Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Kora is helping global businesses go local and local businesses go global

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Fintech is probably the most popular buzzword in the startup space currently. Transactions occur daily worldwide; an easier process would definitely get global attention. Several use cases continue to increase, drive financial inclusion globally, and help businesses scale. 

Kora, a marketplace for financial services, is a leading fintech enabling local and global businesses to operate and scale effortlessly with their payment solutions. 

As a build-up to the exciting conversations that will hold at The Fintech Summit on Saturday, November 26, 2022, we had a brief chat with Kora’s Head of Marketing to discuss what Kora is doing for businesses and his expectations for the Summit. 

Let’s meet you- A brief introduction and what you do at Kora. 

My name is Gbenga Onalaja, and I am the Head of Marketing at Kora. I work with a team of incredibly smart specialists to bring the Kora brand to life in a real way. 

Can you discuss more on Kora and your offerings?

We are transitioning from the name Korapay to simply Kora. We are not a mobile app; rather, we are a payment infrastructure and what this infrastructure does is allow people to do some exciting things. 

For instance, GIG Logistics uses our infrastructure to allow its users to fund their wallets on their platform. They then use that to pay for the different packages they want to be delivered across Africa.

A platform like Myxalary uses Kora to do bulk payouts to different company employees signed up on their platform. So, the name, Korapay was limiting, but with the name Kora, we can fully embody that we are an infrastructure. Whatever you want to build that has to do with payments, Kora can do that for you; from pay-ins to payouts to settlements, Kora powers all that. 

We are a business enabling global businesses to go local and local businesses to go global, and we do this through our API offerings. With a single API, you can turn different aspects of the Kora bouquet of products on and off.

For global brands — lots of them use Kora for payments (local acquiring) — they get the ability to use local cards and capture more value because more people who have only local cards can now use their platform. dLocal and Payfuture are part of our global merchants. 

Kora also allows local businesses to go global by enabling businesses that are, for instance, domiciled in a place like Nigeria to go to a place like Ghana by activating pay-ins to them in that currency. So, even though you are a local Nigerian business, you can turn on pay-ins in Ghana Cedis by using Kora’s API. This makes it possible to be a global business because a gateway to accept payments in multiple currencies now exists. 

What makes you excited about The Fintech Summit?

Conferences like this are great for getting a sense of what people are building. I am interested in the session where Professor Olayinka David-West, Associate Dean, Lagos Business School, will speak. She has been preaching about financial inclusion for a long time. Though there have been a lot of fintechs in the last couple of years, financial inclusion has only increased marginally. It will be interesting to see how she speaks to how financial inclusion has evolved over the years.

Regarding financial inclusion, I feel like every step matters; the more innovation we have in that space, even though they may not address the challenge very specifically, there’s a greater chance of having a product that will get people that are not within the regulated financial space into it.

Another interesting session I am looking forward to is the embedded finance panel session, where our founder, Dickson Nsofor, will speak. This is interesting for us because it’s one of the things that Kora allows. Kora can power businesses for embedded finance by allowing businesses to plug in their API. 

What pain points do you think need to be addressed in Africa’s fintech sector?

A big one right now is regulation. Businesses like ours deal with people’s money, so regulation is par for the course, and it is welcome. But, it’s important to ensure that regulations don’t affect the day-to-day running of businesses. One of the things Nigeria is getting right is the new Startup Act; it’s a strong step in the right direction. What this signals is that Nigeria is taking startups seriously. 

So, when we mention challenges like this, the government can take them seriously by helping startups smoothen the process of regulations. 

What impact will you be expecting following conversations that will be held at The Fintech Summit?

It’s going to be different strokes for different folks. In a much broader sense, when it comes to building, what conferences like this also help with, is to see gaps that are yet to be noticed. That’s something that can come off the back of this summit; awareness of new gaps that fintechs can help fill. Sometimes, this can come up by having a random conversation with somebody in the hall. Just that thought of ideas colliding will give rise to some new ideas.

Kora is a proud sponsor of The Fintech Summit, and they will be exhibiting at the Summit on Saturday, November 26, 2022, at Four Points by Sheraton, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The Fintech Summit is three days away. Head over to fintech.techpoint.africa to reserve your seat, as the tickets are limited.

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