KATE THOMPSON DAVY: Fintechs promise volume and value, if they can just crack informal and African markets
Millions of people, particularly on the continent, still operate outside the formal economy
Fintech continues to be a booming space of start-ups, innovation and tech “solutions”. One of the big claims of the average fintech start-up is the sparkling promise of “financial inclusion”, but finding volume and sustainability in African markets seems to be the ultimate test or barrier for these solutions.
Regarding the data on cash payments and the unbanked it is clear that many millions of people still operate outside the formal economy, particularly in Africa. According to Mastercard research, 95% of all consumer payments in Africa are still being made in cash. And, the African Development Bank Group tells us, more than half of the continent’s adult population lack access to a formal account — whether that’s a standard or traditional bank account, or a mobile money one. This though Africa has experienced the largest uptake of mobile money...