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Network International report identifies inflection point for payment acceptance in Africa

Network International report identifies inflection point for payment acceptance in Africa

United Arab Emirates – Network International, an enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa, has published research highlighting the key trends putting Payment Acceptance at an inflection point of growth in Africa.

The report further builds on its findings by outlining strategic opportunities for banks in the region.

The White Paper – Payment Acceptance in Africa – has been produced as part of Network International’s work in supporting financial inclusion. The pace of growth in the adoption of digital payments and bank accounts provides financial services providers with brand new opportunities to roll out new fintech solutions, credit facilities for SMEs and retail banking services to the world’s fast-growing ‘banked’ population.

The report details the broad pillars of growth across bank accounts (now held by 41% of adults), Point of Sale devices (up 26% pa) and transactions per card (up 61% pa) according to Network’s research of nine African markets. The report also highlights the untapped opportunity, with transactions currently concentrated on the travel and entertainment sector and within major cities.

Commenting on the scale of opportunity, Andrew Key, Managing Director – Africa, Network International, said, “The Network International White Paper shows that the amount of money processed through Point of Sale devices environments remains only 5% of GDP in Africa, compared to over 30% in some countries. Closing this gap offers Africa significant economic development potential. Our research also shows a growing untapped opportunity through the rapidly increasing bankability of Africa’s population stemming partly from the region’s digitally engaged customer base and fintech-hungry businesses, in addition to falling hardware costs, sophisticated pricing and more flexible technologies.”

The Payment Acceptance in Africa report indicates that Africa’s banking sector is now at a crossroads – a moment in history where financial services has an opportunity to transform how they interact with the unbanked population, how they engage with SMEs and how they can support small-scale businesses in high-employment sectors like agriculture where there are enormous opportunities.

The research paper suggests multiple opportunities for the banking sector, including: Transforming the profitability of Payment Acceptance through lower costs, new revenue lines and greater scale; Creating a ‘halo effect’ on the issuing side of the business by creating more usage opportunities and the potential to drive customer loyalty as more merchants equate to more opportunities for the use of issuing products, boosting transaction-driven revenue; Feeding the flow of liabilities and hard currency to a bank; Transforming how personal customers transact with their bank and encouraging a deeper engagement with a bank’s brand; Supporting the growth of efficient lending to both companies and individuals and Creating a new delivery channel through flexible technology enabling additional services

Network International is operating at the forefront of these changes, working with its customers to bring its new range of N-GeniusTM solutions to market in 2020 and beyond.


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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.