Digital Payments: A Crucial Step in the Financial Inclusion Endgame

The key barrier on the continent is access, and the issue is twofold: how to bridge the cash to digital cash divide, and financial inclusion By Andy Jury, Group CEO of Mukuru In years gone by, pages such as these have been awash with articles and opinions about fintechs and their potential to drive financial inclusion and improve the lives of millions of unbanked and underserved communities. While these opinions have been crucial in raising awareness, the discussion should now shift to the “how”. How are fintechs driving real, measurable financial inclusion? How are they helping people to help themselves? A financially underserved person that has spent his or her life earning and transacting in cash, largely in an informal ecosystem, needs more than just the concept of “financial inclusion” to truly be included in society and achieve their potential. They need a solution that bridges the divide between cash and digital. To illustrate how different the world is today from, say, 20 short years ago, consider tha in 2004 45% of South Africans were banked.

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