Everything You Need to Know About African Fintech Right Now
By Yomi Kazeem
Africa-focused financial technology startups are, by far, the tech rave of the moment. In each of the last three years, startups in the sector have received more investment than other sectors – and there’s a basis for this.
Across the continent, fintech isn’t so much disrupting traditional financial services as building up a historically underdeveloped industry. By creating a raft of tech-based products and solutions, including mobile money, online payment processing, lending, and investing, these startups are plugging large gaps that exist in local financial service industries.
With around 66% of the adult population in Africa unbanked, the emerging industry has a huge opportunity to drive financial inclusion outside of traditional banking systems. In Kenya, M-Pesa mobile money service has been a runaway success by allowing users to pay bills, and each other, through mobile phones or an agent network, whether or not they have bank accounts. Since launching in 2007, the service has impacted local access to financial products and services: today, financial inclusion in Kenya stands at 83%—up from 27% in 2006.
Photo courtesy of John O’Bryan.