The surge of mobile payments in Africa following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the rise of financial technology unicorns on the continent. This is because using your mobile to pay for goods and services, and to pay and receive money, has become easier and more secure than ever.
Flutterwave, ChipperCash, Interswitch, Paga and OPay are five African financial technology (fintech) startups that are now being identified as unicorns by investors, the business media and analysts following the surge of mobile payments.
A recent GSMA report reveals that there are 1.2 billion registered global mobile money accounts. 560 million of these registered accounts are in Africa. The GSMA, which represents mobile network firms, states that “Sub-Saharan Africa has been at the forefront of the mobile money industry for over a decade, and in 2020 continued to account for the majority of growth.”
Flutterwave achieved a valuation of $1-billion in March 2021 after closing a funding round of $170-million. Meanwhile Chipper Cash received an investment of $100-million in June 2021 from Jeff Bezos’ personal venture capital fund. Interswitch, Paga and OPay also received recent investments that valued them at over $1-billion earning them the name of the mythical horned beast that is the moniker of such unusually large valuations.
Convenience, security and trust are fueling the seismic wave of mobile transactions together with the pervasive penetration of affordable mobile feature phones on the continent. Cash used to be king in Africa but handling and banking money has become riskier, which is why traders, entrepreneurs and consumers alike are going mobile.
Reuters tells the story of Ivory Coast’s Bonaventure Kra who works with imports and exports, and who was anxious about handling cash with COVID-19. He fretted about waiting in bank queues to make deposits. Kra made the change to mobile and won’t be going back. “Going back to cash would be like travelling back in time,” Kra tells Reuters in Abidjan. “I intend to use it permanently.”
Analysts say that by
2025 the African mobile market is expected to have 850 million customers who
drive $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion in transaction volumes annually. A key
driver in the surge of mobile payments is the increasing affordability of
mobile phones in Africa. A case in point is TECNO Mobile which is owned by
TRANSSION and which knocked Korean giant Samsung off the top spot for handset
sales in Africa in 2020.
Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor reveals that itel, a TRANSSION Holdings brand, owns the top position in the global and African feature phone market.
itel commands 23% of the global phone shipments market share. Source: Counterpoint.
By recognising the importance of keeping costs down with its latest devices and by understanding the need of Africa’s youth population to have access to affordable phones that offer the same features as higher-end flagship models, TRANSSION has seen its brand itel lauded. Itel was ranked at position number 21 amongst the 2021 TOP 100 MOST ADMIRED BRANDS IN AFRICA released by the well-known pan-African business magazine African Business.
This was achieved off the back of really understanding what millennials and Gen-Z customers want from a phone. itel is a budget-friendly and reliable mobile phone brand that is positioned on asking 16 to 25 year olds to ‘Enjoy Better Life’. Part of this enjoyment means having access to connection, technology and the ability to trade globally.
The Vision 1 Pro is a new smartphone from itel in the Vision-series price segment of R1,699.00. Made with 2.5D Glass Cover technology, that offers a broader view with an incredible 6.5’’ HD+ Waterdrop FullScreen. This delivers bigger, brighter, and more vivid color on the itel Vision1 Pro.
Thanks to its 2GB RAM and 1.4GHz Quad-core processor, the Vision 1 Pro can run multiple apps with ease. With 32GB ROM, users have enough storage for all their favourite apps, videos, pictures and music.
In South Africa,
smartphone penetration reached 91.2% in 2019, up from 81.7% in
Mobile phones are an indispensable part of people’s lives. Research shows that
most people spend about five hours on their
mobiles daily. Today people are using affordable smartphones to:
– Send and receive money
– Buy goods and services online, or in stores
– Pay tax, utility bills and school fees
– Buy airtime and make data purchases
– Take out loans or overdrafts
– Start savings accounts
– Start a business
– Make and receive payments
– Start an ecommerce store on Instagram, WordPress or Wix
itel encourages South Africans to use their new Vision1 Pro to start getting digitally fluent, and to begin making payments or trading online. itel counsels new financial transactors to always be secure and safe. itel offers the following advice:
– Only use a trusted mobile payment brand. itel suggests that you work with Flutterwave, ChipperCash, Interswitch, Paga or OPay because these mobile payment services are easy to use, secure, fast, and offer transparent pricing.
– When you set up your preferred app, ensure you use the fingerprint, code or pin to protect yourself and your money should your smartphone ever get stolen.
– Use the security features on your phone to protect yourself and to protect your money.
The Vision 1 Pro has a 4000mAh battery, runs Android 10 Go Edition and sports these features for the affordable price of just R1 699.00:
- Display: 6.5-inch HD+ display
- Processor: 1.4Ghz quad-core UNISOC
- Battery: 4000mAh
- Main camera: 8MP triple-lens
- Selfie camera: 5MP
- RAM: 2GB
- On-board storage: 32GB
The Vision 1 Pro comes preloaded with a G-Sensor race game to show how easily this CPU manages gameplay with confidence.
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About itel Mobile:
Established over 10 years, itel is a reliable, durable, budget-friendly mobile phone brand for everyone. Adopting “Enjoy Better Life” as its brand philosophy, itel’s mission is to provide budget-friendly mobile communications technology to everyone. It democratises technology by giving entry to technology and connectedness to consumers without prior access to it, allowing them to get closer and benefit from their social connections. After more than 10 years’ development, itel has expanded its presence in more than 50 emerging markets globally.
For more information, please visit: http://www.itel-mobile.com/global/
Press contact – South Africa