Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|June 2, 2021|4 Minutes|In Editor's Desk

Editor’s Desk

 Fintech to favour the brave.

There is a new cool in Africa that can change your life and garner billions in investment – why not? It is called fintech and it is Africa’s current hot property among start-ups. It is leapfrogging the vast infrastructure gaps in Africa, that threaten to swallow up business in uncertain world of shaky economies; it is a way business can by-pass the paralysis of COVID-19.

Just take a look at the newest unicorn – that is, a private start-up worth $1 billion – in Africa. 

Chipper Cash is the brainchild of Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled and Ugandan Ham Serunjogi, who founded the company in San Francisco, in 2018. They have already raised $30 billion in funding and gained the backing of Jeff Bezos.

Chipper Cash certainly lives up to its name with the cheerfulness it has shown in tackling a market head one in the midst of a pandemic, to help people circumnavigate the shut downs. It can also be pleased about its timing – offering cross border payments at a time when the African Continental Free Trade Area wants to open up trade on the continent. Surely, a solution that has found its time when cross border transactions are needed more than ever. 

The company offers free mobile-based payment system that operate in: Ghana; Uganda; Nigeria; Tanzania; Rwanda; South Africa and Kenya. It also runs a parallel app, Chipper Checkout, which is a fee-based merchant-focused payment product, that supports Chipper Cash, with three million users making an average of 80,000 transactions-a-day.

This is a business that is only going to get bigger and better in Africa. Day-by-day fibre rolls out connecting more and more Africans to the internet, who want to transact. It is market likely to expand as technology gets cheaper and more sophisticated in continent where most people are hungry for connections.

The International Finance Corporation predicts the Africa internet economy will be worth $180 billion, by 2025, and $712 billion by 2050. I think that is probably a conservative estimate, given the relentless march of technology and the way the impact of the mobile phone was underestimated 25 years ago. Fintech may boom even more through technology we haven’t even heard of yet! 

In decades past, bright, ambitious, young Africans used to aspire to become a teacher, a policeman, a top civil servant or, if they weren’t so bright, a politician, to make their mark. Remember the words of Mark Twain that a politician and a baby’s nappy have to be changed frequently for the same reason.  

In the 21st century, fintech is likely to spawn a new generation of billionaires from Africa. Through the gloom of the pandemic, a brighter, clue, sky is the limit for those with the acumen, drive and confidence to make finance and technology work for them and for their people. Fintech, surely, will favour the brave.   

Picture Credit