Technology Shaping Africa’s Financial Sector

The African financial services industry is rapidly evolving as a result of the advancing technology which is fueling innovation and growth in the sector.

The local retail banking sector is increasingly making use of new technology such as ‘Mobile Money’ platforms. Consumers have started to move away from physical cards, sildenafil and are relying on their mobile phones to conduct day-to-day banking transactions.”

In addition to mobile money solutions, most African countries have made a concerted effort to improve their transactional security by moving from the traditional ‘swipe card’ form of retail banking to chip and pin. Banks in Uganda, the likes of Orient Bank, Standard Chartered , Stanbic and Ecobank among others now offer VISA debit/credit Chip and PIN cards.

According to Sumesh Rahavendra, Vice President of Sales for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, while the sector is mature in most developed countries, it is less saturated in Africa therefore offering many opportunities for new market entrants to challenge the status quo of how business has traditionally been conducted.

“The burgeoning middle class and abundance of SMEs in Africa present great opportunities for financial services companies to provide retail banking services to individuals as well as trade finance to SMEs. With one of the fastest growing middle classes in the world, there is a wave of consumerism for all types of goods and services such as electronics and pharmaceuticals,” Rahavendra said.

The future shape of financial services in Africa 2015(1) report by PwC describes the sector as a marketplace without boundaries. It explains that compared to global markets where the outlook for financial services is more solid, the risk of disruption in traditional African financial services market has triggered the need for entities to reassess their strategies.

“While most international banks are moving towards e-commerce in Africa, a number of local banks however still share information and conduct business with hard copy documentation,” adds Rahavendra.

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