Instant Money Transfer Service Stellar launches for Nigeria’s rural women
A Cell phone, mobile phone A money service that mainly enables women from the country in Nigeria to transfer money to one another is starting today with an innovative new financial system called Stellar.
Stellar.org is a not-for-profit foundation that supports a universal financial platform, and the startup was part of the Fast Forward Accelerator, which is partially funded by
In the past, sending money to rural Nigeria often had to entrust cash to a bus driver or other person traveling from one place to another.
“Oradian is launching a money transfer network in rural Nigeria that will connect microfinance institutions (MFIs) in underserved areas,” said Joyce Kim, executive director of Stellar.org. “The aim of this integration is to provide communities where it is extremely difficult to send money, provide affordable financial services, and enable these separate communities to participate in the economy.”
“The rural focus is incredibly important,” Live Wire Kim told me. “Over half of the Nigerian population lives in rural communities, but they are drastically underserved compared to their urban peers. Doesn’t everyone deserve to fully participate and have financial access to the economy around them? Hopefully this project will help provide equal access to communities that have traditionally been difficult to reach due to the cost of infrastructure development. “
Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and has the largest population. “Unfortunately, despite these impressive numbers, it is economically isolated from the rest of the world. By focusing on the money transfer challenges in rural Nigeria, this project has the potential to have a significant and massive impact in a short space of time.”
Most of the 150 million Nigerians have no bank accounts or are underserved, making remittances “notoriously difficult and especially punishing for the poor,” she says.
“Oradian’s innovative core banking platform, Instafin, is used by microfinance institutions across Nigeria. By integrating the Stellar network, Oradian will enable two things: First, MFIs will be able to seamlessly transfer money between their branches. Second, MFI clients who are mainly based in rural areas can send money to other MFI clients in remote villages or towns in real time simply by visiting their local MFI. “
Antonio Separovic, Managing Director of Oradian, said, “With Stellar’s technology, we are changing the way money is handled and sent across national borders in a safe, instant and inexpensive manner.”
Africa is a purely mobile continent with widespread cellphone adoption, making up for (and exceeding) the lack of traditional infrastructure and access to technology, especially desktop computers. “The ability to access financial services on mobile devices is critical as mobile dramatically reduces the cost of serving customers in remote locations,” says Kim. “Unreasonably high costs of building retail locations in small villages mean that most traditional financial institutions in these areas have failed to provide services and break even. Cellular has the potential to change that cost structure.”
She says research has shown investing in women’s financial inclusion has the highest return on investment (ROI). “Given the data, it makes the most sense to focus on groups that are having the greatest positive impact on their communities.
“With the integration of Oradian, communities that relied primarily on cash to transfer money to and from their villages can send money instantly and securely, regardless of their location. This is the first step in creating a universal bankless payments network and brings us closer to Stellar.org’s mission to use a universal platform to provide financial services to all. “