10 FinTechs Driving Africa’s Payments Industry


FinTech Africa has recently announced its 2016 winners. We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight a few companies that we think are working on very exciting things.

M-Pesa is a money-transfer system (developed by Safaricom in Kenya) which uses SIM-operated mobile phones to deposit and withdraw money from an account created by a mobile service provider. It can also be used in the transfer of money as well as for paying goods and services, instead of using cash.

BitPesa is a pan-African platform redefining how businesses make payments to and from sub-Saharan Africa. BitPesa exchange Bitcoins for Nigerian Naira, Kenyan, Tanzanian and Ugandan shillings, which are delivered to bank accounts and mobile money platforms in the respective countries.

MyBucks is a virtual-based platform which is oriented towards virtual banking with services such as lending, insurance, mobile banking, as well as depositing and withdrawing money in banks accounts. Access is through any Internet-connected computer, mobile phones, and internet service points. Transactions are completed within fifteen minutes of approval leading to a timely and efficient service.

Shepherd Financial Services is an online-based payments platform used primarily as a trust account in business transactions. In particular, it holds funds from a buyer until the buyer is satisfied with the condition of the goods being sold. After making sure the goods are in the right condition, the buyer authorises the company to release the funds for the transaction, thus ensuring accountability from both the seller and the buyer.

SimplePay is a Nigerian-based online payment processing service that integrates with leading card and switch companies to provide fast, efficient and accountable services. Also, intends to integrate physical point-of-sale (POS) locations as well as establish mobile phone POS applications to increase penetration as well as provide timely and high-quality payment services. It can also link with bank accounts hence ensuring fast and reliable services.

Cellulant is a mobile-based payments structure which is spread all over Africa. It offers a fast and reliable payments solution by connecting buyers and sellers in one online marketplace thus reducing on wastage of time and resources. Its network includes banks, mobiles operators, business people, as well as businesspeople giving it exposure to over 40 million consumers in Africa.

IMB is a financial services provider which seeks to serve customers who are neglected by larger organisations due to their low-income levels. In particular, IMB utilises creative thinking, innovations, and community participation to create products geared towards individuals at the grassroots. By using mobile technology, it seeks to assist ordinary people to become entrepreneurs who can also aid the community in general.

FarmDrive is a Kenyan-based social venture that seeks to serve the unbanked population as well as smallholder farmers by providing them with means to access credit. It also works in cooperation with financial institutions to give out cost-effective agricultural loans. It utilises mobile phone technology to enhance penetration into less connected areas thus increasing its client base as well as assisting farmers in those areas gain access to financial services.

Merchant Capital is a South-African based financial services provider that grants micro, small, and medium enterprises unsecured cash advances in case they are unable to access conventional loan facilities. In granting the cash advances, it advises the enterprises to use the fund for growth and expansion so as to grow the business operations. The cash advances are granted within 24-48 hours to qualifying enterprises in exchange for fixed percentage (ranging between 5-15%) of future debit or credit card revenue.

Jumo is a mobile-based financial services structure that it linked to numerous mobile money businesses and platforms. By using JUMO, an individual can have real-time access to credit, deposits, withdrawals, and savings. Subsequently, the individual can make sound financial choices regarding personal life or business operations.

OsusuMobile is a mobile phone-based financial services platform that has enhances accessibility and convenience of financial services. In this regard, it focuses on making people save more through their cell phones (in a fast and efficient manner) which increase their credit-worthiness in the case of the need for emergency credit or loan.

Adel Shahin

Adel Shahin


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