Nigeria’s Paylater becomes a fully digital financial services platform

The Nigerian financial technology company, Paylater, which specializes in consumer lending has transformed into a fully fledged digital bank and relaunched as Carbon. With the launch, the platform will lend money as well as offer bill payments, fund transfers and savings products.

The relaunch comes one month after One Finance (OneFi), owner of the Paylater app, secured a $5 million loan from an international lending platform, Lendable to help scale up Paylater.

“It was very deliberate, most of our customers only know us as Paylater which conjures up images of credit, but we have grown as a company to offer so much more(…)We know what our customers’ pain points and needs are when it comes to banking in Africa and we are building financial products around them,” speaking on Paylater’s new name, the company’s co-founder and CEO Chijioke Dozie said.

This transition is set to lay the foundations for Carbon’s focus on providing a wide portfolio of services for its customers, as it introduces in-app credit reports and provides credit via QR codes, in partnership with Visa.

The company also plans to provide health insurance for its customers as it looks to lessen the burdens Nigerians currently face in accessing and paying for health care. In the near future, Carbon will also launch its virtual Visa card for customers to handle transactions.

“We’re in a competitive space but whoever serves the customer best will reap the rewards. That’s been the thinking behind our product evolution, whether it’s our Bloom account targeted at female entrepreneurs or the partnerships we’ve been working on in the healthcare sector. The focus is on being attentive to what our customers want and need,” co-founder Ngozi Dozie added.  

Since PayLater’s launch in 2016, the platform has approved over 1500 loans daily at an average of $80 per loan; disbursing over $60 million across 750,000 loans.

In 2017, the lender was one of three African startups selected to join the fifth class of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator. In the same year, they were also one of 20 finalists of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge. In 2018, Paylater was one of five finalists in the fourth edition of the AppsAfrica Innovation Awards. Later that year, the company became the first African FinTech platform to secure a credit rating.