M-Pesa sparks African fintech, unlocking new possibilities with innovation in accessibility.

January 18, 2024
1 min read

Fintech in Africa has primarily been focused on solving issues of accessibility to basic financial services. However, as the necessary infrastructure, such as mobile money services, is now in place, there is room for further innovation in the sector. The African fintech sector has seen significant growth in recent years, with 678 active fintech ventures tracked in a 2023 report by Disrupt Africa. These ventures have raised a total of $3.6 billion in funding, three times more than any other sector. Financial exclusion is a significant issue in Africa, with over 350 million adults in Sub-Saharan Africa living without a bank account. Fintechs have emerged as a solution, offering access to payments, lending, credit, and insurance services. However, there are still challenges in providing access to financial services, particularly for businesses and for making international payments. The success of M-Pesa, which allowed individuals to send money using their mobile number, has inspired further innovation in the fintech sector. Companies are now building on top of the M-Pesa network to offer a wider range of financial services. While the focus of fintech in Africa was initially on access to payments, the sector is now expanding to offer other products and services, such as credit and insurance. The development of infrastructure by companies like Paystack and Flutterwave has allowed entrepreneurs to focus on building alternative solutions. There is also a growing focus on niche players that specialize in certain industries or specific aspects of the value chain. Overall, the African fintech sector is driving financial inclusion in the region and has the potential to solve many of the challenges faced by individuals and businesses in accessing financial services.

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