Cash App is a popular app in the US, but is it available elsewhere? What about Africa and Nigeria in particular?
Cash App isn’t available in Nigeria or, in fact, anywhere else except for the US and the UK. Will Cash App ever be available in Nigeria? Probably not.
Keep on reading to find out why Cash App isn’t available in Nigeria and what your alternatives are.
Where is Cash App Available?
Only residents of these two countries that are older than 18 and have a US or UK phone number can open a Cash App account.
Even if you do manage to open a Cash App account by using a VPN, the chances are that your account will be suspended soon.
You also need an American Social Security Number (SSN) in order to verify your account to increase the limits.
Why Isn’t Cash App Available in Nigeria?
In order to download and use Cash App, you have to be a resident of the US or the UK. That we know already. That’s also the main reason why you can’t use it outside of these countries, including other large markets such as the EU, Canada, Australia, and Nigeria.
Will Cash App Ever be Available in Nigeria?
There’s a 99% chance that Cash App will never be available for the people of Nigeria. The company already has tens of millions of users in the United States and has to focus on keeping them as well as trying to acquire new users.
The competition in the US digital banking market is fierce so there’s no time to relax. If the company ever does decide to expand outside of the US and the UK, it will probably go to Canada, the European Union, or Australia first as these markets are much more lucrative than the Nigerian one.
The Best Cash App Alternatives in Nigeria
If you’re disappointed by the fact that Cash App isn’t available for you in Nigeria, you’ll be happy to know there are many Cash App alternatives there.
Some of them are even more capable than Cash App itself. Not that Cash App is some kind of super-app because it very much isn’t.
Here are the best alternatives to Cash App on the Nigerian market today.
ALAT is the first fully digital bank in Nigeria. It is owned and operated by Wema Bank and was launched in 2017. Wema Bank was famously the first bank to bring mobile banking to Nigeria back in 2011.
This caused an upheaval in the Nigerian traditional banking market which happened again when they launched ALAT.
Signing up for ALAT is easy and only takes a couple of minutes. You only need your phone number, BVN, and name and address. To validate your BVN:
- Enter BVN
- Take a selfie
- Take a photo of your signature
However, in the case BVN facial match fails, you’ll get OTP on your phone number that you can use as an alternative for validating BVN.
ALAT comes with an excellent savings account in which you can set up Savings Goals that have a high-interest rate. In fact, the interest rates are around three times higher than those of traditional banks.
On top of that, you can also enroll in an automated savings plan that can net you up to 10% annual interest.
Transferring money and making payments is easy with ALAT because you can fund them with your connected Wema Bank account or some other bank account as well as with your savings in ALAT.
Apart from that, you get a free bank card that you can pick from one of three designs. There’s also a virtual dollar card that lets you convert naira to dollars for purchases and transfers.
Download the ALAT mobile app from Google Play and the App Store.
Same as ALAT, Sparkle offers its customers both personal and business accounts. It’s a “lifestyle and financial ecosystem” launched in 2019 by the former CEO of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie.
Since its launch, Sparkle has handled more than $70 million in transactions, has over 1 billion nairas in deposits, and more than 40,000 customers.
Opening a Sparkle account is easy and will take only minutes to complete on your smartphone. The accounts also come with a breakdown and budgeting feature to give you insight into your spending.
To complete payments and transactions, there are virtual and physical cards at your disposal. You can naturally use both in physical stores or online.
The physical card can be deactivated from within the app if you suspect that you lost it or that someone stole it from you.
With SparklePay, you can send and receive payments by using a generated payment link. Similar to what Cash App has in the United States.
Once you create the special link, you can add a personal message and enter the amount you want to send to someone. The recipient can then open the link via the app or website and access the money they received with ease.
In case you want to save some hard-earned money, Sparkle Stash allows you to personalize your savings plan. You can add a name, photo, and category to your Stash and save by taking a percentage off all your transactions or by saving together with other people you know.
Then there’s the very competitive 3.75% annual interest rate if you have a minimum of ₦100,000 in your Sparkle Stash.
Business customers can access inventory, invoice tools, taxation, and payroll tools using the app or website.
If you ever need assistance there’s an AI lifestyle and financial chatbot, known as Indy, that will answer all your questions. Just like with ALAT, the Sparkle app is also available for iOS and Android operating systems.
Vbank is also known as V by VFD because it’s owned by VFD Microfinance Bank, a member of the VFD Group. This digital banking account offers a variety of products to both personal users as well as businesses.
Vbank gives you a straightforward mobile banking experience through their app as well as zero fees on transactions and payments with no account maintenance fee but with a competitive monthly interest rate on your savings.
Signing up for a Vbank account is very easy as you only need to fill in your phone number, email address, and name. Additionally, you’ll also need BVN, password, and take a photo for verification.
Vbank has one of the best interest rates on a fixed account in Nigeria. With up to 14% interest you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better alternative.
However, even within Vbank there’s an even better alternative because the bank will match 20% of your first contribution towards the chosen target amount and offer an 8% annual compounded interest.
The latest feature that they introduced was the Joint account, for couples or customers who want to easily save together. With the V Joint Account, you can either have multiple cards for the same account or multiple operators for the same account.
Although Cash App isn’t available in Nigeria, we showed you other great alternatives that you can download and use as an alternative to Cash App in Nigeria.
Adrian Volenik is a fintech enthusiast who loves testing and reviewing digital banking apps and financial products in general. How many digital banking accounts can one man have? Not enough, if you ask Adrian. As his wallet will soon explode if he doesn’t cut back on the number of cards.