13 Jan What Does The Evolution of Communication, Commuting and Banking Tell us About The Future of Online Payments Across Africa?

African Payments

Our world is changing!  What impact does this have on our world of online payments?

Communications - I met up with my NBF Matt in Lisbon the other day and he said “Don’t call me . . I travel a lot . . best place to get me is Twitter - my response time is much better on there”.  And it got me thinking - I’m thinking of having a voicemail that says “Thank you for calling, but I am no longer supporting mobile calls. Please contact me on Whatsapp, Telegram, Twitter, Linkedin or email” . . as opposed to a geography, that’s where I live these days.  You can always find me there!

Commuting - During my past two months in Europe I got to think about our commuting . . so many options . . which is the cheapest, most effective, suits the number of passengers, distance, my destination etc.  So every day we choose between public transport the Bus or Metro; ride sharing Uber, Bolt and Kapten; single urban missioning on scooters and bicycles;  self drive Drive Now or for longer adventures car hire. We have so many choices, each designed to suit a particular need of ours at that moment.  All simple and easy to use.

Banking - I’m so used the complexity of traditional banking which is clunky and admin intensive . .  my family have all signed up for an N26 or a Revolut account. Money made simple. My friends are sending money on traditional banking rails that takes time, is often returned and has costs attached.  Now my family are happily Moneybeaming to each other instantly at the click of a button, setting limits and changing ATM pins on the fly, switching between currencies like “let’s create a pocket of Yen in our wallet for use in Japan”, and “ZAR for spending while we are in Cape Town”.  What a wonderfully simple and easy experience of consumer oriented banking and money.

Payments - So how do we think the future of online payments going to pan out for us all?  Digital currencies, flavours of money to suit all needs and tastes, different channels of money, types of payment methods  . . card, mobile monies digital money, cross border. WHY NOT THE INTERNET OF MONEY . . as I said above the internet has made geography irrelevant.  People are becoming mobile and economically mobile.  The world is our home. Even if a person stays in the same place, once they are in the internet they are from anywhere and can go and transact anywhere . . who cares where you are buying and paying for stuff from, who cares where you are selling and sending stuff to, who cares where your business is located or if it is actually located anywhere.  We are entering a new borderless world.   In the new world of payments you get to pay or get paid in the currency and method of your choice. Geography, currency and payment method agnostic. Send and receive from anywhere, in the currency and payment method of your choice. Africa is relatively chaotic, but that lends itself to disruption which is situation normal for Africans.  The people are enthusiastic, hungry in more ways than one, uncomfortable, increasingly connected, looking for new ways of doing things, driven to participate this new internet world of possibilities. Let’s see how this plays out. It’s going to be interesting.  

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