13 Sep African PSP’s Need to be Relevant to Meet the Needs of Multinational eCommerce Companies

The role of an African PSP has changed considerably over the years.  With the advent of card, mobile money and digital currencies, the role of an African PSP to be relevant is a little more challenging.

The best coverage of Africa for multinational eCommerce companies from a payment collection perspective is via mobile monies like M-Pesa, Airtel Money and MTN Mobile Money.

In more developed markets, card is the dominant method of payment, but in Africa, mobile money plays a leading role and has by far the most market penetration when it comes to eCommerce merchants looking to get paid by African consumers in many countries.

Then there is the advent of digital money which is likely to cause a leapfrog effect across Africa and provides a solution to the problem of cross border payments and interoperability.  Most of the mobile monies are in silos. For example M-Pesa in Kenya is on a different platform to M-Pesa in Tanzania. New digital currencies like bitcoin, Monero, Dash are crossborder and interoperable so this makes this will in the future make payments a lot easier for eCommerce merchants who tend to operate in a borderless fashion.

To return to the topic of the role of African PSP and how they need to be relevant to meet the needs of multinational eCommerce merchants who would like to expand across Africa: an African PSP needs to be able to provide card acquiring, and not just international card acquiring but local currency, USD, settlement into a merchant account in the relevant country in order to optimise user experience and conversion rates; mobile money including MTN Mobile Money, Airtel Money, M-Pesa via a single API and collected into an aggregated account on behalf of the merchant.   

The third element is digital currencies which are not yet mature enough in terms of usability and adoption, but a good idea to keep an eye on and ready and able to accept them when consumer adoption reaches a viable level.

There is also the possibility that digital currency adoption might accelerate as a result of CBDCs ( Central Bank Digital Currencies) which are under consideration by a number of African countries including South Africa.

For now the role of the African PSP is to bring together seamlessly: local card acquiring in the key jurisdictions like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa; as well as mobile money in these three countries and others that are waking up for eCommerce. The most popular mobile monies are MTN Mobile Money, M-Pesa and Airtel Money.

If you are looking for an African PSP, contact African Payment Solutions now and we can bring together the most popular African payment methods for you via a single API for card and mobile money respectively.  We will collect the money on your behalf, and repatriate to the jurisdiction of your choice.