Fintech expanding rapidly in Africa, Nigeria has over 200 financial technology firms
Over the last year, the Covid-19 pandemic has fueled a shift towards digital banking and mobile money. In Africa, this change in habits has international investors eyeing the lucrative opportunity to bring the unbanked online.
These digital platforms could help expand financial inclusion on the continent, where more than half of people over the age of 15 in sub-Saharan Africa lacked access to a bank or mobile money account as of 2017 according to the World Bank.
Nigeria alone has more than 200 financial technology (fintech) companies, with the sector attracting global interest from companies such as Mastercard and Visa.
According to a recent report from consulting firm McKinsey & Company, funding for Nigerian fintech companies between 2014 and 2019 topped $600 million. In 2019, outside investment in Nigerian fintech startups accounted for a quarter of all funding for tech startups across Africa.
One of the largest deals took place last October, when US-based digital payment powerhouse Stripe acquired Nigeria's Paystack, reportedly for over $200 million. Founded in Lagos in 2015, Paystack says it now has more than 60,000 clients, including corporations like Domino's Pizza and telecom giant MTN.