Africa: Shift Towards Digital Payments Evident Among African Consumers, Survey Reveals

Shift Towards Digital Payments Evident Among African Consumers, Survey Reveals
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A comprehensive survey conducted by RegTech Africa and Agpaytech, titled “African Digital Payment Systems and Consumers’ Experience in 2023,” has unveiled a strong preference for digital payment methods among African consumers. The study, which gathered insights from 2,591 individuals across the continent, found that an overwhelming 91% of participants favor digital transactions over traditional cash methods, indicating a substantial move towards a cashless society.

The report further underscores the critical role played by mobile banking in this digital shift, with 73.5% of respondents using banking applications for their financial transactions. Among these users, 85.5% employ the apps for transferring money and making payments, significantly minimizing their reliance on physical bank branches.

However, the survey revealed a considerable gap in awareness regarding Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), with 69% of the respondents admitting to a lack of knowledge about CBDCs. This gap highlights an urgent need for educational campaigns to familiarize the populace with the concept and potential benefits of CBDCs.

When introduced to the idea of CBDCs, the response among participants was mixed. Only 19.8% were in favor of CBDC issuance, 47.9% were against it, and 32.3% remained undecided. This division signals the importance of engaging in extensive discussions and providing thorough education on CBDCs to enable informed opinions.

The survey also pointed out several challenges faced by users of digital payment systems, including concerns over high transaction fees, security issues, and potential vulnerabilities. These concerns call for the implementation of enhanced security measures and regulatory policies to address the apprehensions of 45.3% of consumers who reported dissatisfaction with digital payment platforms.

Looking ahead, the study suggests a growing consumer interest in innovative financial trends such as “buy now, pay later” schemes, WhatsApp banking, CBDCs, and open banking. These trends present a valuable opportunity for financial institutions to cater to the evolving preferences of consumers by offering tailored and innovative financial solutions.

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