Mountaga Diop, founder & CEO of Ethiopian based mobile payments solutions company, BelCash, says everyone benefits when unbanked and underbanked communities have access to digital financial services.
Diop was commenting ahead of his participation at this year's Ethico Live Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia event, scheduled to take place at the Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa on 3 November.
He said leaders will be seeking "to harness the growing momentum around digital financial services into more inclusive and productive economies across Sub‐Saharan Africa."
According to Ethico Live, FinTech players are increasingly becoming an important part of the fabric of Africa's financial services ecosystem. "Leading banks on the continent are now more urgently seeking to harness technology innovations, collaborate with FinTech start‐ups, and create a platform to scale much faster."
The UK-based company says FinTech players have the ability to accelerate the digital transformation of financial services in Africa due to their potent blend of trail‐blazing technology and disruptive innovation. "In turn, they can further spur incumbent banks to rapidly ramp‐up their own innovation initiatives to meet the financial needs of underserved markets across the continent.
"The impact of blockchain, open banking, mobile money and payments innovation are radically transforming the financial services landscape as FinTech disruptors intensify the challenge to incumbent banks in Africa and kick-start new opportunities."
According to Disrupt Africa's Finnovating for Africa: Exploring the African Fintech Ecosystem Report 2017, payments and remittances start-ups account for the majority of Africa's over 300 FinTech start-ups, though blockchain companies are the more likely to secure funding.
Disrupt Africa found that FinTech start-ups are spread across the continent, with the Southern, West and East African regions equally active, while North Africa lags behind.
South Africa was seen as the top destination for FinTech start-up activity – home to 31.2% of the continent's FinTech start-ups – while Nigeria and Kenya followed in second and third place respectively.
In the report, Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder of Disrupt Africa notes that "with so many of Africa's citizens still without access to basic financial services, the work being done by the continent's FinTech innovators is of crucial importance and impact."