Picture: UPSPLASH/NAMNSO UKPANAH
Picture: UPSPLASH/NAMNSO UKPANAH

In this instalment of the African Tech Roundup podcast, Andile Masuku and The Subtext’s Osarumen Osamuyi are joined by Malawian mobile tech entrepreneur, Wiza Jalakasi, to unpack some of the more pertinent fintech industry signals and discuss their implications for the continent’s tech and innovation ecosystem at large.

The last few of months have been rather eventful for Africa’s fintech scene— particularly in Nigeria where Interswitch notably attained unicorn status in November following Visa acquiring 20% of the company for a reported $200m.

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey’s much-publicised visit to Africa in November also did much to put a global spotlight on the continent’s fintech arena, and the subsequent capital raises by OPay (backed by Opera) and PalmPay (backed by Transsion) drew attention to the ongoing race for platform dominance in the space.

Questions discussed in this episode include:

1. Is the hype around Jack Dorsey’s recent Africa visit well-deserved? [12:38]

2. Why might PalmPay’s $40m seed round be the most significant China-related fintech start-up play of late? [25:47]

3. Are aspiring “banks”, such as Google and Facebook, well-positioned to dominate Africa’s fintech industry? [28:52]

4. Is there credence to Jack Dorsey’s citing of bitcoin as a key part of the future of African fintech? [37:55]

5. How significant is the trend towards digital-first and digital-only banks? [50:46]

6. Could the Zimbabwean mobile telco NetOne spark a continental trend by making mobile money transactions free? [1:01:57]

7. How will Google’s new Play Store lending term restrictions for financial services apps impact micro-lenders on the continent? [1:07:34]

This podcast is brought to you by African Tech Roundup in partnership with MultimediaLIVE.  

• African Tech Roundup is a Johannesburg-based media and insights organisation, aka village square, which tracks the progress of Africa’s emerging digital, tech and innovation industries.