The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the transition towards digital lifestyles among Nigerians, Uzoma Dozie, CEO of new-entrant Sparkle says.
The deadly COVID-19 virus has prompted governmets across the world, including Nigeria, to impose health and safety measures, including lockdowns, to check the spread of the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, Sparkle CEO says that one of the impacts of COVID-19 is that it is, during the recent launch of Sparkle, a digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle and business support services to Nigerians across the globe.
Dozie says that Sparkle is launching at a time when most of Nigeria’s population (79%) have mobile connectivity, with 39% having access to mobile broadband connections.
“This young and growing population – currently over 195 million people – are also digital natives, with social networks forming part of everyday life. The impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across Nigeria, accelerating the transition to more digitally enabled lifestyles. As such, there is a real opportunity for digital-only propositions like Sparkle to meet Nigeria’s needs, for individuals and small businesses to remain connected and thrive, both now and in the future”, he says.
The Sparkle CEO says the company has been granted a banking licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and will offer comprehensive support for individuals, including flexible payments, savings and analytics to provide greater freedom, flexibility and control over finances and lifestyle.
Powered by data and technology, Sparkle is launching a mobile app – available for iOS and Android – giving customers full and free access to one account that offers multiple services and different wallets, he says.
“Sparkle’s users will be provided with visibility over spending patterns, with a detailed breakdown of payments by category. Tools such as Sparkle Stash, a savings tool aimed towards specific goals, are included. Users will also have the ability to split payments and bills, make utilities and bill payments, as well as send and receive money in the Sparkle network and with other local banks. Customers will also have access to Indy – a 24/7 financial buddy and customer services chatbot”, according to the company.
Sparkle is partnering with VISA, Microsoft and PwC Nigeria “to achieve its vision of redefining Nigerian commerce”, according to its CEO.
Dozie says the “partnerships will provide industry-leading expertise in APIs, cloud computing, data science, machine learning, tax and financial advisory services for the benefit of Sparkle’s customers. The services offered by Sparkle are all licensed by the CBN.”