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Advanced technology increasingly shaping Africas financial sector

The African financial services industry is rapidly evolving as a result of advancing technology
which is fueling innovation and growth in the sector. While the sector is mature in most
developed countries, it is less saturated in Africa, therefore offering many opportunities for new
market entrants to challenge the status quo of how business has traditionally been conducted.

This is according to Sumesh Rahavendra, Vice President of Sales for DHL Express Sub
Saharan Africa who adds, The burgeoning middle class and abundance of SMEs in Africa
present great opportunities for financial services companies to provide retail banking services to
individuals, as well as trade finance to SMEs. We see SMEs as the engine for growth in Africa
and the lack of access to finance can often hinder their development. With one of the fastest
growing middle classes in the world, there is a wave of consumerism for all types of goods and
services such as FMCG, electronics and pharmaceuticals.
The future shape of financial services in Africa 20151 report by PwC describes the sector as a
marketplace without boundaries. It explains that compared to global markets where the
outlook for financial services is more solid the risk of disruption in traditional African financial
services market has triggered the need for entities to reassess their strategies.
While most international banks are moving towards e-commerce, in Africa, a number of local
banks still share information and conduct business with hard copy documentation, adds
Rahavendra.
An Accenture report titled African financial services come of age2, suggests a promising future
for the regions banking sector. It reveals that the development of consumer payment networks
took years to become fully functional in mature economies, while many countries in Africa are
now beginning to expand their traditional payments infrastructure to adapt to new international
standards.
The local retail banking sector is increasingly making use of new technology such as Mobile
Money platforms. Consumers have started to move away from physical cards, instead relying
on their mobile phones to conduct day-to-day banking transactions.

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In addition to mobile money solutions, most African countries have made a concerted effort to
improve their transactional security by moving from the traditional swipe card form of retail
banking to chip and pin.
From a logistics point of view, while banking sector documents continue to present significant
shipment volumes intra-Africa, with the new technologies available, there is an increased need
for equipment such as servers, ATMs and supplies to be moved into and around the continent,
as banks expand into new countries and rural areas. As technology and requirements change,
so do our supply chains, and we work very closely with our customers to ensure that we offer
them the best possible solutions.
The financial sector fueled DHLs expansion into Africa in 1978 when global banks needed to
get documentation to Africa, and it continues to help shape our service offerings on the
continent as the sector matures. As the only logistics company to be present in every country
and territory in Africa, we not only have front row seats to witness the impressive growth of the
sector, but are fortunate enough to work with some of the largest and emerging financial
institutions on the continent and play our part in their growth story, concludes Rahavendra.
Source:
1
PwC: The future shape of financial services in Africa: The Africa financial services journal April 2015
2
Accenture: African financial services come of age

- End DHL The logistics company for the world


DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. DHLs family of divisions offer an
unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery,
international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With
more than 325,000 employees in over 220 countries and territories worldwide, they connect
people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global trade flows. With specialized
solutions for growth markets and industries including e-Commerce, technology, life science and
healthcare, energy, automotive and retail, a proven commitment to corporate responsibility and
an unrivalled presence in developing markets, DHL is decisively positioned as The logistics
company for the world. DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated
revenues of more than 56 billion euros in 2014.
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