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The Future of Payments in Africa: Predictions for 2023 & Beyond

Boaz Gam

Boaz Gam


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  1. What Is the Current Focus of the African Payments Industry?
  2. Africa’s 5 Key Payment Trends 2023
  3. What Does the Future of Payments in Africa Look Like?

5 Main Payment Trends in Africa 2023

African countries have been drawing an increasing amount of attention from FinTechs and PSPs over the past few years. This is mainly due to the fact that the continent’s payments industry has been undergoing a powerful transformation driven by continuous innovation and regulatory shifts. Due to such promising tendencies, we are sure to see this region gain even more momentum in the future.

Experts predict that 2023 will play a particularly important role in uncovering the potential of Africa’s payments landscape. Read on to find out which trends will be prominent in the local payments sector in the upcoming years and which changes they are expected to drive!

What Is the Current Focus of the African Payments Industry?

5 Main Payment Trends in Africa 2023

Electronic payments are a booming industry globally, attracting the most investments and delivering the highest returns compared to other financial sectors.

In the African region, the e-payments niche has been on the rise since 2000 and, just like in the rest of the world, has taken a leap forward due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, it generated approximately $24 billion in revenues in 2020 and has been keeping up its impressive upward trend ever since.

It is safe to say that an accelerated shift to digital payments was the main focus in the African payments industry also in 2022. What’s more, it will continue being such in the foreseeable future, with the niche market expected to demonstrate a 152% growth index between 2020 and 2025.

Such a persistent striving toward payments digitization is giving way to even more exciting opportunities in the African region. Read ahead to learn which of them will be the most noteworthy next year!

Africa’s 5 Key Payment Trends 2023

The African continent is a highly fragmented market, which means that every particular area there is likely to have its own set of payment trends, based on the local consumer preferences and other relevant factors. However, there are some key tendencies that are forecast to have a high degree of importance across the whole region, namely:

1. QR Code Payments

5 Main Payment Trends in Africa 2023

QR code payments have proven themselves to be very practical throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and don’t seem to be going anywhere in post-pandemic times. In Africa, the growing adoption of this technology is facilitated by big industry players, such as Nedbank, Scan to Pay, and SnapScan.

With the continent’s growing mobile usage and interest in cashless payments, a large number of merchants and consumers are expected to embark on this trend during the upcoming year.

2. Embedded Finance

In the developed world, the transition to embedded finance was achieved through a gradual evolution of financial services. In Africa, on the other hand, the significant share of the unbanked population paired with rising smartphone penetration has made embedded finance the next leapfrog opportunity.

Thus, in 2023, embedded finance is expected to be booming across the region, driven by unprecedented consumer demand.

3. Super Apps

5 Main Payment Trends in Africa 2023

Up to 85% of smartphones imported into Africa are said to be low-end, which forces people to seek ways to save storage and broadband. Due to this, many users give their preference to super apps that enable them to conduct a wide range of activities via a single interface.

In the context of payments, this means that service providers will strive to include functionalities, such as loan applications, bill payments, and eCommerce, into their applications in 2023 and beyond.

4. Payment Orchestration

The African payments landscape is characterized by numerous payment platforms and solutions designed to address the varying needs of businesses and consumers. Thus, companies that wish to process transactions in such a fragmented environment, are forced to work with multiple payment partners.

This situation calls for payment orchestration services to enter the market, and local industry players claim that 2023 will not disappoint in this regard.

5. AI Security Solutions

5 Main Payment Trends in Africa 2023

Africa is home to five of the top ten countries most affected by online fraud. In response to such alarming statistics, many jurisdictions on the continent have placed payment security on top of their 2023 agenda. As a result, AI-based solutions are sure to experience a rise in adoption rates, due to them being the most effective way of preventing and combating fraudulent activity to date.

What Does the Future of Payments in Africa Look Like?

5 Main Payment Trends in Africa 2023

As you can see, the African payments ecosystem is developing at an extremely fast pace, with its course set on digitization, improved interoperability, and advanced security. While there are plenty of challenges on the way to achieving these goals, such as the high percentage of the unbanked population and connectivity issues, the region is still expected to make big progress in 2023.

All in all, Africa boasts plenty of untapped potential that draws the interest of local and international investors. The influx of capital, continuous innovation, and a supportive regulatory environment ensure that the region will enter a new era of frictionless domestic and cross-border transactions and advanced payment solutions in no time.

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