CIO OPINION region ) of payment transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa are still happening in cash . If you attempt to force the move to a digital store of value it is often too much for a financially underserved individual in the region , particularly those who have left their home countries to find work .
Financial inclusion must be seen as a journey , and you start by putting someone in control of their financial destiny without asking them to put their money into something that they don ’ t yet understand , such as the concept of the cloud .
Our market still operates predominantly on 2G mobile connections , which means that USSD is a critical channel . An effective FinTech meets these customers at the touchpoints where they currently transact and then walks them down a path towards understanding mobile use cases . Once the customer understands that they can control a digital transaction , encouraging them to partake in the world of mobile wallets and digital payments becomes a logical progression . into a self-service model where they start taking control of their own financial agenda .
However , there are still millions of people who can ’ t be reached by field agents . It ’ s not fair that they should be excluded because they live in remote regions . They , too , should have access to financial services . A mobile-led risk-based approach represents the solution to finding them and helping them along their financial journeys .
By the very nature of connectivity on this continent , mobile sign-up is a critical entry point to the journey and basic mobile channels need to be available . FinTechs must understand the market , as well as the regulations in various territories , and then address the barriers to sign-up which perpetuate financial exclusion .
Mukuru has taken a dual approach : We look at our core self-service channels and then we look at the limitations of those channels . Due diligence can , and must , be carried out using feature phones , and this allows
This is a blueprint for financial inclusion . If we take Mukuru ’ s experience , and when looking at our 10-million customers and their journeys , by the end of February 2021 , up to 90 % of our customers were signed up through a field agent . Despite this , 80 % of orders were being created through self-service digital channels : 43 % on USSD and 32 % on WhatsApp . This is evidence that if you can create products that customers need , and meet them where they are , you can grow them from a face-to-face , field force model
An effective FinTech meets these customers at the touchpoints where they currently transact and then walks them down a path towards understanding mobile use cases .
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