How Nigeria’s Earnipay is assisting wage earners in gaining access to on-demand salaries


After receiving a US$4 million funding round, Earnipay, a Nigerian fintech business that gives income earners flexible and on-demand salary access, is currently rapidly scaling.

Earnipay was established by Nonso Onwuzulike in 2019 and connects payroll and HRM systems for employers to provide on-demand financing for workers to obtain their earned wage immediately and interest-free.

With no longer needing salary advances or exploitative payday loans with high interest rates, this solution helps businesses increase employee engagement and productivity.

In the beginning, Onwuzulike created Earnipay to solve the high staff turnover rate at his recycling business. Productivity improved and employee retention increased after switching from a monthly payment schedule to a more flexible system that offered weekly or biweekly payments.

To determine their financial demands and employer answers to those needs, he next polled 100 formal employees in his network.

“At first, Earnipay was intended to be a solution for wage advances, similar to those already available in Nigeria, some of which were offered by conventional banks. However, Earnipay’s focus changed after 90% of the employees who responded to the study indicated a preference for flexible access to accrued income, Onwuzulike stated.

Earnipay became Nigeria’s first on-demand pay provider in January 2022 after beta testing and development since September 2021, giving workers flexible access to their earned income at any time of the month.

Earnipay aims to improve employee benefits and address typical payroll processing issues, such as payment reconciliation and benefit distribution, by collaborating with HR departments and business owners, according to Onwuzulike.

“Earnipay expanded its scope to provide comprehensive business solutions, addressing financial, people operations, and employee benefits challenges,” says the company. “Recognizing that businesses also faced financial shortfalls and lengthy wait times between customer payments.”

The product line from Earnipay is intended to increase staff retention, productivity, and overall business growth. Financing, people operations solutions, and financial wellness solutions are included in the services in addition to on-demand pay.

Onwuzulike said the firm has expanded more slowly than anticipated because on-demand pay was a relatively new concept in Nigeria and Earnipay was a “pioneer in the space” when it closed a seed round of US$4 million in February of last year to scale its offering.

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“Despite the obvious benefits of having access to their wages at any time for bill payments, investments, and other purposes, Nigerian employees were used to receiving their salary at the end of the month. We concentrated on educating the market in order to enable a change in thinking, Onwuzulike remarked.

“Our committed team, which consists of experts in sales, customer experience, product, engineering, and marketing, has toiled assiduously to create a trustworthy product that employees can rely on. We now have a growing pipeline of companies that we are onboarding as a result.

The demand for the company’s expanded product offerings has increased, according to Onwuzulike, following the company’s rebranding earlier this year to include finance, people operations, and employee benefits solutions.

Since there is a high demand for Earnipay’s services and a healthy pipeline of clients willing to use these new goods, he declared, “We plan to launch additional products shortly.”

Earnipay currently operates in all 36 states of Nigeria, serving the local market.

“We are fortunate to also have a variety of outsourcing and recruiting companies with personnel spread out across the nation in our customer base. We intend to extend our reach in the future to encompass the Francophone nations and areas of Northern Africa,” added Onwuzulike.

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