While Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind Asian region in moving from cash to plastic money, a Nigerian company is trying to change this, by tapping into a growing market for plastic money across the continent.
The company secureID makes mobile phone sims, bank cards and voters card and operates in 21 African countries, as it aims to provide much needed electronic cards carrying sensitive data especially in the banking sector.
Only 43% of people above 15 years have bank accounts in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Bank’s Global Index Database. A 9% increase from 34% in 2014, highlighting the potential for growth.
Alongside Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda, Nigeria’s central bank has implemented policies aimed at encouraging a move away from cash. This in large part has been motivated to tackle fraud theft and money laundering.
SecureID founded 14 years ago by Kofo Akinkugbe produces about 200 million cards a year, the founder, feels more African countries should make use of manufacturing to harness business opportunities arising from technological advances.
She said “That is what I think the entire continent should focus on,” noting the continent is effectively a technology consumer, rather than producer.
“The potentials are enormous for it,” said Akinkugbe.