The future of digital payments in Africa

In the current digital age, it is incredibly important that retailers provide their customers with intuitive, simple payment platforms to purchase their goods.

As technology continues to develop, newer and better ways to simplify the payment process become available to retailers. At the forefront of enabling these digital payment options is Innervation – South Africa’s leading integrated payments partner and service provider for retailers looking to embrace the innovative and often disruptive payment technologies entering the market.

Innervation has released a White Paper detailing the state of the African payment solution landscape.

Here are some key takeaways from this White Paper.

Opportunities in Africa

According to the African Development Bank, Africa will have the largest working-age population in the world by 2050 – with a total of 1.25 billion citizens between the ages of 15 and 64. Additionally, seven of the 20 fastest-growing economies in the world are African countries.

Despite this, 80 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s working population does not use any banking facilities, while only 5% own a credit card.

This means that there is a big need, as well as a big opportunity, to drive financial inclusion in Africa – with particular attention being paid to sub-Saharan Africa.

Risks of rushing the process

In its White Paper, Innervation outlines the examples of Nigeria and India – both of whom rushed into advanced technological systems too quickly.

However, said Innervation, South Africa has been a great example of how to integrate technology into payment and commerce systems efficiently. This is proven in a study which shows that 45% of the population now uses the Internet to make purchases.

Widespread Internet access has also allowed for the launch of no less than three new South African digital banks in 2019.

The study also highlights that payment technologies are not limited to Internet banking and card payments. Here are some other technologies that Innervation outlines as exciting for the future of digital payments.

· Contactless payment – This refers to technologies such as “tap-and-go,” which allow users to make quick payments without entering passwords.

· Biometrics: Smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Apple have included biometric systems into their “Pay” apps, which currently allow users to make purchases via a fingerprint scanner, with the possibility for iris and voice recognition also to be implemented in the near future.

· Cryptocurrency: Despite the Bitcoin hype cooling off, Innervation still believes that cryptocurrencies will be a valuable payment technology moving forward.

The White Paper also highlights how some big companies have brought powerful payment technologies to a South African audience, including Samsung with its Samsung Pay offering, and Mastercard’s Masterpass.

Future trends to watch

Moving forward, Innervation highlights that there are several trends to keep an eye on.

One of these is the power of mobile. Gartner predicts that there will be over 20 billion devices connected by 2020, which shows how much access businesses will have into customer habits, needs and expectations.

As a result of this, retailers will need to find ways that connect the various shopping experiences, allowing them to create a more complete database of customer habits and desires.

Another trend to watch is the manner by which Fintech “disrupts” the market. Innervation predicts that we are less likely to see the rise of more disruptive companies like Uber and Airbnb. Instead, big businesses will look to form partnerships with promising, disruptive start-ups, as is evidenced by the big banks’ efforts to integrate fintech innovations in their customer offerings.

Innervation believes that data has become the most valuable resource in the world and believes that it can guide the development of market insights and improve operational management.

Innervation’s solutions

Innervation’s payment services offer a wide variety of options to businesses – including card, QR, contactless, and other technologies.

Their solutions are compliant with the most authoritative global standards – including EMV, PCI DSS, PA-DSS, and PCI PED.

The company also offers powerful insights that help businesses to keep track of their quality of service, as well as customer purchase behaviours such as frequency of visits and purchase amounts.

To learn more about their insights and offerings, download their informative White Paper here.