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  • Writer's pictureSsemujju Lewis E

Top FinTech Companies In Sierra Leone

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

When you start a discussion on the penetration of technology, and by extension, financial technology, Sierra Leone is not one of the places your conversation goes to in Africa. Go there now.

According to the 2017 Global Findex, fewer than 20 percent of adults have a financial account – less than half the average for Sub-Saharan Africa. And yet, after months of planning, the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) unveiled the inaugural cohort of its regulatory sandbox pilot program.

Related: Top FinTech Companies In Cameroon

Sierra Leone followed in the footsteps of Malaysia’s Bank Negara and other jurisdictions that have linked their sandbox programs to national financial inclusion strategies. The pilot program is expressly linked to Sierra Leone’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017 - 2020. BSL designed the regulatory sandbox as a dedicated regulatory environment to facilitate new business models with clear potential to benefit Sierra Leone’s consumers and advance its financial inclusion strategy.

Africa has long been considered a leader in the financial institution innovation space, with circumstances pushing Africans to adopt easier and less traditional means of transaction.

According to Ecobank, more than 57 percent of all mobile money accounts globally can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the African fintech market set to grow from US$200 million today to US$3 billion by 2020. In addition, a recent study by McKinsey found room for growth in meeting unmet banking needs in Africa that includes borrowing, saving, and investing across the continent, with South Africa alone set to see an increase in banking revenues of US$4 billion over the next five years.

Top Fintech Companies In Sierra Leone

1. InvestED

This is one of the top fintech companies in Sierra Leone, and it provides a platform for training low-income entrepreneurs using a mobile app on topics such as entrepreneurship, business skills, and financial literacy. In addition, users can qualify for credit products offered by SMT and other lending partners. Loans repayment is managed via mobile money.

InvestED was one of 4 fintech assessed by the Bank of Sierra Leone to participate in the Sandbox Framework to test further their innovations linking financial literacy performance to loans from partner Salone Microfinance Trust in a live environment under the central bank’s supervision. After Kenya, Sierra Leone is the second African country to launch a Sandbox Framework.

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2. MyPay

MyPay is one of the top fintech companies in Sierra Leone because it is an interoperable e-money platform that integrates financial institutions and provides point-of-sales machines to agent networks to manage financial transactions.

MyPay was created to support financial inclusion and enhance the user experience of our valued customers. They deliver products and services that eliminate the need to transact using currency notes. MyPay has an extensive network of NFC (Near Field Communication) POS Terminals that will be deployed to enable painless payments at merchant locations using Touch-N-Pay Cards, Tags, wearables, and smartphones. Their extensive network of POS terminals and Online payments will give our customers access to a rich network of the payment ecosystem. No need to move around with cash. Just Tap, enter your pin, and pay -- simple life, done your way.

3. Noory

Noory is open payments API that allows third-party developers to connect to banks and mobile money networks, improving interoperability between platforms. The founder team recognized the need for interoperability when they tried to create mobile payments solutions for first responders and rescue workers during the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. This propelled them to the table of top fintech companies in Sierra Leone.

Noory makes it possible for businesses, fintech, microfinance institutions, and banks to plug into digital transaction networks at minimal cost and effort. In addition, their open API platform enables anyone to reach a significantly larger customer base without running up costs of integration and distribution.

Related: Top FinTech Companies In Cameroon

4. Mosabi

Mosabi empowers underserved populations with compelling mobile learning linked to financial inclusion.

On their phones, learners go through topics such as entrepreneurship, business skills, and financial literacy through compelling, lightweight video lessons (available in major languages and hyper-local tribal languages). The platform also uses game-ified quizzing, surveys, chatbots, and other messaging to drive meaningful engagement. Mosabi’s infrastructure analyzes user journeys in real-time, prompting them about content based on their targeted profile and preferences. We gather engagement analytics and track how users demonstrate understanding of content, demonstrate behavior change – and then our algorithm generates creditworthiness ratings. Our partner financial institutions see insights on our B2B dashboard, including KYC information, e-learning performance insights, loan questionnaire data, and our alternative credit score via API – and can then offer financial products to users more confidently and efficiently.

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5. SaloneBuy

Founded in 2020, SaloneBuy, one of the top fintech companies in Sierra Leone, is a classifieds mobile app that allows users to buy and sell products across categories such as vehicles, fashion, and electronics. It is also possible to book services such as tutoring.

Founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Sorie Sankoh told Disrupt Africa that the startup hoped to fill a sizeable gap locally, with international platforms such as Amazon and Craigslist not available in Sierra Leone or other African countries, and help businesses gain more exposure online.

SaloneBuy has already seen high levels of uptake and has raised US$15,000 in funding to assist further growth.

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6. Ace Money Transfer

The hurdles of a proper financial management system can be very challenging. Ace was founded in early 2017 due to the many small businesses in Freetown that said they struggled to find good professional services, including accounting, access to capital, and financial training. The solution they provided them brought them to the table of top fintech companies in Sierra Leone. Ca$hr app was a mark of their prowess as it was often described as ‘tinder for finance’ and its ease of use is comparable to none- “just swipe left for expense and right for income’’ -with an enabled feature of recording your cash transactions from your smartphone.

Ace uniquely offers distinct services specifically to the SMEs sector in combatting this, by

  • providing services at a cost small businesses can afford (we start at Le 200,000 a month)

  • providing innovative services

  • an employment model that means our workers get a better deal and share the business’s profits.

ACE Money Transfer strives to meet its customer's expectations to continuously serve the increasing demands for global money transfers.

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