The COVID-19 has given contactless payments technology the boost it needed for widespread global adoption, as consumers worldwide started avoiding cash in fear of spreading the virus.
According to data presented by BuyShares, contactless payments are expected to continue rising worldwide and hit a $665bn transaction value in 2021. The impressive growth is set to continue in the following years, with the total value of contactless transactions doubling up and reaching over $1.6trn by 2024.
China and the Far East to Generate $850B Worth of Contactless Transactions
Contactless payments are a quick, secure, and easy way to purchase products or services by simply holding a card or smartphone up to a payment reader for the transaction to proceed.
These tap-and-go payments became especially appealing to consumers amid the pandemic, allowing them to pay for goods and services without the need to swipe, enter a personal identification number, or sign for a transaction. Consumers can also make contactless payments by connecting their credit cards with a payment app like Apple Pay or Google Pay on their smartphone or smartwatch.
Over the years, this payment method became very popular in China, Australia, Canada, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. However, the COVID-19 fuelled the growth of contactless transactions among American consumers as well.
Last year, the global contactless payments market was worth $482.7bn, revealed the Statista and Juniper Research data. As the number of people choosing tap-and-go payments continues rising, this figure is expected to jump by another 40% in 2021. Statistics show the following years are set to witness a surge in contactless payments, with their value rising by another $1 trillion by 2024.
China and the Far East is the leading region for this type of transactions, generating more than half of all contactless payments globally. In 2021, countries from the region are expected to generate $313.3bn worth of transactions, 38% more than a year ago. By 2024, this figure is forecast to surge by 170% and hit an $849.1bn value.
Contactless Transactions in Latin America to Surge by 851% in Three Years
As the second-largest market globally, North America is expected to generate $194.2bn worth of contactless transactions in 2021, up from $156.5bn a year ago. Statistics indicate this payment method is expected to gain popularity among American consumers in years to come and hit almost $310bn value by 2024.
Last year, the European contactless payments market was worth $63.5bn. This figure is expected to triple and hit $224.1bn in the next three years.
However, Latin America is set to witness the most impressive growth of tap-and-go payments in this period.
Before the pandemic, contactless payments In Latin America were still emerging. Just a handful of issuers launched contactless cards, with several banks which developed contactless mobile wallets. However, the user uptake was minimal. The Americas Market Intelligence Survey revealed that in 2019, more than half of Latin American consumers were underbanked, and up to 90% of retail payments still took place in cash. However, the COVID-19 changed that.
In 2020, the Latin American contactless payments market was worth $4.6bn. Statistics show the total value of transactions is expected to jump by 165% YoY and hit $12.2bn in 2021. By 2024, this figure is forecast to soar by 851% and hit a $116.1bn value.
Paystack Expands Operation After Acquisition, Enters South Africa
The startup acquired for over $200 million in October 2020, announced its official launch in South Africa on Thursday to increase its operating markets to three, including Nigeria and Ghana.
The South African launch was preceded by a six-month pilot, which means the project kickstarted a month after Stripe acquired it. Stripe is gearing toward a hotly anticipated IPO and has been aggressively expanding to other markets. Before acquiring Paystack, the company added 17 countries to its platform in 18 months, but none from Africa. Paystack was its meal ticket to the African online commerce market, and CEO Patrick Collison didn’t mince words when talking about the acquisition in October.
“There is an enormous opportunity. In absolute numbers, Africa may be smaller right now than other regions, but online commerce will grow about 30% every year. And even with wider global declines, online shoppers are growing twice as fast. Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050,” he said.
Although Stripe said the $600 million it raised in Series H this March would be used mainly for European expansion, its foray deeper into Africa has kicked off. And while Paystack claims to have had a clear expansion roadmap prior to the acquisition, its relationship with Stripe is accelerating the realization of that pan-African expansion goal.
Now, Africa accounts for three of the 42 countries where Stripe currently has customers today.
“South Africa is one of the continent’s most important markets, and our launch here is a significant milestone in our mission to accelerate commerce across Africa,” said Paystack CEO Shola Akinlade of the expansion. “We’re excited to continue building the financial infrastructure that empowers ambitious businesses in Africa, helps them scale and connects them to global markets.”
The six-month pilot saw Paystack work with different businesses and grow a local team to handle on-the-ground operations. However, unlike Nigeria and Ghana, where Paystack has managed to be a top player, what are the company’s prospects in the South African market where it will face stiff competition from the likes of Yoco and DPO?
“The opportunity for innovation in the South African payment space is far from saturated. Today, for instance, digital payments make up less than half of all transactions in the country,” Abdulrahman Jogbojogbo, product marketer at Paystack said. “So, the presence of competition is not only welcome; it’s encouraged. The more innovative plays there are, the faster it’ll be to realize our goal of having an integrated African market.”
