Key questions this article answers:

  1. How did PalmPay grow its user base to 25 million in five years? 

  2. What could PalmPay’s future path to profitability look like?

Five years ago, home-grown payment startups dominated Nigeria’s slumbering fintech scene. If you’d told me then that a Chinese-owned fintech app would enter the market and grow to become 5x the size of trendy upstarts like Kuda Bank (by customer count), I’d have laughed you out of town.

Yet here we are in 2023, and PalmPay has done precisely that. A month ago, the digital wallet provider (offering consumer payments, savings and loans) hit 25 million users, up from 100,000 in November 2019. That’s 250x growth in the past five years and a userbase that dwarfs other popular consumer finance apps like PiggyVest (4 million) and Paga (19 million), who’ve been around longer. Despise not humble beginnings!

In today’s article, we’ll follow PalmPay’s growth story, identify the key growth drivers, and what the future holds for achieving profitability.

First, let’s see how PalmPay’s wallet squares up against other competing wallets and traditional incumbents (i.e. banks).

PalmPay vs competition

In Nigeria, PalmPay surpasses other digital wallet providers and traditional incumbents (besides its arch-rival OPay) by user count and agent network size (i.e. agent headcount).

PalmPay’s 25 million users outstrip the