Thanks to the emergence of the financial technologies sector – FinTech – and mobile phones in Africa, these devices have become real service delivery platforms. One example is JUMO, a start-up which creates access to credit and savings in real time via smartphones.
In Africa, 80% of people are connected to a mobile phone network, yet only 20% have a bank account. At the same time, the explosive growth of FinTech companies in emerging economies is allowing millions of people to overcome daily difficulties related to access to electricity, healthcare, education or to obtain venture capital or cash. More importantly, FinTech companies can provide an affordable range of financial services and practical uses for people who benefit little, or not at all, from banking services. In this way, they are paving the way for universal financial inclusion.
In this context, AFD Group considers FinTech companies as key partners in its efforts to reduce extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in developing countries. In April 2018, Proparco made a US$3m equity investment in JUMO, a start-up providing access to credit and savings in real time via a simple mobile phone. The company’s services are available in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Ghana and Pakistan.