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Saturday 25th March, 2023


Top Five Fintech Predictions For 2020





The last decade has been incredible for Fintech, with advancements being made across a range of areas including retail banking, wealth management and, in particular, payments.

To give some perspective, in 2019 we saw 64% of consumers worldwide using one or more Fintech platforms, nearly twice the amount of those taking advantage of them just two years earlier in 2017.

We also saw the global mobile payments market grow to more than $1 trillion last year, up from $450 billion in 2015.

It’s great to see how far the fintech industry has come but let’s put that reflection on pause and take a look at what we can expect from this year.

There are certainly big changes afoot, as to be expected as we experience the global pandemic, with a clear opportunity for payments and payments related businesses to help make some societal improvements in light of COVID-19. But how is that likely to play out? Here’s a run-down of my 2020 fintech predictions.

Digital banking

The industry has seen a rise in digital banks that tailor their services to a tech-savvy, digitised customer profile. Once perceived as novel and exciting, they are starting to set the standard when it comes to banking.

Initially, digital banking providers found success by offering more convenience and cutting-edge tools to customers. Users no longer need to go to their local branch to make changes and manage accounts, instead they are able to use mobile applications and online banking to do so.

Never before has this convenience been more appreciated by customers, who are adhering to strict social distancing rules and avoiding stepping foot outside unless for absolute necessities.

This is already taking effect on consumer habits and is one of the reasons that we will see visits to bank branches drop 36%, by 2022. In that same period, we will see the number of mobile banking transactions rise to 121%.

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We don’t expect to see challenger banks replacing legacy banks entirely, as there’s a lot to be said for the loyalty and trust that high street banks have built with customers over the years.

Regardless, more and more people are turning to digital banking for at least some of their banking needs, and by the end of this year, we foresee that almost every consumer will have a digital banking profile.

Regulation and Security

One of the most hotly anticipated regulatory changes coming is Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), a requirement of PSD2 for payment service providers within the European Economic Area. SCA intends to crack down on fraud in the payments industry by ensuring merchants use multi-factor authentication on purchases.

The standard was due to go live last year but will now go into effect in December 31st, 2020 in the EU and the 14th September 2021 for the UK. While we won’t see the full effects this regulation until next year, in the meantime we will see Fintechs developing imaginative solutions to ensure their clients are fully compliant ahead of the deadline.

But following reports of an increase in fraud following the onset of COVID-19, the payments industry will need to make implementing increased security options for merchants a priority to combat those taking advantage of the crisis.

Payment Innovations

Over the last few years, the mobile e-wallet industry has boomed; in 2019 alone, around 2.1 billion customers were mobile wallet users. It’s the youngest cohort of shoppers who are driving this payment innovation forward, but adopting these new technologies is no longer just for Generation Z. Due to COVID-19, we’ll see a sharp increase in adoptees of mobile wallets across the age spectrum.

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It has been widely reported that the pandemic has forced consumers to change their payment habits, including the dramatic move away from using cash. Largely, this is due to a reduction in face-to-face payments and customers switching to card payments when they are in store over fears that handling coins and notes could increase exposure to the disease.

Despite the World Health Organisation (WHO) advising that handling cash does not pose more of a health risk than touching any other surface, it was recently reported that the use of cash had halved in the space of a week.

These changing behaviours are accelerating the move away from cash and towards digitalisation, something that has been a long time coming but is now part of a global cultural shift. Not only is it possible that online spending may soon balance out on-premise transactions, but the current climate is providing that final incentive for those slow to make the switch, typically the older generations and those that are in the lower-income bracket.

While the outcome for this year isn’t looking good for cash, it does provide another good opportunity for Fintechs. 

Artificial Intelligence

Efficiency is key for businesses regardless of the sector they are in, but for Fintechs supporting customers with innovative, fast, and secure services in the face of COVID-19, this has never been more important.

As such, they are increasingly looking to AI to help ease their operations, whether that’s dealing with customer demands or cutting down operational costs.

An example of this in action would be the integration of AI into chat boxes. This creates a messaging system that deals with customers queries, designed to mimic and conduct human-like conversations.

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The current pandemic has forced many consumers to shop online and reach out to digital services, and the sudden influx of customers en masse to some of these e-commerce sites will be too much for many businesses to handle.

This is particularly so for those smaller and medium-sized businesses that may not have the manpower to help support them. As such, this year we’ll see companies increasingly turn to AI to alleviate that stress, reduce the burden of manual labour, and increase business efficiencies.


Although there will likely be many positive outcomes for innovation and demand within the payments industry as a result of coronavirus, unfortunately, it will take some hits too.

Investment could drop as companies hold on to their funds to see them through any immediate rough patches, while some larger, enterprise-size organisations could also be feeling the pressure due to fluctuating share prices. As such, we could see traditional players and emerging talent in the space battle for market share amid the changing landscape.

