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Evolving payments landscape in Africa threatens traditional bank account services
Africa’s payments services are rapidly growing, driven by concerted efforts between mobile money operators, banks and fintech as well as regulatory drives to implement real time payment systems, while rise in mobile money accounts and fintech threatens to make traditional bank account services irrelevant.

December 19, 2019 | Faith Masekesa
  • Complexity and cost of immediate payment service have been the key barriers to the participation of banks in the provision of real-time payments
  • Real-Time Clearing in South Africa contributes 2% to total retail payments
  • Mobile Point of Sales have been a significant disruptor in the payments industry as they are relatively affordable compared to the traditional POS systems


In this digital era, organisations are adopting disruptive technologies and digital data to improve their businesses and create new opportunities. However, security and privacy are major challenges of digitalisation. 

Some African fintechs such as ThisIsMe make transactions more secure through the use of identification technology like biometrics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and tamper detection. ThisIsMe’s platform enables businesses to combat cybercrime, to ease customer onboarding and transaction approvals using the fully digitised Know Your Customer and onboarding solution. The fintech held a record for the fastest FICA verification in 2018.

The key drivers of payment innovations in Africa have been financial inclusion and enhancement of customer experience. Cellulant is the first African company to build Augmented Reality powered by “try-on” experiences in Facebook Messenger. It extended its product offerings by including Mula shops on the Mula payment platform Tingg. The application enables customers to shop online, send and receive money and also provides a payment gateway enabling merchants to accept mobile and online payments. 

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Keywords: Payment Services, Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System, Nibss Instant Payment, Mnos, Thisisme, Simbapay, Nampay