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Payment facilities and Africa’s platform ecosystem: What does the data tell us?

Digital platforms, also known as multi-sided marketplaces, are seamlessly matching customers to suppliers of goods and services in e-commerce and other emerging industries, thereby creating new pathways for individuals to participate in the digital economy. At the heart of the rapid rise of Africa’s digital platforms are the payment methods and channels that facilitate and settle end-to-end transactions. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, digitisation of economic transactions and the supporting payment mechanisms are prioritised as consumers, workers and MSMEs aim for contactless payment.

This short note from Cenfri, discusses the role of payments along the maturity cycle of digital platforms, and highlights key trends emerging in the payment services being offered by digital platforms. This is based on a systematic review of 365 unique digital platforms that operate across eight African countries.

Cenfri is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank. As recognised thought leaders on matters relating to financial-sector development in emerging markets, we generate deep insights and solve complex development problems.

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