Ask anyone in the financial services industry which country has the highest penetration of digital or mobile financial services, and they will typically point to Kenya. The economy of the East African country has been transformed by M-Pesa, launched by mobile network operator Safaricom in 2007. Since then, it has taken financial inclusion in that country from below 10% to well above 70% of the adult population.

But Kenya is not the digital money leader on the continent. Nor is SA. The startling answer is: Zimbabwe. That country's central bank reported in its National Payments System report for the first quarter of this year that a staggering 99.15% of the country's transaction volume for the period was digital...

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