It is no longer news that fintech company, Kudi, recently rebranded as Nomba, expanding its endeavours to enable more individuals and businesses.
Expatiating on this, Toluwani Odukoya-Ijogun, Vice President for Brand, Marketing and Communications at Nomba, in a chat with Techeconomy.ng, explained the existence of Nomba in the market, its offerings, and added value propositions coming as a result of the rebrand, as well as the essence of inclusion in the African fintech space.
A name as a result of a rebrand doesn’t just come out of the blues, some factors lead to this and its meaning. So, what does Nomba actually mean? What does it stand for and what’s the inspiration behind the name?
In response to this, Toluwani Odukoya-Ijogun said: “Our new name is a play on the word ‘Number’. You see, our company has spent its first five years empowering independent businesses to act as neighbourhood banks offering basic financial services such as cash withdrawal, bank transfer, and bill payments to all Nigerians, especially those in underserved communities.
Now, we have expanded our range of services and are creating a distinct gateway into the digital economy for businesses of all sizes by providing them with access to everyday tools that simplify payments and drive their growth.”
Speaking further, Odukoya-Ijogun noted that the company’s current expansion brought about the need to make sure it has a name and an identity that is entirely theirs and cannot be confused with anything or anyone else. Therefore, Nomba was chosen.
“Our lives are inundated with numbers and figures and having a firm grasp of those numbers keeps us in control. In business, this couldn’t be more true.
So, our inspiration for the name? This new phase of our business and new name is all about the numbers, knowing them, growing them and leveraging them to help our customers build the businesses they have always dreamed of.
This is for everyone, from the micro retailer i.e the Mallam on your street or even the Roasted Corn/Plantain seller, to the big corporations with multiple locations and employees, our solution will help them stay on top of their numbers.”
In the fullness of its birth, or should we say rebirth! Surely, I’m not the only one wondering what Nomba would do differently from Kudi. So, Odukoya-Ijogun gave us some light on this.
“We have already begun to live out the fullness of the rebirth but to answer your question, much of what we did before the rebrand will stay the same, just better.
For example, while we are still empowering independent businesses to act as neighbourhood banks to drive financial inclusion for the Unbanked and Underbanked, we have also expanded our range of services to provide easy-to-use tools enabling all kinds of businesses to accept, process and manage payments online and offline. What this means is that as this opens us to a whole range of new customers and businesses, our existing customers are also going to benefit from these expanded services, thereby enhancing their experience with us.”
With Nomba, underserved and full-fledged businesses can self-onboard in five minutes and order a full-service integrated terminal and dashboard designed to manage all their payment needs whether in cash, cards, transfers, USSD or QR across multiple channels and locations.
Over the next six months, Nomba will extend the penetration of its POS terminals across the country, giving more businesses access to technology that delivers real-time oversight of all business transactions, whether they are a one-man business or a corporate, all on one dashboard. The company also plans to expand its product offerings into invoicing, payroll management and other tools that boost the productivity of businesses.
Onto the challenges! Are there challenges that Kudi faced but couldn’t overcome and Nomba could solve seamlessly?
On the contrary, Odukoya-Ijogun emphasized that the work the company did as Kudi and continues to do as Nomba is timely and important. “All businesses have their challenges, but we have perfected the art of evolving our operations to ensure our customers always have the support that they need. We did this as Kudi and will continue to do it as Nomba.
So, maybe we are indeed overcoming new challenges with Nomba, but these are for our customers. We are helping them grow and expand their businesses in a whole new way.”
Nomba deals in inclusive financial services, but when it comes to the underserved and unbanked in communities lacking technology and a digital reach, how does the company extend its electronic banking services to them?
Odukoya-Ijogun says this has been the mainstay of the business in the past five years. “I mean with our distinct point of sale (POS) technology, partnerships with banks and other licensed financial institutions, we have democratized access to banking products and services for people across Nigeria. Today, there are over 150,000 businesses on the Nomba platform situated all over the country enabled to carry out card, cash and bank transfer related transactions for their own businesses and on behalf of their customers. With an onboarding rate of over 10,000 new businesses monthly, we are expanding very quickly and are processing over $500 million in payments monthly across more than 500,000 unique transactions.”
More about Nomba’s solutions for small businesses
“Currently, a lot of small businesses are losing out on income because they do not have the means to receive all sorts of payments. Someone goes to the lady who sells roasted corn with a debit card and she asks him to please go get cash. If he really wants the corn, he will go to get cash but if he stumbles on another corn seller right beside the POS kiosk, he is unlikely to go back to the original corn seller,” Odukoya-Ijogun explained.
“In most cases, people who have no cash on them will not even approach the corn seller, so unwittingly these small businesses are losing income.”
With Nomba’s well priced POS machines, USSD payment methods and in time QR solutions, they never have to lose their income ever again. They are fully equipped to offer their customers multiple channels of payment and can put up a sign showing they also accept all forms of payments.
That aside, the company’s agents often serve as mini banks to these businesses. So at the end of the business day, they don’t need to take home their cash with all the risks, they can deposit it in the bank through Nomba’s agents.
Being able to do all of this gives them a digital track for their payments and makes them eligible for loans and other banking services that they may have been excluded from.