Fintech Advances Under COVID – Moving Towards a Cashless Society.
COVID has stimulated major moves forward in Fintech throughout the continent. In November, I was a panelist at the African Fintech Summit on the Ecommerce panel (video clip HERE ). The father of mobile money, M-Pesa is planning a consumer “lifestyle” offering as it seeks to deepen clients’ use of its mobile-money application. The offer, planned within the next 12 months, will probably be launched first in Kenya and then extended to other African markets. The M-Pesa mobile-money service, founded in 2007 by Vodafone and Safaricom, is used by over 200,000 African businesses to make payments. M-Pesa plans to provide tools that can help SMEs to track and manage their cash inflows and payments, as well as support them in accounting, inventory and supply-chain management.
Meanwhile, Liberia has become a leading country in Africa to move from cash to mobile money wallets, with 2 developments – TipMe, an electronic payment service provider, has launched to provide individuals and businesses access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs, and Lonestar Cell MTN, Liberia’s leading GSM and Mobile Financial Services company, has partnered with WorldRemit to make it possible for Mobile Money customers to receive international remittances straight to their Lonestar Cell MTN Mobile Money accounts, free of charge. In Rwanda, government has provided all its taxi drivers with online banking terminuses to ensure cashless payments in taxis during the pandemic. And Egypt saw a 156% increase in the number of electronic transactions in October compared to March 2020. A National Telecoms Regulatory Authority (NTRA) report recorded an increase from 3.9 million electronic transactions in March 2020 to 9.9 million in October.
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