The growth of financial technology has led to an increase in digital activities across Africa. Fintech platforms have used mobile money solutions coupled with strategically placed agents make payments more seamless and reliable in rural areas. Financial inclusion ensures access to savings, loans, insurance, payment transactions, and other services for the unbanked population in a particular area. An IFC report records that about 43% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa are now financially included.
Globally, 69% of adults (about 3.8 billion people) now have a bank account or mobile money agent according to the Global Findex database. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, mobile money transactions contribute close to 10% of the GDP. People use mobile money channels to pay bills, save up and pay for goods and services. Many fintech companies cater to the financial needs of the populace. These firms collaborate to develop solutions and innovations to yield significant inclusion across the continent.
One of such recent collaborations is between Equity Bank Kenya and Safaricom, two giant companies in East Africa. Equity Group Holdings is a financial service company operating in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. It is one of the biggest banks in East and Central Africa with over 13.5 million customers. Safaricom on the other hand, provides telecommunication services across the world.
— Safaricom PLC (@SafaricomPLC) April 29, 2019
They announced plans to create a joint transformation agenda to enable more Kenyans access to fintech solutions. The partners aim to achieve this by exploring regional synergies, building more inclusive financial products and by sharing technical knowledge to build a common approach to fraudulence and cybersecurity. Popularly known for its M-Pesa fintech solution, Safaricom offers over 100 different products to over 30 million customers.
— Equity Bank Kenya (@KeEquityBank) April 29, 2019
At Equity Bank’s Annual General Meeting, Bob Collymore, Safaricom’s CEO said they are driven to explore new ways to provide customers with the best experience on their network. He added that symbiotic partnerships like the one with Equity Bank will unlock new opportunities for the ecosystem to benefit from enriched innovation. Dr James Mwangi, the CEO of Equity Group Holdings said they will continuously champion, collaborate and partner to socially and economically transform the lives and livelihood of customers.
Another collaboration is between Visa and PalmPay. PalmPay is a POS software that uses bitshare Blockchain technology for mobile payments. It offers maximum security, zero risks and protection against fraudulence. Visa is a global payment gateway that enables consumers, businesses and governments to make use of digital currency. This partnership will allow PalmPay to launch mobile wallets in Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania. Customers will be able to transfer funds both online and offline, and also make payments via merchants. Visa cardholders can initiate payments with the mobile app and online by attaching their card details to the PalmPay profile.
These collaborations will see both parties enter into mutually beneficial agreements and also ensure that more people benefit from inclusive financial services. It will help reach unbanked consumers that do not have access to digital financial services across Africa.
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