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What African Banks Can Learn from Chinese Fintechs

ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

In 2017, mobile technologies and services generated 7.1% of GDP across Sub-Saharan Africa, and Mckinsey found a sharp rise in the number of mobile financial services such as peer-2-peer borrowing, group savings and micro-loans among others.

While the rise of fintech and alternative financial tools is exciting, so is the way many African banks have also embraced new digital-first strategies in order to reach a wider population across the continent. At the same time, China’s memory of the unbanked masses is as recent as the early 2000’s, when Fintech recently found an incredibly hospitable environment. With the over $40 billion USD Chinese Fintechs have raised in the past 5 years, they have developed numerous localized, scalable, and low-risk financial solutions leveraging cutting-edge technology enabling them to reach millions of customers. While payments tends to dominate the African fintechs, it constitutes just one of the seven key markets in China’s booming Fintech industry. The other areas are online insurance, online lending, personal financial management, online money-market funds, consumer finance and online brokerage. Given a number similarities in between the market development of the two regions, there are numerous ways that African banks that looking to innovate and serve their customers better can learn from already successful Chinese fintechs.

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