If we had to appreciate progress in Africa, it would be now, because the continent is very quickly adopting new technologies. We believe that there are still huge opportunities just waiting to be exploited. The digital explosion continues to grow. Digital, Big Data, design and the emergence of the Fintech sector are becoming the driving force of the development of the continent.
A unique development model
Now organizations in all sectors and industries need to re-examine their strategies in the light of these new trends. As a result, new types of business are emerging, partnerships are forming, innovation is evolving, and the time has come to harness these trends to create more opportunities.
Africa is in a unique position that will make its development a unique trajectory. As a continent, it remains the leader in mobile money with more than $ 22 billion invested each year and this trend is expected to continue. With improvements in technology capabilities, connectivity and the proliferation of mobile devices, exciting times can be anticipated for the continent’s digital transformation.
The growing use of Big Data, mobile, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, gives businesses the ability to reinvent customer experiences, deliver instant products and services to a wide range of customers. customers at a lower cost.
Other big trends that can not be ignored are the Blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency we have been talking about a lot lately. They are changing the way we think about international payments, trade finance, identity and the future of money itself. Over time the Blockchain will bring transparency, cost reduction and efficiency that organizations have not been able to offer before.
Fintech ecosystem prosperous
That said, emerging technologies have not changed just how Africa does business. The reduction of tariff barriers on technology products has led to the emergence of an ecosystem of successful FinTech small businesses.
In 2016, there was a 33% increase in investments in start-up companies, which generated a turnover of $ 367 million in the sector. Although there is a concentration of Fintech companies around South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, this trend is spreading slowly across the continent.
They seek to address African issues and opportunities, and many of these companies are looking at payments, remittances, identity, financial inclusion, and data mobilization to improve credit ratings and credit. access to basic financial products.
These companies offer not only job creation, new revenue opportunities, and cheaper delivery methods, but they also improve financial inclusion. In 2014, over 60% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa did not have a bank account. FinTech has significantly improved basic access to financial services.
Partnerships and models of business in evolution
The latest World Economic Forum report shows that partnerships with FinTech companies are one of the most important business trends to watch this year. Initially, it was thought that small FinTech companies could disrupt large operators in different areas, but these so-called “enemies” eventually unite to pool their respective strengths and thus achieve mutual benefit.
Through these partnerships and new start-ups, business models are beginning to evolve and will continue to evolve unexpectedly. In this new digital perspective, the payments landscape is evolving and becoming more competitive thanks to start-ups seeking to reduce transaction costs while providing speed and agility to companies operating in the African corridor.
According to PwC Global’s FinTech 2017 report, 82% of the financial institutions surveyed plan to increase their FinTech partnerships over the next three to five years. This will most likely be met with considerable internal resistance, as larger organizations struggle with the new work methods required to effectively partner with agile and fast start-ups. However, the key to success is choosing the right people to work with.
All in all, we cannot ignore digital growth on the continent because it offers a multitude of opportunities to bring banks closer to the unbanked. With financial inclusion at the top of our list of priorities for Africa, we can only be excited about accelerating our digital growth in Africa.