Africa's unique position as a continent largely comprised of young people who are embracing digital transformation provides banks around the world with a glimpse into the future. This new generation favours agility over bureaucracy and online automation over conventional interactions plagued by human inefficiencies, geographical constraints and a lack of adaptability.
In fact, 40% of African bank customers report they prefer to use digital channels for their banking needs.1 This dramatic shift in consumer preference is propelling Africa to the forefront of change and making the African banking sector a hotbed for innovation. In particular, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Cote D'Ivoire are leading the way as they navigate the unprecedented impact and consequences that the digitization of banking and rise of fintech are having on customers, revenue and the future of bank employees.
Mobile usage and digital banking go hand in hand. African banking users prefer digital banking, because they've already integrated digital channels into their lifestyles. In 2017, more than 90% of Sub-Saharan Africa was covered by 2G networks, and more advanced mobile broadband networks are being implemented rapidly throughout these regions, where a third of mobile users — 250 million people — have a smartphone.2
This familiarity with mobile technology and trust for digital platforms make adopting digital banking channels easier.