Moving beyond cash

The key to financial inclusion is technology, and many fintech companies are taking advantage of the gap banks have left.

01 June 2018

Cash may seem old-school, but it really isn’t, with many purchases still being transacted via notes or coins. Yet, we cannot ignore that payment technologies are advancing – and at a rapid rate.

Take, for example, the rise of cryptocurrencies: even South African retailers are pondering allowing Bitcoin transactions, and the South African Reserve Bank is taking a keen interest in this unregulated, virtual currency. Mastercard Southern Africa division president Mark Elliott notes that cash is still king in Sub-Saharan Africa, where only 34.2% of adults have a bank account, and more than 95% of transactions are done in cash. Even in South Africa, where 77% of adults have bank accounts (per Finscope), most transactions are still conducted using cash.

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