a financial revolution for the benefit of digital inclusion

a financial revolution for the benefit of digital inclusion
a financial revolution for the benefit of digital inclusion

(ARPCE) – The financial technology (FinTech) sector in Congo is experiencing remarkable expansion, rapidly transforming the country’s financial landscape. This development is taking place in a context where financial inclusion is becoming a national priority, offering new opportunities to populations traditionally excluded from the traditional banking system.

The growing Congolese FinTech ecosystem is characterized by its diversity and dynamism. Major players include Mobile Money operators such as MOBILE MONEY CONGO and MOBILE COMMERCE CONGO, as well as a variety of service providers such as NOKI NOKI Services, DADANADA, ASCAPAY, TASA, and NYOTA. These innovative companies offer solutions ranging from mobile payments to e-commerce, money transfers, online sports betting and digital financial services.

The regulatory framework, although complex, is trying to adapt to this new reality. The financial regulators (BEAC, COBAC), the electronic communications regulatory authority, ARPCE, and the fund transfer regulatory authority, ARTF, are working together to regulate the sector. Regulation No. 04/18/CEMAC/UMAC/COBAC on payment services in CEMAC and Law No. 9-2009 regulating the electronic communications sector constitute the pillars of this legal framework.

Key innovations and services

The most significant FinTech innovations in Congo go beyond traditional Mobile Money services. Mobile payment platforms like NOKI NOKI, TASA, and ASCAPAY allow users to perform a variety of financial transactions directly from their mobile phones. The GIMACPAY platform, for its part, facilitates transactions between bank accounts and mobile accounts, thus bridging the gap between traditional and digital finance.

The development of e-commerce, driven by platforms such as NOKI NOKI and NYOTA, also contributes to the evolution of the digital ecosystem. These services allow Congolese consumers to make purchases online and pay electronically, thus stimulating the country’s digital economy.

Mobile Money services nevertheless remain the most popular with the Congolese. They offer a full range of financial services, including local transfers, money deposit and withdrawal, bill payments, GIMAC transactions, transfers between e-wallets and bank accounts, merchant payments, purchasing phone credit, international transfers, as well as savings and loans.

Impact on financial inclusion

The impact of FinTech on financial inclusion in Congo is considerable. In the first quarter of 2024, there were 8,783,000 registered subscribers to Mobile Money services, including 3,347,000 active subscribers. This significant penetration is partly explained by the almost total coverage of the national territory by mobile telephone operators and the Fund for Universal Access and Service of Electronic Communications set up by the State and managed by ARPCE, thus allowing access to digital financial services to almost 2/3 of the population, in most inhabited areas.

These figures demonstrate the crucial role that FinTech plays in access to financial services for a large part of the Congolese population, particularly those traditionally excluded from the traditional banking system.

Challenges and perspectives

Despite these advances, the FinTech sector in Congo faces several challenges. Indeed, the high costs of inter-operator Mobile Money transactions, the limited access to financing for FinTech startups, the insufficiency of a strategic approach at the state level, the lack of financial education of users, and the weak digitalization public and private administrations constitute the main obstacles to overcome.

Nevertheless, the outlook for the sector over the next five years is promising. An improvement in the regulatory framework, a decrease in the use of cash in favor of digital payments, an increase in inter-operator transactions, an expansion of financial services via Mobile Money (including credit, savings and insurance), and a significant growth in the volume and amount of transactions are expected.

The emergence of new players, such as FinTech startups, payment aggregators, and partnerships between banks and Mobile Money operators, should also help boost the sector. Technological innovations such as QR Code or contactless payments are also expected to further revolutionize the payment habits of the Congolese.

In short, FinTech in Congo is at a decisive turning point in its development. Despite ongoing challenges, the sector shows remarkable potential for growth and innovation. Its role in financial inclusion and the modernization of the Congolese economy is increasingly undeniable. As the regulatory framework adapts and sector players innovate, Congolese FinTech is well positioned to profoundly transform the country’s financial landscape, thereby strengthening the competitiveness of the national economy. This digital revolution promises not only to improve access to financial services for all Congolese, but also to stimulate economic growth and innovation in the years to come. The future of finance in Congo promises to be resolutely digital, paving the way for a more inclusive and dynamic economy.



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