Practical Insights on Digital Financial Services

digital financial services

African Digital Financial Services

Innovation in digital financial services is allowing Africans to move up the financial services value chain. From mobile money payments, customers in sub-Saharan Africa are gaining access to mobile banking and other online banking services as they open saving accounts, take out loans, purchase insurance, and invest in Government securities or in stock markets with a few touches of their mobile phone.

African FinTech Innovations

New innovations in fintech are proceeding rapidly. New technologies are being developed and implemented on the continent, and they have the potential to yield significant benefits for Africa. Recognizing this, foreign investors have stepped up their backing for African fintech firms, while those firms develop solutions adapted to the region, for example, to cater for the relatively lower internet speed in some areas. The falling price of smartphones will also help the region reap the rewards of internet-based solutions.

African Digital Financial Inclusion

In our new paper, we suggest that the challenge now is for the continent to leverage this success in mobile money. It needs to transition to other fintech services and a digital economy. Greater digital inclusion and innovation will not only spur economic growth but a growth that comes with new jobs—the number one preoccupation on a continent that will see more than half the world’s population growth by 2050.

Africa is well positioned to meet its fintech and digital challenges, and with the right policies in place, it could reap a “digital dividend.”

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