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The year 2016 was a pivotal one for electronic payments as for the first time such payments surpassed the use of cash.
The change has taken place on the back of non-traditional players having injected new ideas and technologies into the traditional payments ecosystem, further expanding the reach of digital payments around the world – and increasing consumer expectations for seamless experiences.
What has emerged as a result are economies that are increasingly cashless, with an anytime, anywhere commerce mindset.
As payments become untethered from a place or point of sale (POS) and become increasingly embedded in apps, devices, appliances and the growing Internet of Things (IoT) universe more and more opportunities are created for innovators to solve for local challenges.
Fintechs in Africa are making incredible strides, not only to bring more convenience to consumers, but also to enable people who would not otherwise have access to financial services a way to connect to the formal banking system.
Venture capital for African startups jumped by 51% to $195-million in 2017 and fintech in Africa is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years as it continues to disrupt the traditional financial sector.
As an increasing number of non-traditional players are moving to solve local solutions in Africa — like microfinance and remittance — mobile apps may help solve challenges such as the secure identification of individuals.
This could significantly lower the eligibility barriers for people who may not currently have access to financial service solutions that could radically impact and improve their lives.
We know that in Africa there are many challenges that need to be overcome such as poor connectivity, financial knowledge and adoption and scalability of products that could potentially shift the needle.
Alongside this innovation platforms like Visa’s Everywhere Initiative have launched to galvanise the fintech community to create solutions that make people’s lives easier.
One of the challenges specifically addressed Financial Inclusion calling on startups to leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system.
The startup with the winning submission will be awarded up to $50 000 plus the potential opportunity to work with Visa.
Startups in the Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) region that are interested in submitting their entries have until Thursday, 31 May 2018. Submit your proposal here. If you need help or have any feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image: hnijssen via Pixabay
This article was sponsored by Visa.