The Nigerian fintech Ecosystem and Sports Betting Business Inextricable

The number of financial technology companies in Africa grew at a yearly rate of 24 percent between 2009 and 2019. It is fuelled mostly by Nigeria, in West Africa, Kenya in East Africa, and South Africa is Africa’s southern part.

Thanks to the flexibility, comfort, and seamlessness of FinTech technology through varieties of digital payment, especially the mobile money service that has captured the unbanked African people. While 60 percent remain unbanked, which translates to less significant people, they still lack essential financial assistance. However, that has not been the case in Nigeria, in which the sector has been experiencing exponential growth. The fintech ecosystem revenue in Nigeria accounts for $153 million in 2017. These attributed to the advancement in technology. Several sports betting firms have been quick to adopt the digital payment service to their platforms, which have significantly taken the sports betting business to a whole new level in the country over the years.

As stated above the Nigerian FinTech ecosystem worth $153 million according to the statistics that contained by the State of Play: which also projected the sector to reach $543 million by 2022, driven by expanding payment service, the e-commerce market, the rising mobile market penetration which mobile-first is the norm among the young Nigerian adults in regards to this several sports betting firms have embraced the FinTech services to meet the demand of the growing sports betting business in the country. Further, the numbers of online sports betting in the state have matched by the rise of the country’s FinTech payment platforms.

However, financial technology service changes the overall gaming landscape, unlike previous years where punters lack that flexibility to deposit into their online betting account well thanks to the FinTech ecosystem that has made their service accessible. In contrast, the number of sports betting brands is increasing, so as the FinTech service provides, which brought with it that comfort and flexibility to meet customer demands in terms of payment service. Therefore, the two entities have been working hand-in-hand; the exponential growth of the sports betting could be attributed to FinTech competition in the country that has been intense in recent times. To name a few of them, Paystack, Flutterwave, Quickteller, to Interswitch and Opay as well as Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement (NIBSS) to Bank USSD code are all jostling in the sector with different sports betting brands. The gambling operators had no other choice but to go for whoever is faster; whoever can connect with their platform with fewer glitches and secured transactions process.

However, the rise of the sports betting business has seen the Bank USSD code made the most gains regarding channel acceptance of payment, especially the sports betting sector, which is the most preferred mode of payment for punters in the country. According to the NAN report, mobile apps to remain 44 percent of total transactions, USSD is firmly catching up. This channel had grown from 25 percent usage in 2017 to 35 percent in 2018. Perhaps this rise is said to be the number of betting firms using the bank USSD code on their platform as it doesn’t require punters to have an internet connection to make a payment, which is flexible and fast in real-time.

While mobile apps are diminishing, seeing growth by just one percent compared to 2017. These translate to the growing penetration of the FinTech ecosystem and how quickly sports betting brands have been quick to adopt the service. Thanks to smartphone penetration in the country, 60% of the population now has access to it.

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