While we no longer have the ability to bank on the future as we once did, which no doubt will bring some uncertainty to players in the payments industry, one thing we can be sure of is that the landscape has shifted, and will continue to shift as the full effects of COVID-19 play out.

The responsibility of the payments industry is to continue to adapt, to enable businesses and consumers to transact securely in a digital arena and to take advantages of new opportunities that will open up as the world comes to terms with a new reality.

*Culled from

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Flutterwave Receives Two Additional Licenses In Rwanda



Flutterwave, Africa’s payments technology company, said it has received its Electronic Money Issuer and Remittance Licenses from the National Bank of Rwanda, which will consequently help the company expand its operations in East Africa.

With these new licenses, in addition to being a Payment Service Provider, Flutterwave can offer money deposit and withdrawal, electronic funds transfer, as well as inbound and outbound remittance services to the 13.46 million people living and working in Rwanda.

According to Rwanda’s National Institute of Statistics, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Rwanda account for about 97% of businesses and contribute almost 55% to the total GDP, making MSMEs critical to job creation and the economic growth of the country.

Flutterwave will be deploying a range of products in Rwanda, including Send by Flutterwave, its cross-border money transfer solution, Flutterwave for Business and its suite of products, including Store, payment links, invoices and checkout to help individuals and businesses in Rwanda make the most of the booming eCommerce market.

Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, commented on the news, “From our first transaction to over 400 million now, we’ve remained committed to our vision of connecting all parts of Africa through payments and connecting Africa to the world.

“As a country well known for fostering innovation and promoting the use of digital technology, Rwanda has always been important to our expansion plans in East Africa. We are delighted for the vote of confidence in being granted these licenses.

“With them, we will leverage our extensive global reach and continuous growth in emerging markets to provide MSMEs in Rwanda with the tools they need to stimulate the economy, facilitate seamless cross-border transactions for Rwandans and support the expansion drive of global and Rwandan businesses.”

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Leah Uwiroheye, Flutterwave’s East Africa Regional Lead, Regulatory and Government Affairs, said, “This is a great achievement for the company. As Rwanda continues executing important reforms to enhance the ease of doing business and implementing its Fintech Strategy 2022-2027, Flutterwave keeps contributing towards achieving a cashless economy by innovating and employing digital technology to support businesses and stimulate the economic growth of countries where we operate.

“The licenses will enable us to provide safe, secure, and seamless payment services for individuals and businesses in Rwanda. This is definitely a starting point for Flutterwave as we continue to expand across East Africa.”

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Flutterwave Granted Regulatory Approval To Operate In Egypt



Flutterwave has obtained licenses to operate in Egypt as a payment service provider, thus allowing the company to start collecting and making local and international payments in the country.

These licenses will allow Flutterwave to deploy Flutterwave for Business suite of products including store, payment links, invoices, and checkout in Egypt.

Flutterwave is one of Africa’s leading fintechs, often cited as the most valuable startup in the region, and has been on an expansion drive lately, setting up operations in various markets.

The firm recently entered the Ethiopian market, enabling users to send money to the country via cash pick-up centres.

Ethiopians in Diaspora can send money home and have the receivers pick up the cash in Dashen bank branches, Amole Agents and Ethiopian postal service offices.

“Our vision is to connect all parts of Africa through payments and connect Africa to the world. This way, it is easier for multinationals expanding into Africa to do so.

“This achievement is yet another step in that direction,” said Flutterwave CEO and founder, Olugbenga GB Agboola.

Aalaa Gamal, Flutterwave’s Regional Manager said, “This is the beginning of other strategic wins in the North Africa and Middle East regions.”

Flutterwave recently announced a partnership with Multichoice Africa to bring back the popular reality TV show, Big Brother Titans.

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Kenya Govt Drops Fraud Charges Against Flutterwave



Bloomberg is reporting that the Kenyan government has dropped charges of financial impropriety against Flutterwave Inc.

This comes about seven months after the High Court froze the company’s money held in different bank accounts over allegations of money laundering.

The money included KSh5.3 billion held at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Sh1.4 billion at Equity bank, and other millions at Ecobank.

In August 2021, a further Sh400.6 million belonging to the company held at UBA, one account at Access Bank and 19 M-Pesa Paybill numbers were also frozen.

The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) had obtained orders to freeze the accounts, saying it was investigating the movement of billions of shillings transacted through Flutterwave.

Flutterwave had also been accused of operating in the country without a valid license by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge.

The fintech, however, said that it applied for a license to operate as a payment service provider in 2019 but it’s yet to receive it from the CBK.

The withdrawal of the charges is a big relief for Flutterwave which is preparing for an initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The Nigerian startup is among the leading fintechs in Africa.

The company was founded in 2016 by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Olugbenga Agboola, and Adeleke Adekoya and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

It has operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa, and was last valued at more than $3 billion and had raised more than $450 Million in VC Funding.

It’s not clear if the withdrawal of the case also means Flutterwave will now continue operating in the country.

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