The FinTech sector continues to see growth. It’s a juggernaut in Africa that refuses to slow down and it seems that it will be a long while before it actually does. Encouraged by internet penetration and cheaper mobile devices and connections in the last decade, the continent’s local brands have seen remarkable success. As always, Africa Business Ventures keeps a close eye on growing businesses in the continent and has previously written about the latest on-goings things in the FinTech sector.
So, here are the top six innovations in Africa you must know about:
Based in Nairobi, this company provides a consumer catalog order and delivery service aimed at serving consumers in the developing world with emerging markets. The business model of Copia Global has connected Kenya’s consumers who may be unconnected to the internet or banking services. To be precise, this allows the consumers to be able to participate in e-commerce by bringing online shopping to rural areas in Kenya that may not have easy access to shopping sites, e-commerce platform.
The company says it has a robust network of 5,000 community-based agents who get commissions as they place orders on behalf of the customers, serving as delivery persons for them.
Based in Lagos, PiggyVest is aimed at West African millennials saving and investing for their future.
This savings platform enables its users to save by automatically deducting a fixed set of amounts from their accounts at already set periods. This money is then moved into savings or investment accounts, as per the users’ instructions.
The platform has been launching new features, that include providing users a dedicated bank account number, enabling transactions, and an option to invest in US dollars.
This platform converts mobile numbers into Kenyan PO boxes.
So, MPost allows customers to convert their phone numbers into a virtual mailbox at their nearest post office without paying for a fixed PO Box. The platform notifies users when their mail arrives, which they can either pick up or have delivered. Again, the services are a plus for those who are yet to have full access to the internet and its online services.
Offering key insurance services, the Johannesburg-based Lumkani is primarily focussing on South African townships and settlements. The company provides users low-cost insurance services with faster pay-outs.
Lumkani, which started as a hardware company, has now had a built early warning system for fire in South Africa’s townships and settlements, which has paved for mobile-internet-of-things as well. Devices by Lumkani detect temperature changes rather than smoke.
M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer service, payments, and micro-financing service that was the first of its kind when it was launched a decade ago. Its consistent efforts finally seemed to pay off and now the Company is the most widely used service in about a dozen countries in countries.
As per Business Daily Africa, the value of M-Pesa transactions between users in Kenya and outside the country has risen to Sh289.69 billion.
Mobile Shiriki Network (ICT)
Launching itself as a smart solar kiosk, aimed at powering and connecting Africa, the Mobile Shiriki Hub is equipped with solar panels and large capacity batteries, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and a custom-designed router. The kiosks offer services such as device charging, virtual top-ups, and low-cost connectivity options for access to digital content and services.
This model is a plus for those in temporal settlements like refugee camps and also offers partial subsidies to physically challenged women and other groups.
The business-in-a-box with mobile kiosks model is a clever solution aimed at rural populations for digital connectivity services.
It is safe to say that these FinTech solutions have done their homework well and understand the demographic and the local needs. Africa Business Ventures has done similar work in the continent.