Financial Services

Why Black Banx Expanding Further into Africa Makes Sense to Both

Why Black Banx Expanding Further Into Africa Makes Sense to Both

Despite the investment winter being experienced by global financial technology as a whole, fintech in the African region has seemingly been one of the exceptions.

According to Disrupt Africa’s most recent edition of Finnovating for Africa, a publication it released every two years since 2017 that tracks the extraordinary development of the fintech ecosystem across Africa, fintech is the most populated ecosystem within its wider overall tech ecosystem. Since the last edition of the publication was released in 2021, the number of start-ups operating in this space has grown by 17.7% to 678.

The growth is reportedly taking place across the continent, with the likes of Egypt and Nigeria growing especially fast, as the number of fintech companies based in those countries leapt by 66.7% and 50%, respectively, in just two years.

Many, However, Remain Unbanked

While payment innovations within fintech have it pegged as a key to the improvement of overall financial inclusion, like most other businesses and overall businesses, it is hindered by particular growing pains.

Mainly, most fintechs are mainly operating in big markets that have the business and tech infrastructure (and large user population) that make them more viable than, say, if it operated in a small market. In other words, like other large businesses, they operate most and best in the large metropolitan areas than in the rural areas.

As a result, unbanked populations remain. In Africa, this remains substantial. According to AfricaNenda, over 350 million financially excluded adults in Africa live cash to cash without the security of a financial account, credit cards, or lending facilities. Coincidentally, the Word Economic Forum also reports that approximately 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have proof of legal identity which they need to open a financial account.

Changing the Game: Borderless Digital Banking

Fortunately, the advances in fintech technology continue to be substantial, with the only real limit to what can be done being a person’s imagination.

And one that is certainly not lacking in imagination or is German billionaire Michael Gastauer. Backed by extensive experience as both a professional and business founder in fintech, Gastauer garnered a substantial understanding of the pain points customers have when it comes to digital banking, particularly how cumbersome and costly it can be to transact internationally.

As a result, he established Black Banx in 2014 with the vision of the company facilitating the free and instant flow of money around the world at a fair price. The company offers private and business accounts in 28 FIAT currencies and 2 cryptocurrencies, empowering anyone with a smartphone and a basic internet connection with the means to transact and manage their finances to and from anywhere in the world.

Black Banx currently operates in 180 countries, offering services on a global scale. While the key regions in which it operates and generates revenue are mostly in the APAC (Asia Pacific,  33%), LACAR (Latin America and Caribbean 28%), NA (North America, 21%) regions, Black Banx’s presence has seen extensive growth in Africa.

For one, Black Banx’s SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) clients increased by 16% overall in the first half of 2023, while it grew significantly more (28%) in the MEA (Middle East and Africa) region. In addition, private customers have also increased substantially in Africa.

“Especially with the recent launch of our West African branch in Liberia, we are seeing increased business growth in that region,” shared Black Banx Regional Chief Executive Officer MEA, Jabari Walker.

Apart from granting the unbanked in Africa global access to standard digital banking services, Black Banx also empowers them and the rest of its customers with the means to future-proof their finances. Since 2016, the company has been offering cryptocurrency as a deposit method, and in 2018 launched a fully fledged cryptocurrency trading with BTC and ETH as cryptocurrency.

Black Banx’s cryptocurrency proposition is unique, as it offers clients autonomy by connecting a  fully fledged banking platform with the features of a crypto exchange, enabling clients in Africa and everywhere else to use their crypto balances to pay third parties directly.

Africa’s strides in financial technology remain to be seen, and while the industry continues to grow domestically, customers stand to benefit by having more options in terms of online banking and simply managing their finances and growing their wealth.

As work and business become increasingly global, among the options needed in Africa is the means to transact globally, which Black Banx readily provides. As a result, unbanked communities in Africa are able to go beyond just finally getting basic banking services and find themselves as full-on participants in the global economy, with the opportunities to work and do business across borders, and grow their wealth via access and opportunities that come with innovations like cryptocurrency.

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