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Financial penetration remains low in Africa, Less than a quarter of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population has access to a formal bank account. This indicates that there is less financial inclusion particularly in low income communities and the degree to which private individuals can access financial services is limited. With about 21% of adult population having a bank account, Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest level of financial penetrations. In other developing regions such as Latin American and the Caribbean, the share increases to 34%, whereas in OECD countries the average is 90%. Within the sub-regions, West Africa has the lowest share of adults holding a bank account with close to 14% of adults reportedly having an official bank account. The Southern Africa economies however are relatively well penetrated by the banking system. Another measure of the extent of bank access is the number of bank accounts per 1,000 adult populations. Sub-Saharan Africa falls short relative to other regions. For any given 1,000 adult population, almost twice as many have bank accounts in North Africa and Latin America & Caribbean as in sub-Saharan Africa. Compared with the OECD average where a typical adult has more than one bank account, the difference is four times as much.

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Financial inclusion has been seen as key for reducing poverty: Fintech Startups like Once Sync limited have an important part to playing the founding and expanding of businesses, making transactions more efficient, secure and transparent and managing savings.

Expensive Alternatives

Mobile Money: is an electronic payment system that enables money transfers to and from an electronic account that can be accessed via an ordinary mobile phone.Customers’ accounts are linked to their mobile phone numbers by means of an inbuilt SIM-card application. Physical cash withdrawals and deposits are facilitated by a network of retail agents.

Mobile Money Shortfalls:

  • High transaction friction: Mobile Money gatekeepers charge exorbitant fees. Cross-telecom and cross-border exchanges are cumbersome, slow, and expensive. Registering accepting retailers creates high overhead costs which then get passed onto customers while limiting utility.
  • Security: Mobile Money suffers fromcentralized data storage, making it vulnerable to hacking. In contrast,decentralized blockchains are virtually impenetrable.
  • Inferior proofs of identity: In MobileMoney systems, subjective, badly-defined creditworthiness evaluations becomebarriers to entry. Many citizens are unable to prove who they are, what theydo, and what they own in traditional channels.