In recent years, African countries such as South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria have become financial technology hubs. African Fintech development wave is built on mobile phones. Following the underdevelopment in this continent, they have developed cheap Fintech platforms accessible to most residents.
Branch is one of the giant Fintech companies in Africa. It is a mobile lending application developed in Nigeria. The company has raised over $250m in funding and has loaned about $300m to its customers. Recent reports show financial technology companies and investments in Nigeria have grown by 197% in the last three years.
Additionally, Kenya is one of the leading countries in terms of financial technology in Africa. The use of mobile phones here has skyrocketed in recent years, which was followed by Fintech innovation. Safaricom PLC is a telecommunication company that led this innovation by introducing the M-PESA money transfer platform in 2007. This service functions as a limited mobile bank, but it does not require an internet connection to operate. It uses similar technology as text message services, and in recent years, it has expanded to other African countries.
More so, Fintech companies have extensively penetrated South Africa than most countries in Africa. 94% of the residents have access to the internet, surpassing most African countries. Studies have shown that 64% of South Africans have bank accounts and more than 90 % have mobile phones. More importantly, Jumo is an African mobile banking application used by people that do not use banks. This application was developed to use advanced data science to provide financial services to its customers. It has spread in other African countries and beyond Africa, as it is now used in the Asian market.
Furthermore, Egypt is one of the most digitally developed countries in the northern part of Africa and has the most prominent banking sector. Fintech has brought financial inclusion to the country. They have developed new banking laws that regulate the country’s central bank and the entire banking sector.
Fintech companies have played a significant role in uniting the African continent. This development will have a positive impact on the economic growth of this continent. This new wave of technology will elevate most Africans from extreme poverty and improve their living standards.