Africa: Fintech revenues will grow 13-fold to $65 bln by 2030, report estimates

Wednesday, 17 May 2023 15:39
Africa: Fintech revenues will grow 13-fold to $65 bln by 2030, report estimates

(Ecofin Agency) - The expected boom in the African fintech industry will be fueled primarily by low banking rates, high population growth, and the high proportion of the young population on the continent. 

The combined revenue of African financial technology (fintech) startups is expected to grow 13-fold between 2021 and 2030, according to a report released on May 3 by Boston Consulting Group and QED Investors, a U.S.-based venture capital firm focused on investing in financial technology.

Entitled "Global Fintech 2023: Reimagining the Future of Finance," the report states that revenues from the startups revolutionizing African finance are expected to grow at an average annual rate of 32% by the end of the current decade, the highest growth rate in the world.

The expected boom in Africa's burgeoning fintech sector will be fueled primarily by low banking rates, the high proportion of young people in the general population, and the continent's projected demographic explosion. 

Fintech solutions can indeed help solve issues related to access to financial services in Africa,  where two-thirds of the population is unbanked or underbanked. 

The solutions may thus be most Africans' first interaction with the financial services sector. This is a major opportunity in the payment and lending segments for local fintech startups with comprehensive business models. Telecom financial service providers, like M-Pesa (Kenya), which have historically driven the industry boom on the continent, are likely to maintain their dominance.

On the other hand, Africa is the continent with the youngest population with median age being 19 years.  Its population is also expected to grow by an additional 1.2 billion people by 2050, which will increase the market for access to financial services.  

Given the size of their populations and their already developed ecosystems, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya will be the main drivers of the fintech sector on the continent.

Strong industry fundamentals

Globally, fintech revenues are expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2030, roughly six times the $245 billion in 2021. Asia-Pacific is expected to overtake North America as the world's largest fintech revenue region by the end of this decade ($600 billion in 2030), thanks in part to the rapid development of the sector in China, India, and Southeast Asian countries. It will be followed by North America ($520 billion in revenues in 2030), Europe ($190 billion), Latin America ($125 billion), and Africa ($65 billion).

The report further highlights that 2021 was a record year for the fintech industry. That year, “fintechs represented roughly 9% of all financial services valuations globally, with public valuations reaching $1.3 trillion.” 

Two mega-fintechs, PayPal and Ant Group (formerly Ant Financial), also made it to the top 10 largest financial services firms in the world by market capitalization.

Since April 2022, however, fintechs have lost more than 60% of their market value, a drop that Boston Consulting Group and QED Investors consider a "short-term correction within a positive long-term trajectory" as the sector's fundamentals remain strong, particularly in emerging markets. More than 1.5 billion adults worldwide remain unbanked, with an additional 2.8 billion underbanked (defined as not having a credit card according to World Bank criteria). In addition, nearly 44% of the global adult population still relies heavily on cash for important transactions. 

At the same time, 89% of people over the age of 18 use cell phones as technological advances continue to generate new use cases by leaps and bounds.


Public Management

ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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