Full analysis of online payments from and within Africa.

By January 1, 2020 Uncategorized

The payments trend in Africa is different. Unlike the western world where there are just a few players in the market for example the US and Europe its predominantly Visa and Mastercard that are the largest players meaning any gateway would easily process payments from all of EU and US by having the 2 integrated. In China its Alipay that serves as the largest player.

  • The Africa payment space is a little different however. The continent has 54 different countries with each of these countries being extremely different from the other when it comes to payments. Lets take an example; In Kenya for example, the preferred mode of payment is MPESA provided by Safaricom,
  • In South Africa, its still EFT that trumps everything else. The bulk of the payments are done using EFT.
  • In Cameroon MTN mobile money and Orange money are the largest players

The payments space creates bulk opportunities for businesses that fall in different segments of the industry. It has become quite lucrative to the extent that even Jack Dorsey the CEO of twitter and square was quoted to want to come to Africa to tap into the opportunity:

According to the Guardian this was quoted:

Twitter chief Jack Dorsey said this week that he plans to move to Africa for up to six months next year. The tech executive announced the planned move following a month-long trip visiting entrepreneurs on the continent.

“Sad to be leaving the continent … for now. Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!),” Dorsey tweeted from Addis Ababa on Wednesday. “Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020. Grateful I was able to experience a small part.”


Payment Gateways :

Payment gateways enable companies/ businesses accept payments for services rendered. For effective operation in Africa a payment gateway must be in position to do the following:

  • Accept payments from several modules that are convenient to the end user i.e mobile money, online banking

This section will address the best possible payment gateways depending on what is being done.

  1. DusuPay: The payment gateway is ideal for international businesses expanding to Africa. The bulk of its customers are gaming/betting, forex and crypto currency clients. The company is already processing payments for multimillion dollar corporations like XM.com and FXTM.com among others. The company integrated mobile payment options from several countries including Mobile money wallets, online banking and cards
  2. Flutterwave: The company facilitates how businesses in Africa accept payments from cards and mobile money
  3. DirectPay online,  the South Africa based payment gateway focused on specific niches of businesses. They thrive based on
  4. PesaPal: The company focuses on instore payments via card readers
  5. Beyonic: This is a local payment processor for mobile money. They are more effecient for local payments as a local bank account or mobile money number is needed to accept payments from any country you are using the service.

Peer to peer Transfer service providers

Africa creates the greatest opportunity for peer to peer transfers. The continent has 54 countries with some of the population being in some desperate zones which creates the need to consistently transfer money across and within the continent. Here are some of the players

  1. Barter by Flutterwave. The company from Nigeria seems to be having quite a hand in the payments space. Their Barter product is a peer to peer payments app now with over 100,000 users
  2. Eversend: The NeoBank Facilitates intra Africa payments and several other financial products through the app

Utilities Payments Providers

The utilities market has become one of the most lucrative markets when it comes to online payments we see a space where rather than send money, many people living in the diaspora simply pay for the utilities

  1. Xente:
  2. Payway

Crypto Currency players

The crypto currency market is growing quite rapidly. We see players on the continent raise more funds being raised and bigger and bigger players extending to Africa. One of the players BitPesa raised $15 million supported by Goldman Sachs a US based investment bank which sends out a statement on the future of the industry. Here is the list of top players in the crypto space in Africa:

  1. BitPesa: The company enables transfers of money through bitcoin.
  2. Tanjalo: The Nigeria
  3. BitcoinZar:
  4. Luno. The South Africa based exchange is one of the largest providers in Southern Africa