AfricaNenda, World Bank and UNECA Launch The 2022 SIIPS Africa Report

By Mark Kawalya 

The State of Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (SIIPS) in Africa report was released during the GSMA Mobile World Congress that was held in Rwanda last month. The report was the work of AfricaNenda, the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

The report is based on in-depth consultations with industry leaders, authorities in the digital financial services industry, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as consumers from different parts of the continent.

Additionally, the report provides a clear picture of the Instant Payment Systems (IPS) terrain in Africa, demonstrating processes that can be utilized to make IPS more inclusive to Africans in the digital era.

Inclusive Instant Payment Systems make it possible for everyday people to use infrastructure developed by financial service providers to make financial transactions instantly, to anyone at low cost and at any time.

ISPs are a driver for financial inclusion because they are an accelerator for low-income consumers getting access to digital financial solutions and the formal economy at large.

According to the SIIPS Africa report 2022, there has been a rapid growth of IPS, with 29 systems deployed in Africa over the past decade.

However, despite the interest these IPS are drumming up, only a small number of them demonstrate signs of reaching a mature state of inclusivity, owing to regulatory impediments, and prohibitive costs on the part of both payment system providers and final users.

“Though IPS can play a pivotal role in creating universal access to financial services for all Africans, much remains to be done to understand how those systems can better reach and benefit underserved populations,” Robert Ochola, CEO AfricaNenda, said during the report launch. He added that “AfricaNenda is thriving to bring together leading experts and stakeholders from across Africa to drive and accelerate the development of cutting-edge payment systems.”

The SIIPs report underscored the need for IPS to consider the fundamental consumer needs in order that they can address them, driving uptake of various payment services and triggering a more sustained usage of digital payment services.

Ochola noted that insights from the SIIPS African report are useful in unpacking the African digital payment system landscape and can be used by stakeholders for designing and implementing IPS that are better tailored to more Africans.

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