Digital lending companies in Nigeria have revolutionized lending by offering collateral-free loans through their loan apps.
This innovation has seen many Nigerians embracing these platforms as last resort for emergency funding needs.
While there is no doubt that these digital lenders are bridging the gap left by commercial banks in providing quick loans to Nigerians, there have also been concerns over the proliferation of the space by unlicensed companies, otherwise known as loan sharks, who harass and defame their customers to recover loans.
Notwithstanding this challenge, the licensed loan apps continue to render their service within the ambit of the law. Among these are Carbon and Fairmoney, whose apps are up for review and comparison.
Both Carbon and Fairmoney are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide lending services.
They both provide a range of financial services, including personal loans, business loans, payments, funds transfers, credit scoring, savings, and investments.
The two platforms are also insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), which guarantees the security of customers’ deposits with the loan apps.
Features of the apps
Aside from instant loans, on the Carbon app, you can also:
Open an account
Send and receive money to other banks
Get a Carbon debit card
Freeze your card temporarily or permanently, cancel or deactivate your card, reset your card pin, set recurring transactions, and customize the names of your saved beneficiaries, all in your Carbon app.
Enjoy 1% cashback monthly on every card (POS) transaction.
Loan Apps: Carbon vs Fairmoney, Which Is Better?
Earn up to 15.5% interest per annum on your savings.
Aside from the loan feature, on the Fairmoney app, you can also:
Get an account number and use it to receive money from anyone in Nigeria
Add money to your account
Send money to any bank account for FREE
Apply for a loan without collateral and receive it instantly
Pay your online bills
Enjoy discounted airtime and bill payments
Earn daily interest with FairSave with Free withdrawals
Earn interest rates as high as 26% with FairLock (fixed-term deposits).
Both apps have a mix of positive and negative reviews based on the users’ expectations and what they get. Here’s what they are saying about their experience with the apps:
Daniel Marshal feels Carbon is a great app from his experience, even though an important feature is missing from the app. He said:
“Great app. I wish the feature for paying again from a previous transaction can be restored. It used to be there before. It’s usually stressful fishing out account numbers to make transfers.
What is available now is the make recurrent feature which is not very useful for me. Also, the list of recent transactions is too short. It can be made longer to make transfers easier.”
Benjamin Obi is fascinated by the payment method on the Carbon app among other features.
“The app is awesome; their payment method is incredibly amazing. You get instant transfer to your bank account, zero charges for subscriptions, recharge, bills, etc. and it gives you enough time to make up for your loan and reminds you ahead of time also gives you the privilege of payment extension if you could not meet up with the due date. Everything about them is superb,” he said.
However, Pamela Ofuje is not happy with the delay in getting a card issued by the platform and the customer care response. She said:
“I would have rated this app higher but the customer service is slow. I requested a card, I waited weeks for it to be delivered only for my request to be cancelled by the app itself, yet on the card interface, it kept telling me ‘card requested’ and gives me no room to request again. Although my money for requesting the card was refunded, I wrote several emails to customer service but to no avail.”
For Damilola Femi, Fairmoney has been a lifesaver, even though he now has an unpleasant experience on the platform. He said:
“The platform saved me when I needed to augment some stuff but fumbled at a critical stage when it asked me to link my card. I’ve been keeping a good record of repayment before the due dates without using the card as my repayment method.
This last experience is the worst compared to the previous experiences put together. There should be other options aside from adding debit cards. The service is fairly good but needs improvement.”
Judith Okpama, Fairmoney is the only loan app she could trust. She said:
“The app is genuine and reliable. It rescued me from the emergency need for money. I have been using it for more than a year. If you pay early your interest reduces and they increase your loan rate.
This is the only loan app I can trust. But I will advise you to collect the loan amount you can easily pay back.”
Another Fairmoney user, Vera Ben, said she enjoyed using the app, even though she wasn’t offered the actual amount of loan she requested. She said:
This app is wonderful; the customer care is very reliable. Although I wasn’t offered up to 5% of the amount I requested, I’m confident with the services.
You are given the terms and conditions that help you get what you want when you comply and these are favourable.
They have several other ways of helping customers grow their money. Their method of repayment is just okay. In fact, I am at ease with Fairmoney.”
While the two apps are meeting their customers’ needs in terms of providing quick loans, as well as providing savings options, Fairmoney seems better on the technical side with its app coming lighter and having every feature that is on the Carbon app, which is heavier.
But its nonavailability on the iOS Store is a downside, as iPhone users are shut out of the app. Carbon in this regard is open to both Android and iPhone users, which gives it an edge.