Prospa Helps Nigerian Brands to Own Corporate Bank Accounts

Prospa is a Web app that makes it easy for businesses (both small and big) to create bank accounts from home for free. It is a current account for Nigerian businesses that comes with a Nuban account number in your business name and permits the business to receive from and make transfers to all Nigerian banks. Users can also pay bills and make international transfers to Ghana & Kenya



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In the average bank today, the process to open a corporate bank account for a business is a very long one and the documents requested are numerous. These documents include the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) documents, Power Supply Bill and identification documents. For some banks, much more information is  requested.

Created by Nigerians, the platform is totally free to use and has extra features such as Invoicing which allows you to basically request money from anyone or create invoices to pay your employees. With human support 365 days a year, businesses can later upgrade to enjoy premium features and gain access to additional benefits.

Prospa is a Safe platform with its company, Prospa Technology Limited, duly registered under the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with RC Number: 1594615. Account numbers to all bank accounts opened on the platform are provided by Providus Bank Plc, a company also duly registered under the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with RC Number: 198892 and licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. This puts insurance on all accounts on Prospa up to the NDIC limit. Prospa works with NDIC-insured banks (Providus Bank and Alpha Kapital Microfinance Bank) to store deposits. Prospa also requires HTTPS on all pages, and use HSTS to ensure browsers only ever connect to its servers over a secure connection. The platform never stores or logs user passwords and transactional PIN data in plaintext. It also does not send authentication codes via insecure channels like SMS, encrypts its database and all uploaded images, and employ additional encryption for sensitive data, like transactional PINOne way it does all these is by allowing all members to enable Time-based, One Time Passwords, for two-factor authentication on their account.

 

Unlike local banks, Prospa does not have a physical branch but an office situate at 7b ibiyinka Olorunbe close, Victoria island, Lagos, Nigeria. On average it takes 20 minutes for an account to be approved once you’ve submitted your application. However it can take up to 48 hours if  more information is needed from you. Any Nigerian company registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission can open an account with Prospa. Charities and NGOs can open an account too.
You can also apply from outside Nigeria as long as you have a BVN (Bank Verification Number), a registered Nigerian company and all the required KYC information, you can apply from anywhere in the world. If you are in the UK or US with the required documents and need additional assistance please email us [email protected]

 

It is totally free to open a Prospa account. We do not charge an account opening fee and we do not require you to maintain a monthly minimum balance. What we do charge you can find below
Transfer fees
Amount sending Cost of transfer
₦5,000.00    ₦10.00
₦5,000.01 - ₦50,000.00    ₦25.00
₦50,000.01    ₦50.00
Service usage fees *based on the amount of inflow into your account monthly.
Inflow amount Service Fee
₦0.00 - ₦100,000.00    FREE
₦100,000.01 - ₦500,000.00    ₦3,000.00
₦500,000.01 - ₦10,000,000.00    ₦5,000.00
>₦10,000,000.00    Contact billing
What if my business does more than ₦10,000,000.00 ?
Account upgrades
 

Prospa Thrive

Prospa thrive is a premium service which gives you additional features and benefits for a monthly subscription fee. It offers unlimited sub-accounts, nlimited team members, unlimited additional businesses, seven free transfers per month
Access to legal support (T&C’s apply)
Access to accounting support (T&C’s apply)
Priority support
How much does Prospa Thrive cost ?
Micro + Standard +
₦2,000.00    ₦3,700.00
KYC

What documents do I need ?

BVN, Certificate of incorporation, CAC registration forms, a valid government issued ID for directors (International Passport, Drivers licence, Voters card, National I.D card), TIN number (We can help with this), proof of address (Utility bill), board resolution (you can generate from your Prospa dashboard) and 2 references (You’ll have extended time to provide this)

Why do you need my BVN ?
We use your BVN to verify your identity. When you enter your BVN, the only data we are able to retrieve is your name, date of birth and the mobile phone number attached to your BVN. We do not have access to any of your bank accounts, transaction history or other sensitive financial data.
The last 4 digits of my BVN says not matching ?
If you are sure you are entering the correct 4 digits, you will need to go to the bank branch where you registered your BVN and ask for assistance as we have no control over the data returned from your BVN.
I don’t know the phone number connected to my BVN ?
If you have forgotten the number connected to your BVN, you will need to go to the bank branch where you registered your BVN and ask for assistance as we do not have the authority to assist.
I’ve been asked for more information about my business ?
As part of our KYC, we need to know as much detail as possible about your business and the products and services you offer. Once we can confirm these details, your account opening application should be approved.
Account features


I’m interested in partnering with Prospa

We’re always excited to connect with individuals and organisations who share the same mission as us.
 

Prospa, a fintech start-up founded in Nigeria, has long-term plans to serve the diaspora of African entrepreneurs globally.

