Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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EXCLUSIVE: Africa’s 2022 Fintech Giants

– Bobby Suman, Fintech Finance

There’s no doubt that Africa is an exciting and evolving hub for Fintech development. Startups continue to thrive, the payments industry is constantly innovating and the relevancy of social media all contribute in producing talented, meaningful and purposeful changes around the continent. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the latest developments from the newest, biggest and most exciting players in Africa 2022 and how far the space can go.

Are 2021’s Industry Leaders Still On Top?

When we talk about successful African fintech ventures, it’s always impossible to not mention how valuable M-Pesa is to the sector. Launched 15 years ago, for many customers it was their first, and often only, access to financial services by essentially bringing a bank account to mobile phones. A truly transformational experience. 2022 still looks to express the same notions, as the company looks to open operations in Ethiopia by May 2022.

Founded in 2016, Flutterwave is an established player which allows individuals and firms to process credit cards and alternative payment options, connecting local and foreign business to their customers. Partnering with Paypal and raising $170million to build out its payment infrastructure last year has paved the way for a strong 2022. 

But are the tides turning? 

Startup Giants On The Rise

Last year, OPay raised approximately $400 million in Series C funding and look set to continue their dominance in 2022. The super app does everything, enabling users to send and receive money across Africa, pay bills, order food and so much more. 

The company has also attained an international money transfer licences and has collabed with WorldRemit. This partnership allows OPay wallet owners to perceive funds from over 50 countries, showing the tremendous convenience and usability of the app. It seems sure that OPay will further empower the lives of its users in 2022. 

PiggyVest, the Nigerian Fintech app, is a startup generating much attention in the savings and investment industry, with over 1 million downloads on the Google Play Store and a total of $480 million saved by users on the platform in 2021. 

Product Marketing Manager at PiggyVest, Peace Obinani, discussed why the startup has been so successful; ‘We channelled our efforts into giving the best customer service, ensuring we are in touch with our customers. We projected ourselves as the fun, relatable brand which drew more people in. This has been the core of our product.’ 

2019 to 2021 has highlighted the importance of having a secure savings pot and communicating how to do so is imperative. “When customers feel like they are “heard” and that they are important, it makes all the difference.” PiggyVest is coming!

Chipper Cash have also taken centre stage in Africa’s fintech scene. The company is poised to dominate the remittance service industry this year after such a successful 2021, launching operations in both the US and the UK to facilitate global remittances to Africa. 

This is a large market, worth $42 billion in 2021, and was no doubt one tested by the pandemic. Chipper Cash looks set to thrive, as they enable free and instant peer-to-peer cross border payments as well as solutions for businesses and merchants to process online and in-store payments. 

CBDCs

On October 25, 2021, Nigeria launched the ‘eNaira’, the country’s own central bank digital currency. The eNaira intends to improve the availability and access to central bank money, support a resilient payments system, encourage financial inclusion, and reduce the cost of processing cash. Will the eNaira take off in 2022? 

Well, the global development of CBDCs in 2022 sees 16 CBDCs in development and a further 15 already being piloted. With there clearly being an emphasis towards CBDCs around the world, it’s hard to think the eNaira, who aim to enable direct welfare disbursement to Nigerian citizens, increase the government’s revenue and tax collections and facilitate diaspora remittances, won’t take off in 2022. 

The Power of Social Media

Paga, a market leader in Nigeria, has been added as a payment provider by Twitter for its ‘Tips’ feature in Nigeria. ‘Tips’ allows users to send and receive money through Twitter by allowing them to add links to select third-party payment services to their profile, which now includes Paga. This is a wonderful blend of embedded financial processes into social media networks that are used by billions throughout the globe. 

Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga, commented that it ‘simplifies payments for individuals and businesses.’’ This is a great advert for furthering the pathways via which people in Africa can get paid conveniently and assisting meaningful economic participation. Paga will also join Chipper Cash in the ‘Tips’ feature – are they another giant on the rise in front of us? I think so!

The Fintech scene in Africa is always bubbling with promise, but that promise seems to constantly be backed by one ingredient; purpose. The purpose behind all of these innovations are genuine, meaningful and a key reason why African Fintech is an area worth celebrating!

 

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