Fintech in Africa to reach US$ 3 billion by 2020

Fintech in Africa to grow from around US$ 200 million currently to US$ 3 billion by 2020, according to Nshuti Lucy Mbabazi, Assistant Vice President, Push Payments for the Ecobank Group.

A statement she made at the Africa Tech summit currently taking place in Kigali, Rwanda where she would be take part in a panel looking at delivering a cashless society in Africa. According to Ecobank, “millions of people in Africa now have access to financial systems thanks to cashless systems using digital technology, and more and more people are seeing the benefits of mobile banking.”

Africa is now at the forefront of fintech with 57.6% of the world’s 174 million active registered mobile money accounts (100.1 million) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Rwanda, where the summit is taking place, has the second highest use of mobiles in Africa, with more than 50% of the population unique subscribers. Kenya has the highest penetration rate of almost 60% of the population.

Read more:

2018 will be the year African fintech takes off

Next year will be a good year for Sub-Saharan Africa. After a challenging 2017 for many of its nations, 2018 will see economic growth return across the continent, gas activity boom and fintech innovation pick up in speed.

So says Ecobank Research as it recently launched the newest version of its yearly Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Guidebook, which provides analysis on African markets for investors and businesses.

The research department of the Pan-African bank forecasts three key trends that will take hold across Africa during the next 12 months. GTR takes a closer look at them.

1. Rebounding economy after a trying year

Low commodity prices have hit many economies across the African continent over the past few years and put the brakes on years of steep growth. But 2018 is expected to be the year that gives African growth a new boost.

“Growth is returning to Africa next year,” Edward George, head of Ecobank Group Research, tells GTR. “Now that doesn’t mean we are seeing these amazing growth rates we saw maybe 10 years ago of up to 5% a year, but growth is definitely returning.”

Read more:

Kenya starts review of microfinance banking law

Kenya has started review of the law on microfinance banking as it seeks to increase their role in providing financial services especially to the increasing number of small and medium scale enterprises, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has said.

Kenya has 13 licensed microfinance banks, with the number expected to increase because of demand for services in the medium term.

CBK in its update released on Monday called for public consultation on the changes in law. Microfinance banks issued loans worth 430 million U.S. dollars in 2017, an increase from 270 million dollars in 2013.

“Following the enactment of the Microfinance Act and Regulations in 2008, the dynamics within the microfinance industry have changed significantly with the industry experiencing growth and transformation. Innovation and dynamism within the microfinance industry has increased and the industry has experienced growth in the number of customers and diversity in the range of services and products provided,” according to the update.

CBK is credited with taking several initiatives that have enabled the number of Kenyans with access to financial services increase to 75 percent by 2016, according to financial access consultancy group FSD Kenya.

“Access to any form of formal financial service has dramatically increased from about 27 percent in 2006 to over 75 percent in 2016,” said FSD Kenya in one of its studies.

Last year, Kenya was ranked top among 26 countries in financial inclusion in a report by Centre for Technology Innovation at U.S-based Brookings Institution.

In addition to licensing of mobile money services like M-Pesa in 2008, which is now being used by 30 million Kenyans, CBK started regulating microfinance banking in the same year in what it says was to “provide a platform for the broadening and deepening of access to financial services throughout Kenya, especially to the low-income populace and small and medium enterprises in urban and rural areas.”

“To support the rapid growth of the microfinance banking industry, the existing microfinance legislative and regulatory framework calls for considerable review to suit the industry’s current realities,” noted the CBK update.

CBK called on the stakeholders in the industry to present their views of the proposed new law and regulations by March 15, to be incorporated in the comprehensive review that will be undertaken in September.

This article was originally published on