In Citi group recent report on ” Africa and Middle East Fintech & e-commerce”, Citi found when it comes to current popularity of crypto currencies, MENA/Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest growth rates for P2P crypto trading volume in 2021 by region, 62% and 51%, respectively, and four of the top ten countries with the highest crypto adoption rates were from Africa.
The Citi report also notes that Egypt’s fintech funding is expected to hike by 919% Year on Year (YoY) in 2021, reaching an estimated $296 million, compared to the $29 million in 2020. According to the report, fintech companies in countries like Egypt and Pakistan are on the cusp of gaining traction/adoption. Meanwhile, Nigeria and Kenya are seeing growing interest beyond digital payments into new forms of credit, open finance, and cryptocurrencies.
The report showed that fintech is booming globally, mentioning that 2021’s annualised VC investments are up by 164% y-o-y, reaching escape velocity in the AME.
Furthermore, the report found out that Africa was a pioneer of mobile money adoption, the GCC is experimenting with new technologies such as blockchain and new products such as BNPL, but in much of the AME region cash remains king. The report added that the AME is the region with the highest cash usage globally. According to Worldpay, cash accounted for over 50% of the AME’s point of sales (PoS) transactions; 2.5 times the global average.
According to MasterCard, cash accounts for more than 90% of transactions in Africa.
Citi expects that the AME’s growth in digital payment will continue at a high double-digit rate, especially in Africa, adding that among regional markets, the UAE is the most developed.