The company went live in September 2019, and has since been operating on a limited release, onboarding members only. In stealth since its initial launch, Prospa is still growing in Nigeria, where it plans to launch fully “soon”. The start-up’s sweet-spot customers are entrepreneurs and micro-SMEs

According to its co-founder and CEO, Frederik Obasi, Prospa provides the platform, not the bank. As such, the start-up is in partnership with Providus and ReadyCash to fill in for third-party banking. Obasi says Prospa is in the process of getting its own license, but this isn’t to compete with banks – but to expand the scope of its partnerships.

Prospa has members in the UK, the US and Canada – all regions it eventually plans to expand into to serve African entrepreneurs. The start-up has already raised a pre-seed round it has not yet disclosed the value of. One of its backers is New York-based investor Musha Ventures – which also backs Flutterwave, one of Nigeria’s fintech darlings. Angel investors include David Mortamias, the man behind Mava Ventures, and Danu Temelie.

“We’re very specific on the investors being authentic and mission-driven,” says Obasi.

“There’s so much talk about products and money raised. Everyone is hell-bent on creating a new brand. But we want to focus on spurring prosperity in the wider African community.”

Alongside London-born Obasi, Prospa was also co-founded by Chioma Ugo, its head of growth who previously served as parliamentary advisor for UK Labour MP Harriet Harman. As well as its chief technology officer, Rodney Jackson-Cole, who has spent the last ten years building products for start-ups across Africa.
 

Prospa set out to build a platform for African entrepreneurs which manages everything finance-related. The start-up began building out its offering in May 2019.
 

Getting a business account in five minutes sounds straightforward in Europe, but in Africa it’s still done largely in paper-form,” explains Obasi. Rather than replicate an offline bank online, Prospa decided to build out an entire operating system. “We’re essentially a ‘business hub-as-a-service’,” says Obasi. The hub looks beyond simply making a payment, which it has already taken internationally to more than ten countries including the UK, China, the US, and Kenya.

The fintech offers a marketplace to find suppliers, transaction reconciliation, and visualisation on customer transaction histories to analyse best-selling products and the highest spending customers.

The start-up’s sweet-spot customers are entrepreneurs and micro-SMEs which do around a million a year. These businesses can be anything from large machinery importers to make-up artists.

COVID-19 has accelerated Prospa’s growth in this sector. “We had a month where it really hit Nigeria and we were really scared,” says Obasi.

But to Prospa’s surprise, deposits stayed the same during this month, and continued to grow 35-40% afterwards with “next to no marketing”.

More female than male entrepreneurs
Since launching in Nigeria, Prospa has analysed the split of female and male customers. Around 65-70% of its customer base to date is women.

“Women tend to be very entrepreneurial,” says Obasi, who points out that whilst a lot of the highlighted success is male, women are also incredibly hard-working.

Some 40% of Nigerian women are entrepreneurs, according to a BBC Africa report in 2017. This makes sense, considering areas of sub-Saharan Africa have the highest female entrepreneurship rate globally.

Mastercard’s 2017 Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) report found Uganda has the highest percentage (34.8%) of women business owners in the world.

The East African country also has the highest percentage (90.5%) of female entrepreneurs in the world borrowing and saving money to start a business.


The ‘race to Africa’ is misguided
Incumbents, particularly Mastercard and Visa, have noticed the revenue potential in both North and South Africa’s unbanked population. In 2018, Mastercard bought Oltio, a mobile payments start-up, from South Africa’s Standard Bank Group.

And as early as 2013, Visa was partnering with the likes of South African Post Office, Diamond Bank of Nigeria and the Rwandan government for card issuing and electronic payments.

Most recently, US fintech Stripe made its largest purchase yet, acquiring Nigerian payment integration service, Paystack.

Investors from emerging markets have more of a foothold, despite the western buzz surrounding Africa. China, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) finance more than one third of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, according to the World Economic Forum.

And since 2006, Sub-Saharan Africa’s exports to the US have declined by 66%. Whilst exports to the likes of Russia and Turkey have doubled and tripled respectively, according to US think-tank Brookings.


Get Prospa's Competition

Because Prospa partners with incumbent banks, this means its competition isn’t quite like the competition challengers in Europe or the US face. The competition really lies in the Big Techs, the mega platforms. This is because they have micro-sellers using them for marketing. According to her Growth head, Ugo, Prospa is focused on the business community, whilst a lot of other fintechs in countries like Nigeria and Kenya are still focusing on consumers.


Prospa makes its money through a monthly subscription. Each account comes with different services. The start-up also generates revenue on remittances. Membership fees are based on turnover, and Prospa doesn’t charge a membership fee to businesses turning over less than $200 a month.

Finally, Prospa does not offer loans, international transfers (outside the Naira -₦), POS terminals and cards at the moment, but we will in the near future. Also, you cannot deposit cash currently as Prospa accounts suit businesses that collect and make payments through transfers.