Across the continent, fintech isn’t so much disrupting traditional financial services as building up a historically underdeveloped industry and driving financial inclusion outside the traditional banking systems. In recent years, Africa has witnessed impressive gains in the development of digital financial services (DFS) for financial inclusion.
By creating a pool of tech-based products and solutions that focus strongly on including and catering to as many people as possible, including mobile money (now used in over 30 countries across the continent), online payment processing, lending, and investing, the fintech startups are plugging large gaps that exist in local financial service industries. In a bid to curb the spread of the virus, the World Health Organisation has been cautioning against the use of hard currency and encouraging digital payments. Even with all the fintech solutions, it is still a challenge in a continent where around 66% of the adult population in
Africa remains unbanked. Could the coronavirus pandemic provide the trigger that pushes Africa towards becoming a digital economy? What pre-existing conditions have become the crucial building blocks that will foster this?