Last week, founders of Africa Courier Express (ACE), Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, announced the launch of a new financial services platform called Lidya. The portal was notably founded to improve access to credit and finance across the African continent and for Africans living in the diaspora.
According to the duo, Lidya aims to handle the problem of financial inclusion in Africa by using technology to help individuals open accounts, build credit profiles and access credit to grow their businesses and plan for personal needs.Sharing details about the creation of Lidya, Kehinde, co-founder of both Lidya and ACE, along with retail brand Jumia, stated:
“In my experience, there are two clear barriers hindering the successful development of economies across Africa. ACE was founded to address the infrastructural challenges preventing companies from connecting with their customers. Lidya is our solution for the over 300 million consumers on the continent who have bank accounts but don’t have access to credit, trade finance and personal investing tools to grow their businesses and plan their futures.”
Kehinde also explained:
“With 600 million mobile subscribers and close to 350 million people online in Africa today, it’s clear that digital banking and finance is the future for Africa. We aim to industrialize the risk assessment process and capitalise on the huge technological advancements in machine learning and related technologies to unlock relevant financial products for today’s young, mobile and entrepreneurial customer.”
ACE and Lidya co-founder, Eksin, also commented on the launch:
“We estimated the credit gap in Africa to be several hundred billion US dollars. To unlock capital for customers that do not have access to credit; innovative forms of banking backed with world-class customer experience must be developed. Lidya is revolutionizing how risk is assessed, credit is disbursed and customers are banked.”
Kehinde and Eksin went on to add Lidya’s first product aimed at SMEs is a receivables based loan, the value of which can be between $500 and $15,000, that disburses credit to qualified customers in 72 hours as opposed to the average six months it would take with a traditional bank.