Standard Bank has invested $4 million (R61 million) in South Africa’s FinTech firm Nomanini.
The investment has enabled the local bank to have an undisclosed stake in the Cape Town-based FinTech company.
The deal will also enable Standard Bank to use Nomanini’s platform to unearth previously ‘invisible’ data on the informal retail economy.
Nomanini connects merchants and distributors to each other and global service providers, integrating payments, working capital, and data analytics to unlock the latent potential of Africa’s economy.
It turns any mobile device into a retail point-of-sale solution for informal merchants that is connected to an interoperable merchant wallet. The interoperable merchant wallet allows merchants to offer a broad range of digital banking (including cash-in/cash-out), mobile, utility and entertainment services to their customers boosting competitiveness.
In turn, digital service providers rapidly increase the scale and reach of their offerings.
Nomanini, which was founded in 2010 by Vahid Monadjem, who serves as the company’s CEO.
The partnership with Africa’s largest bank adds merchant financing to its existing service offering and provides the opportunity to scale into new markets, the company said in a statement.
With the investment, the company added that it plans to expand its portfolio of financial services to offer remittances, insurance and other products in the future.
“This partnership with Standard Bank will be instrumental for Nomanini’s next wave of growth, while ensuring that millions of Africa’s underserved micro-entrepreneurs receive access to digital financial services for the first time,” said Monadjem.
“And this is just the beginning. Nomanini’s interoperable wallet is a gateway to a whole range of digital banking services – loans and savings now but soon, remittances and insurance too.
“It’s only by bridging the divide between the digital and the physical cash that rules in these markets that we’ll be able to rewrite the rules of informal retail trade in Africa.”
The partnership is a culmination of Standard Bank and Nomanini’s shared mission: to help the informal retail trade grow and of Standard Bank’s commitment to branchless banking, helping its customers “bank at any time, from anywhere”.
The launch of the new app will enable Standard Bank to boost access to financial products and services, and, at the same time, expand its customer base while addressing the business needs of Africa’s informal retail merchants.
“The reality is, around 86% of all employment in Sub-Saharan Africa is informal. Going to the bank and filling out forms for a loan is simply not viable – and can take days. In Nomanini, we’ve found a partner uniquely placed to help micro-merchants in Africa thrive, not just survive,” said Adrian Vermooten, Head of Digital in Africa Regions, Standard Bank.
“Our partnership and investment in Nomanini has helped us uncover simple, scalable opportunities while granting new and existing customers access to financial services for the first time. Previously, this type of information was unavailable to us but now our merchant customers can access banking services wherever they are and whenever it suits them.”