EVENT: IAMTN Africa Summit
DATE: 22-23 April 2020
VENUE: Radisson Blu Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

As in 2019, the International Association of Money Transfer Networks (IAMTN) is again inviting payment professionals from all over the world to join its members for the major event in the cross border payments industry – the IAMTN Africa Summit. This year, our Africa Summit will be held on 22 and 23 April 2020 at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa.
 
The event will be organised by IAMTN in collaboration with MFS Africa.

Remittance flows represent an increasingly important source of income for Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2012 and 2015, formal flows grew steadily at a higher growth rate than foreign direct investment (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA). As a result, the value of formal remittances sent into the region today almost matches those of FDI and ODA. 

According to the latest figures from the World Bank, remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa are set to increase by over 5.6% between 2019 and 2020, reaching $51 billion. However, the region is still the most expensive in the world to send money to. 

The Africa Summit will welcome many of the country’s financial services and fintech innovators, as well as participants from across Africa and indeed the wider world. The packed two-day agenda will look at the latest developments in payments and wallets in South Africa and the cross-border regional platforms that are currently transforming the wider African payments landscape. We will also drill down into the many cashless initiatives across the region, the latest regulatory updates and the benefits that innovation and fintech collaboration brings to the table.

“Remittances are on track to become the largest source of external financing in developing countries.” – Dilip Ratha, Head of KNOMAD

The home of mobile money

 

The best way to bring down these costs whilst also increasing accessibility is to tap into the exponential growth of mobile device use. According to a recent GSMA report, by 2025 half the population of Sub-Saharan Africa will subscribe to mobile services. That will be over 600 million unique subscribers.

In 2018, according to the GSMA report, mobile technologies and services generated 8.6% of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa, a contribution that amounted to over $144 billion of economic value added. The mobile ecosystem also supported almost 3.5 million jobs. 

Sub-Saharan Africa is a hotbed for mobile money services. By the end of 2018, there were 395.7 million registered mobile money accounts in the region, representing nearly half of total global mobile money accounts. Mobile money is about more than just the technology - there are around two million ambitious agents currently active compared with 100,000 or so brick and mortar banks. 

 

A sector ripe for innovation

 

The rise of mobile and the increasing digitisation of money are working in tandem as the two most significant forces disrupting how people move their money.

Ambitious fintechs, such as Safaricom’s M-PESA, are busy harnessing these trends to boost financial inclusion. Some remittance recipients, for example, may opt to take the cash out from their M-PESA Mobile Wallets when they receive the funds, but they also have the ability to stay cashless and use digital money in their personal and commercial transactions.  

More possibilities are opening up as virtual currencies become more accepted, regulated and used across the world. Industry commentators see the underlying blockchain technology as the future framework for all financial services, due to the transparent and immutable nature of the transactions, and organisations such as Celo are now bringing the latest technology to Africa. 

 

Cross-border partnerships are key to operating an efficient international money transfer service. As the relationship between fintech entrants and traditional financial institutions evolves from disruption to collaboration, the African population is benefitting from an increased range of services and solutions. The future of the remittance industry depends on such collaboration. We look forward to facilitating these new partnerships at the IAMTN Africa Summit 2020.