“Africa rising” has been the mantra of the last decade and is certainly true concerning the “fintech” industry. The booming local financial technology industry is leapfrogging the continent in a category largely ignored by the developed world.
Last year, the Bank of Ghana’s Payment Systems Statistics valued the worth of mobile money transactions at over 78 billion Cedis – a significant increase over 35 billion Cedis in 2015. Beyond the larger macroeconomic gains of financial inclusion and the capture of hitherto informal transactions lost to the taxman, there are truths of lives made better.
At the forefront of the burgeoning fintech success story are companies such as expressPay, locally founded and ambitiously pushing the envelope to bring their customers financial solutions that truly serve their needs. However, in spite of these positive trends, industry watchers question whether the fintech boom will outlast its growth and go maintstream.
expressPay’s CEO, Curtis Vanderpuije believes the fintech industry is experiencing a complex growth spurt characterized by exciting gains yet growing pains. He finds the growing pains are challenges necessary to guarantee the future success of the fintech industry. With each challenge comes an innovative solution and a better platform. His definition of success is a time when cash-lite, mobile transactions become the standard for ordinary Ghanaians and Africans. To him, the biggest challenge is getting consumers to embrace these exciting new solutions and ditch cash.
Fintechs like expressPay have to be innovative and provide a unique service experience in order to become the go-to choice for consumers. Beyond instant airtime topups, instant internet payments, instant paid TV payments, etc.,expressPay pioneered innovative solutions in the money transfer space. The platform offers an interoperable solution enabling their customers to move funds from banks to any of the mobile money schemes or even across all mobile money platforms.
The usability of fintech apps must encourage and not deter users. “Payments should be simple. We believe our users must navigate our app easily, hence our focus on user experience,” said Curtis, championing his app’s ease of use.
“The fintech space is vibrant and we’re proud to say expressPay has been a strong player from the start. It’s been a remarkable journey, and we’re only getting started. We’ve had to learn the unique characteristics of our users. What forms the basis of our work is the drive to ensure our customers find expressPay a convenient cash-lite solution that improves their lives” Curtis said.
Kenya and Tanzania, the most successful Mobile Money markets in Africa are leading the way and are turning their economies truly cash-lite.
Continuous innovation by Ghanaian fintechs like expressPay means it will only get better – seamless payments across all segments of the economy, making business swift, efficient and ultimately bringing more people into the digital era. Industry watchers can rest easy that several years down the line, they will be commenting on the explosive success of Ghanaian fintechs and their positive impact on the economy.