proven to open up a whole new world of opportunity for people in Africa. New technology is allowing more and more people to have access to financial services. Financial inclusion is influenced by mobile money, which has made receiving payments easier. Products like Safaricom's M-pesa, Airtel Money & MTN's Mobile Money have led this revolution across the continent. Mobile money transfers now represent only 9% of all African currency transactions, which is vastly different from the 3% it was 10 years ago.

Why alternative credit data can improve financial inclusion in Nigeria?

Alternative Credit Data is a mechanism to track spending patterns and payment reliability. These small data points are a valuable way of understanding the creditworthiness of an individual. They enable fintech lenders to better assess underserved populations for lending opportunities. The majority of borrowers in Nigeria, over 60 million adults, have no bank account or credit bureau data through which they can get a credit score to borrow from.

Alternative Credit data allows a digital lender to use utility, mobile money, salary, rent, telecoms and many more transactions to build a more reliable credit score. Banks, micro-finance institutions & digital lenders in Nigeria have little to no access to this data. They can now access it through Access to this data can help lenders offer billions of dollars more in credit to their borrowers.

What are the benefits of using alternative credit data?

Alternative credit data is alternative to traditional credit reporting and refers to alternative sources of data that can be useful in judging the real creditworthiness of individuals and firms that constitute an important part of the formal economy. Banks typically have limited access or no access to this type of data.

This data can allow you to build more accurate credit scores, better KYC verification, physical address verification and target audience analysis. Alternative credit data can be used by a variety of sectors, including retail, telecoms, finance, and the public sector.

How can a fintech get access to alternative credit data?

A fintech can access alternative credit data through our API. The API allows you to access over 120 different data points on unbanked & banked adults in Nigeria. Through our fintech partners, we have access to data profiles on millions of customers.

CARMACHAIN is an alternative credit data marketplace. CARMACHAIN enables digital lenders to get one-stop-shop access to consolidated transactional & credit data through our single API. This data is provided by telcos, payment platforms, e-commerce, mobile money, utilities and lenders in real-time. This data allows digital lenders to build a better and more reliable credit score than even banks could do.

Why do contributors share this data? Data contributors get paid for this data. Yes, this incentivizes contributors to allow our API to hit their data. The contributor's data helps digital lenders build better credit scores for Africa and the world! CARMACHAIN makes it easier for companies to make money off their data. Data finally becomes a real revenue-generating asset.

For more information on how you to leverage alternative credit data for your business, do contact our co-founder, Femi Oluyide on