Khadijah Abu, head of product expansion, added that “for many businesses in South Africa, we know that accepting payments online can be cumbersome. Our pilot in South Africa was hyperfocused on removing barriers to entry, eliminating tedious paperwork, providing world-class API documentation to developers, and making it a lot simpler for businesses to accept payments online.”
Leading Fintech Companies in Nigeria
Financial Technology (Fintech) companies in Nigeria have raised millions of US dollars in the last few years, create jobs, increase foreign exchange inflow and taught Nigerians ease of doing financial transactions just in time without banks’ usual queues.
Below is the list of 13 leading fintech companies in Nigeria.
It was established in 2017 by Iyin Aboyeji and Olugbenga Abgoola and is headquartered in San Francisco. It provides payment services to banks and businesses to ensure seamless transactions with customers. It raised $170 million in its latest round of funding to increase its customer base in the global market. It initiated Batar. It allows users to create virtual US dollar debit cards within seconds for one-time or regular usage. Unlike other platforms, it requests a working email address and phone number as the service relies on customer details already obtained by a user’s bank.
Interswitch, headquartered in Lagos, integrates digital payments. It was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe. Visa in November 2019 invested $200 million and will recoup 20 per cent stake from the company which is valued at no less than $1 billion.
PayStack was established in 2015 by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi. It makes payment processes consistent for both consumers and the businesses they are attempting to pay.
Paga was founded in 2009 by Tayo Oviosu but launched in 2011. Through Paga, you can pay bills, make bank deposits and even pay in certain stores. It acts as a mobile wallet where customers perform transactions on their mobile devices.
Carbon, formerly known as Paylater, is owned by One Finance and was founded in 2016. It is a loan app which gives short loans through its mobile app. Use of mobile phones to obtain loans makes the process faster and easier.
Remita set the pace for fintech companies in Nigeria as it was developed by system specs in 1991 by John Obaro. It assists SMEs, multinationals, state governments, government agencies, NGOs, educational institutions and individuals to receive and make payments electronically.
VoguePay was established in 2012, it is accessible to local consumers with a simple and minimal effort platform as its principal selling point.
OPay is owned by Opera. It entered the fintech market in August after acquiring a controlling stake in PayCom. It was founded by Telnet Nigeria.
Lidya is a mobile-first technology with strong customer experience and proprietary credit scoring.
Kudi Money was rebranded to Kuda Bank. It was founded in 2017 by Babatunde Ogundeyi. It performs similar functions like other fintech companies. The start-up raised $1.6 milion in 2019.
It was originally known as Piggybank.ng, before it became PiggyVest. It allows debit cardholders to save little amounts of money frequently with minimal effort. It automates the process of saving tiny amounts daily, weekly, or monthly you. It was founded in February 2016 by Ayo Akinola, Joshua Chibueze, Nonso Eagle, Odunayo Eweniyi, and Somto Ifezue.
This is a mobile banking platform that gives loans and credits. It was founded in 2017. It has a team of people across Paris, France, and Lagos, Nigeria.
Chipper Cash was founded in 2017 by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled and it is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It enables free instant cross-border mobile money transfers in Africa as easy as sending a text message.
Klasha – Building Borderless Payments For Commerce In Africa
Starting as a fashion e-commerce company, Techstars backed company – Klasha is now building payment integrations that allow African consumers to buy from global retailers online in their local African currencies and get their items shipped quickly to the continent.
Today, we’re thrilled to introduce Klasha, a unified payments solution for commerce across Africa launching firstly in Nigeria.
How is Klasha different?
At Klasha, we’re simplifying borderless payments for commerce in Africa. Our solution helps merchants worldwide sell online to Africa and receive payments in local African currencies while enjoying super fast last-mile delivery to consumers across the continent. Consumers can make online payments regardless of where they are based geographically in Africa and where the retailers are based too.
What we have built
We have learned a lot about consumers’ pain points online over the past few years, and we are committed to solving these unique challenges. We have built a secure and reliable commerce solution from scratch using modern technologies.
Our integrated technology solution – Klasha Checkout, can be integrated into any e-commerce platform, website, or app allowing international merchants to collect payments from Africa in local currencies. We ensure that consumers enjoy quick, cost-effective and direct shipping of physical goods from across the globe to their doorsteps.
The Klasha mobile app
Making international payments online is very problematic, and more often than not, local bank debit cards do not work and are marked with restrictions. We have built the Klasha mobile app – a simple and secure app that allows you to make local and international payments online in your local African currencies without any restrictions.
With the Klasha mobile app, you can send and receive money from family and friends who are using the app for free. No monthly charges or transfer fees. You can create a virtual card, fund it with NGN, KES or GHC, see all your transactions, including the amount paid, merchant details, card information and much more! The Klasha App is currently available for download in Nigeria on Android and iOS.
For us, this is just the beginning, and in line with our mission, we are committed to transforming the payments landscape in Africa and building borderless payments for commerce.
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