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A Win for Financial Inclusion in Africa

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Mobile money has long supported economic growth for businesses and individuals throughout Africa, and financial players are looking to further strengthen digital payment rails across the continent. MFS Africa—a leading fintech with the largest mobile money footprint in Africa—has partnered with Ripple to streamline real-time mobile payments for their customers across 35 countries.

There is a growing population of both individuals and, in turn, mobile money users throughout Africa. As the region continues to develop and solidify its place within the global economy, it’s imperative that capital can move as seamlessly as information moves today. Investment in efficient payment solutions throughout the region can create sustainable, consistent support while affording entire communities autonomy over their own economic future.

Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution reduces the frictions and bottlenecks associated with sending money across borders via legacy payment rails, like expensive fees, slow payment settlement times, and even access to a physical bank branch. According to the UN, Africa boasts a $2.7T market opportunity—the largest driver of business growth worldwide—and innovative digital payment rails can make this a reality.

While mobile money users in Africa have grown exponentially in recent years, the number of users worldwide is expected to reach 70% of the global population. These users largely reside in frontier markets in Asia-Pacific and Africa—markets that often struggle with liquidity sourcing, which provides ample opportunity for crypto solutions like ODL to buttress businesses that cannot source capital via traditional sources.

The constraints and burdens of existing financial systems have impeded otherwise sound businesses and economies from development, withholding millions of individuals from financial equity and innovation. But Ripple has long underscored the importance of global financial inclusion in building its global network for a world without economic borders. 

“MFS Africa’s mission is to make borders matter less when it comes to payment within, to, and from Africa. We’re delighted to advance this mission through our partnership with Ripple to enable fast, secure and low-cost remittances, at scale. The Ripple MFS Africa partnership represents a confident, important and bold first step for our crypto strategy to leverage blockchain technologies to amplify our impact on consumers and businesses on the continent. growth in a new economy,” said Dare Okoudjou, CEO at MFS Africa.

Africa’s younger population in particular has seen a burgeoning interest in mobile devices, connecting them to the broader online community and offering a new way to process ATM transactions. Mobile phones also act as an entryway for rural communities to engage with these online resources. Nigeria has recognized this impact and has reduced the nation’s sales tax on these devices, increasing sales by more than 200%.

MFS Africa connects more than 400 million mobile wallets across 35 African countries while operating upwards of 800 payment corridors across the continent. The entire region stands to reap the financially inclusive benefits as the partnership between MFS Africa and Ripple evolves.

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