The FinTech Landscape in Africa shows interesting Trends

Crypto-Currencies pave the way

Africa is becoming an interesting market for crypto-currencies and next-generation peer-to-peer buying and selling of crypto-currencies is becoming a rapidly expanding market.

In a recent article in ITWEB, dated 24 May 2018, it is noted that African virtual currency users are more likely to be male, under 30 years old and a graduate, or studying towards a tertiary qualification.

An American company who has been observing the trends has a platform which accounts for R500 million in transactions per month.  Half of these customers are under 30, with 70% having a tertiary qualification or are studying towards a post-secondary school qualification, with a 65% male, 35% female split.  Crypto-currencies are purchased primarily by bank transfers and gift cards.

A unique characteristic of Africa’s relationship with the crypto-currency technology lies in its use.  Many people in Africa do not have access to the traditional banking system.  Fintech companies with platforms have become enablers for people to trade goods and services and transfer money.

Some Africans are buying crypto-currencies as a hedge against constantly fluctuating local currencies in countries like Nigeria and Zimbabwe.  There is an emerging generation of Africans who are buying crypto-currencies as investment vehicles into promising blockchain start-ups.  The interest in digital currency commerce is spurred by the lower fees, increased transaction speed, safely and currency stability.   For entrepreneurs, crypto-powered merchant accounts have also eased their operational and exporting capabilities.

Africa is seen to be leading the peer-to-peer financial revolution in Africa.  Africa has the advantage over the developed markets.  The expanding middle class has already embraced innovation in banking i.e. most are using mobile banking.  Bitcoin, Ethereum and other virtual currencies are just newer financial instruments.

User Authentication

User Authentication was a hot topic discussed at a recent ITWEB Security Summit and federation services are looking increasingly attractive.  Cyber security has become an increasingly important area of focus as cybercrime threatens the risk of businesses.   Managers need to establish viable strategic direction, ensure compliance and execute cyber security strategy within their organisations.

Innovation Norway South Africa view this as an important area of opportunity for Norwegian companies and we are running our second Global Growth Fintech Programme in Cape Town together with our Kenyan and London Offices.  Please contact Beverley Lewis on for further information.

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