Tunde Kehinde, a graduate of Harvard Business School, is all set to float Lidya, Nigeria’s first online-only bank, in October 2016.
The bank, which is being branded as Nigeria’s first digital bank, will have no branches, but will be based in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.
Lidya will help users of its platforms open accounts, save money, build credit profiles, and access credit to grow their businesses and handle short-term personal needs.
“In my experience, there are two clear barriers hindering the successful development of economies across Africa. ACE was founded to address the infrastructural challenges preventing companies from connecting with their customers. Lidya is our solution for the over 300 million consumers on the continent who have bank accounts but don’t have access to credit, trade finance and personal investing tools to grow their businesses and plan their futures,” says Kehinde.
The platform’s first product is targeted at SMEs as a receivables based loan, which can be between $500 and $15,000. The credit will be disbursed to the customers within 72 hours as opposed to the 6 months it would normally take were it a traditional bank.
Kehinde and Eksin are majority shareholders, but they hope to bring in other shareholders and raise more than $1 million in the next few months from investors, primarily in the US.
It will partner with other Nigerian banks to allow them to use it as a platform to target small businesses.
The online bank is looking to operate at a lower cost and offer financial services at such low cost to its customers.