Overview

cahsless payments

INNOVATION OF PAYMENT SYSTEMS AS A DRIVER OF DEVELOPMENT FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the areas in which the evolution of payment systems will be faster and more far-reaching, starting from mobile systems. This is the core of a research paper presented during the second edition of South Africa-Italy Summit (October 1 and 2 – Capetown).

Innovation of payments systems as a driver of development for Sub-Saharan Africa

Secure, fast and efficient payment systems are an essential requirement for the operation and competitiveness of a country and its economy

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the areas in which the evolution of payment systems will be faster and more far-reaching, starting from mobile systems: this was discussed during the second edition of South Africa-Italy Summit.

Digitalization, growing financial interconnectedness and global productivity, investments in innovation and security in the payments industry and new business models between banks and non-bank players are driving the growth of alternative payment instruments to cash.

Globally, transactions utilizing cashless payment instruments are in constant growth: between 2008 and 2013, the value of cashless payments rose from $314 billion (for a total of approx. 270 billion transactions) to nearly $380 billion (366 billion transactions). Forecasts indicate a further increase to the year 2022 of 98.4%, with over 722 billion transactions for a value of $712 trillion.

The benefits connected with cashless payments, as also recognized by governments and international institutions, are multiple: the reduction of the informal economy, consumption stimulus and social inclusion in financial activities.

Thanks to the improvement in the infrastructures, a growing middle class and the boom in e-commerce, Sub-Saharan Africa is exhibiting high levels of growth. Recent studies indicate that, considering the potential of cashless payments (between individuals, with the PA and with businesses), the Sub-Saharan market could be worth over 10 billion dollars in revenues.

South Africa, thanks to its banking and financial infrastructure, leader in the continent, is among the countries with the greatest opportunities along the entire value chain:

  • Already today, 90% of South Africans have a smartphone and 21% of them use mobile banking services.
  • Cashless payments are 43% of total consu­mer payments (which total over $330 billion) with ample margins for growth.
  • Together with Nigeria, it is the market with the greatest e-commerce potential considering that this channel currently amounts to only 1% of total retail sales and that with 70% of Internet users that purchase on-line (or intend doing so), it has the 2nd largest customer base in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • It has one of the best banking systems in the world and it is one of the “ecosystems” that is most rapidly making the cashless transition.

This is the core of a research paper presented during the second edition of South Africa-Italy Summit (October 1 and 2 – Capetown).


Position Paper
Innovation of payment systems as a driver of development
and competitiveness for Sub-Saharan Africa

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