Stanbic IBTC Launches ‘Zest’ - A Fintech Subsidiary to Rival Opay, Squad, PalmPay, Others


Stanbic Holdings Plc, the parent company of Stanbic IBTC, has launched its fintech subsidiary, Zest, to change the payment landscape in Nigeria.

Stanbic IBTC Launches ‘Zest’ - A Fintech Subsidiary to Rival Opay, Squad, PalmPay, Others
Stanbic IBTC launches its Fintech Subsidiary, Zest

The bank revealed that it aims to revolutionise payment and online selling in Nigeria. Stanbic IBTC also says it plans to release Zest APIs to the public

At the launch of Zest in Lagos, the Group Chairman of Stanbic Holdings, Basil Omiyi, said the bank aspires to become the leading end-to-end financial services provider for businesses and individuals in Nigeria. 

He stated that the foray into fintech was strategic and stressed the need for a solution-driven orchestrator platform that allows partners to create a holistic ecosystem. 

Omiyi revealed that there are subsidiaries dedicated to the mission, which include banking, pensions, insurance, and asset management. 

According to the IBTC boss, the company obtained regulatory approvals to establish its fintech subsidiary. Omiyi also revealed Zest operates under IBTC Holdings. 

Punch reports that the Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC, Demola Sogunle, said the firm operates with a definitive goal of leveraging global digitization demands to enhance its value proposition. 

Zest CEO Stanley Jacobs outlined the payment company’s innovative approach, stating that it welcomes diverse payment methods to offer businesses its unique APIs for hassle-free integration. Jacob said that Zest is on a mission to liberalize online selling, eliminate barriers, and simplify the process for businesses to establish their online presence. 

ITSALLISAY reported that the financial institution is not the first to launch a fintech company to battle the already entrenched players in the industry. 

Nigerian banks with fintech subsidiaries 

Wema, with its ALAT, GTBank with HabariPay, and Access Bank with Hydrogen Pay, respectively, seek to upstage the big players in the fintech system. 

The top banks are beginning to see results from their spending on fintech. 

In GTCO’s financial report, its fintech firm, Squad, which began operations in June 2022, crossed N200 billion in monthly transactions. Despite tough competition, with about 46 employees, the platform reportedly became profitable in its first month of operations.

Squad’s financials reveal that it recorded a profit before tax of N926 million in the first six months of its operations, while its revenue for the period stood at N1.52 billion. 

Between June and December last year, Guarantee Holding Company revealed that its fintech arm generated about N139.3 billion via its gateway switching system, as international payment transactions in the same period stood at $175.927 million.

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