Great opportunity for online payments in Africa

Mobile Payment in Africa by 2025 …

  • 623 million mobile users – GSMA
  • 65% of connections will be via smartphone in Sub-Saharan Africa – GSMA

Africa, home of the future mobile payment

The African continent alone accounts for more than 17% of the world’s population, it is the second most populous continent in the world and the only one whose share of young people continues to grow. Although Africa is both unique and plural, it is no less aware of global trends and developments. From Casablanca to Cape Town, via Dakar, Abidjan and Tunis, Africa stands out for its unique potential.

African perspectives

The African continent is dynamic and its potential remains undeniably important: the rate of urbanisation is constantly growing and the share of the urban population is set to triple by 2050! Digital consumption is closely linked to the development of an urban and mobile population, with consumers living in urban areas spending on average 75% more on goods and services! At the heart of the continent’s digitalisation dynamics, the mobile phone remains the main driver of transformation of the digital landscape in Africa. Whether it is accessing financial services, video content, online games or communicating, the smartphone alone represents the future of digital in Africa.

African specificities

More than in any other region of the world, telecom operators are key players in the evolution of digital cultures in Africa. Through their investments that contribute to the development of digital connectivity in the continent, Africa is experiencing an unprecedented growth dynamic. At the centre of the digital ecosystem, operators embody the possibility of offering dematerialised, adapted, simple and secure payment solutions.

One continent, multiple sub-regions with specific characteristics to address

North Africa, the most connected sub-region on the continent       

Digital development and the digital transformation process make the Maghreb one of the regions in Africa with a considerable lead in terms of connectivity! Although the predominant mobile connection remains 3G, the development of 4G connectivity and the very high smartphone adoption rate make the Maghreb one of the key African regions to address.

West Africa, the sub-region with remarkable potential

Ivory Coast is the most advanced country in West Africa in terms of digital connectivity with a bank card penetration Telecoms infrastructure in West Africa is highly developed. The continent’s low banking rate, combined with the high rate of mobile device ownership, makes West Africa an ideal location for the deployment of Wallets. This sub-region is thus proving to be a particularly rich ground for digital innovations.

Spread of live mobile money services by region in 2020Source : GSMA, Global Mobile Money Data Set

English-speaking Africa, the digital boom in Africa

English-speaking Africa is one of the most dynamic regions of the continent. The digital sector, with its rapid growth, is the backbone of the African economy. Countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa are making this region a real land of opportunity that is attracting more and more renowned international players.

Post-Covid Perspectives

The Coronavirus pandemic had a devastating impact on the global economy. Although the economic forecast has been lowered, the potential of the African economy combined with a strong development of telecommunication infrastructure is driving increased mobile data consumption. This state of affairs points to unprecedented digital growth in Africa in the coming years.

The digital sector is one of the only ones that has not been affected by the crisis that the world is facing. Telecom operators have not reduced their investments in Africa, on the contrary, they are investing more to meet the growing demand! The Covid-19 pandemic has indeed increased data consumption in Africa by an average of 20%.

The key to success in Africa? Telecom payment!

Mobile payment offers a real experience in a continent where this technology is already widely used on a daily basis. Africa is one of the least banked areas on the planet, with over 60% of its population having no access to traditional banking services. Unlike most financial and digital landscapes, telecom payment is not seen in Africa as a complementary solution but as a real necessity. Payment by invoice is an integrated, simple and accessible system that is already used by millions of people across the continent.

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