Fintech Forward Look 2022


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2021 in numbers

A summary of the key facts and figures in the fintech industry in 2021.

Investments Q1 2020 v Q1 2021

$46 million v $219 million

Electronic payments transactions 2020-2021 YoY

NGN92.71tn v NGN171.99tn

Q1 and Q3 investments: Fintechs Accounted For

93.09% and 46%

of investments in the Nigerian tech sector

Mobile inter-scheme transfers

Transaction value - NGN5.1tn

Transaction volume - 188.7m




2021 witnessed a lot of regulatory activity across the tech industry, particularly by the CBN and SEC. The regulations provided some clarity on a number of financial activities and updated previously issued regulations.

E-Naira at the Centre Stage

Nigeria became the FIRST AFRICAN NATION to introduce its official central bank digital currency (CBDC)The launch of the eNaira on 25 October 2021 was met with varying criticism and legal concerns, in particular, fundamental concerns surrounding the power of the CBN to issue the eNaira under its enabling statute.

Regulatory Clampdown: Government v Innovation

In 2021, Nigerian regulatory authorities adopted a stringent stance towards the technology sector with a series of warnings, sanctions, court actions and proscriptions of several activities and companies. These clampdowns ranged from the crypto ban to the court order freezing the bank accounts of fintechs and the infamous Twitter ban

More fintech unicorns and big ticket funding

The African continent recorded an increase in the number of fintech unicorns and a number of big ticket series funding in 2021. On aggregate, the technology sector raised $590.36 million between Q1 – Q3 2021 signifying the growth potential and profitability in the sector.

Strategic Fintech partnerships towards achieving intercontinental reach

2021 was the year of significant and strategic partnerships between fintech companies aimed at expanding the reach of local fintechs across the African continent and worldwide. Payments companies, in particular, Flutterwave and Paystack were at the forefront of companies that entered into partnerships with diverse companies including payment service banks, mobile money operators, and other PSSPs to strengthen their reach across Africa.

Outlook for

Increased participation by telecoms companies in agency banking

While 2021 witnessed an increased participation in agent banking by commercial banks, 2022 is expected to witness increased participation in agent banking by telecommunication companies, in particular by Airtel and MTN which recently obtained relevant PSB and super-agent AIPs.

Buy Now Pay Later

BNPL continues to be a small but growing segment of the financial services in Nigeria. According to the Q2 BNPL Survey, it has been reported that the Nigerian BNPL market is expected to grow by 67.4% to reach $341 Million in 2021.

Some of the key players in Nigeria include Carbon, CDcare, PayQart, Credpal. There are however no legislations or guidelines on digital lending or Buy Now Pay Later products in Nigeria.

Pan African Payment Settlement System (PAPSS)

The African Union in collaboration with Afrexim Bank developed and launched the Pan African Payment Settlement System (the PAPSS). PAPSS seeks to facilitate payments as well as formalize some of the unrecorded cross-border trade between African countries by creating a centralized payment and settlement infrastructure for intra- African trade and commerce payments. The operationalisation of PAPSS is timely with the recent signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Impact of e-Naira on mobile money operations

The launch of eNaira in 2021 poses potential competition for mobile money operators (MMOs), who are existing mobile payment services providers in Nigeria. However, MMOs retain the advantage of the agent network, over the eNaira. MMOs deploy wide agent networks wherein mobile wallet users may utilise mobile money agents to convert mobile money to cash.

Open Banking Operational Regulation by the CBN

In 2021, Nigeria became a pioneer of open banking in Africa. Some fintech companies (such as Mono, Okra, etc.) are already taking advantage of the Open Banking Framework to deploy innovative products and collaborate with other participants (including commercial banks and other payment companies) in the ecosystem and we expect this trend to continue.

Credentials and Latest Recognitions

“Olaniwun Ajayi has exceptional capabilities in advising on investment transactions and the development of new fintech payment product”

“Their experience in emerging technologies is attractive to startups as well as traditional financial institutions operating in the Nigerian Fintech ecosystem.”

Ranked Individuals

Damilola Salawu (Partner)
”He has an indepth understanding of not just the rules and regulations governing the Nigerian payment fintech industry, but also of the business nuances. He understands the need to balance innovation with regulation and is very professional and helpful, he listens attentively and is able to marshal his team to provide the support required”


“Damilola is a mentor in the space, applauded for his excellent knowledge of the market”

Ranked in Fintech & Blockchain as ‘Global Leader’ and ‘Recommended Lawyer’

Who’s Who Legal 2021

Damilola Oyebayo (Associate)
“He is a tech-savvy practititioner who writes extensively on the field. He is very conscientious and has an unrivalled understanding of the Fintech industry and its products. He is able to provide not just expert legal advice, but also practical advice that is very well informed by what other companies and competitors are doing”


Ranked in Fintech as ‘Global Leader’ and ‘Recommended Lawyer’

Who’s Who Legal 2021

Our Team

Ranked a Tier 1 practice group by top directories, the Technology, Innovation and FinTech (TIF) practice is a clear leader in the Nigerian legal market. It is led by Damilola Salawu, and the team also comprises, Chidubem Okoye, Osato Addeh, Damilola Oyebayo, Layo Olaiya, Hopewell Nwachukwu, Ebunoluwa Akintola, and Tayo Fabusiwa

We remain committed to providing sophisticated legal advice for the full spectrum of players in the technology market.