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63 Companies Shaping Africa’s FinTech Ecosystem

Africa is the largest unserved market that has dropped out of sight of the global financial system. Some estimates suggest that there are ~330 million adult Africans, who lack access to formal financial services, which signifies tremendous opportunities for financial technology companies that are ready to embrace them.

There are segments in the financial services industry that are particularly advanced in terms of adoption scale and of attractiveness to entrants. Remittance via mobile has picked up a rapid pace in Africa, with Kenyans using mobile money services for over eight years already; M-Pesa being Kenya’s dominant mobile money provider, the segment allows people to make P2P payments by simply texting.

Africa as a market has all the prerequisites promising to serve as a firm foundation for growth and development. Among the key data points characterizing Africa’s state of financial system, the SWIFT Institute has outlined the following ones:

  • In 47 out of the 89 markets where mobile money is available, both banks and nonbanks are allowed to provide mobile money services.
  • Half of almost 300 million registered mobile money accounts globally are located in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In addition, there are 2.26 million mobile money agents in developing countries around the world, many more than the number of alternative financial access points comprising ATMs (1.38 million), commercial bank branches (524,000), post offices (501,000) and Western Union locations (500,000).

In the face of an outstanding opportunity presented in Africa, an ecosystem of FinTech startups providing services across segments have grown to transform the financial services industry on the continent for inclusive growth (with the support of dedicated accelerators and incubators). Let's look at some interesting representatives of the innovation-rich FinTech ecosystem in Africa:

22Seven is a free budgeting and investing app that helps users manage money more easily and invest it more smartly.

The 3G Direct Pay Group is an online solution for e-commerce, providing merchant services to thousands of travel-related and other businesses, focusing on Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Zanzibar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia and Ethiopia, accepting all major credit ...

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