09 Jun VIDEO AND BLOG: The African Payments Landscape for our Multinational eCommerce Companies


  • Sub-Saharan Africa is effectively 
  • divided into three regions 
  • with three leading countries when it comes to scale and digital commerce - 
  • West Africa (Nigeria), 
  • East Africa (Kenya), 
  • Southern Africa (South Africa).  
  • sought after when it comes to digital commerce and payment 
  •  critical mass and a 
  • coming together of the elements required for successful eCommerce at scale.  


Wholesale vs retail

  • At a high level payments can be viewed as wholesale (eg Interswitch and Pesalink) and retail (eg APS).  
  • addressing the infrastructural and fundamental functioning of the payments system (wholesale) 
  • payments companies that are merchant and customer facing who ride on those rails to service retail needs.  


Local vs international

  • The African payments space can then be viewed from the perspective of locally grown companies (eg APS, iVeri, DPO, Jambopay) on the one hand, 
  • incoming international entrants (eg Worldpay, Wirecard, PayPal) on the other.   
  • lines are blurring as a result of former African citizens who have started companies from their newly found homes like USA (Flutterwave), and 
  • capital that is finding its way to expand and consolidate through mergers and acquisitions (Apis/DPO) 
  • Many USA vs Chinese companies are rallying for position with their respective payment methods - PayPal and Stripe vs WeChat and Alipay for eg.


Traditional vs digital

  • Traditional payments still dominate with card and mobile money through banks and MNOs.  The traditional payments space consists of a few big plays for pan-African market share and a myriad of one or two country independent paytech players. 
  • Digital payments are still on the ground floor with the biggest activity seemingly focused on government systems, CBDCs having the most energy behind them.  
  • We will start to see cashflow rich digital payment organisations like Stellar investing in local startups that meet the needs of and understand Africa and the African way.