Building Africa’s Digital Payments Infrastructure: The Path to Economic Growth

Published 1 year ago
Akshay Grover Cellulant Group CEO _Landscape
Akshay Grover, Cellulant Group CEO.

The adoption of digital payments by businesses plays a pivotal role in transforming Africa’s economy. Cellulant is focused on empowering global and local businesses operating in Africa with the ability to accept and make payments seamlessly via its unparalleled payment network.

African businesses whether large enterprises, medium-sized enterprises or entrepreneurial micro outfits play a pivotal role in the economic growth of the continent as they account for about 80% of the continent’s employment, help close infrastructure gaps and help meet Africa’s unfulfilled demand for new goods and services.

Empowering the growth of these businesses is therefore essential for not only Africa’s economic growth but also for the global economy, as it leads to the emergence of a middle class with disposable income, opens up opportunities for new investors and spurs innovation on the continent.


However, for too long it has been expensive and cumbersome to make and receive payments between businesses which impedes their growth and opportunities for those they serve. Yet, it is clear that there is a huge demand for and progress in better ways for people to send and receive money. Currently, Africa represents 70% of the $1 trillion global mobile money value. Furthermore, the domestic e-payment market in Africa is projected to amount to $40 billion by 2025 through a 20% annual growth rate.

So far, The growth in the payments landscape can be attributed to innovations in peer-to-peer (P2P) and consumer-to-business (C2B) payments. Business-to-business payments remain painful for many because of the operational complexities surrounding these transactions. For example, whereas C2B payments tend to be instantaneous, B2B payments involve a complex array of factors, including different payment terms for different suppliers and pricing discounts based on payment timing and methods.

Specifically in Africa, low card penetration, the proliferation of mobile phones and no unified digital infrastructure has led to the emergence of a large number of payment options mainly comprising a vast number of mobile wallets, banks and regional card networks.

Whereas this abundance of payment options has many benefits, especially for consumers, it creates significant challenges for businesses, who have to work with many partners to handle the various types of payments required to fulfil customer needs. Establishing these relationships with multiple providers is a costly and arduous affair that then forces the business to consider either limiting their expansion, reducing the payment options available to their customers or resorting back to cash.


Even with established connections, businesses still have to deal with the challenges of reconciliation and reporting. Tracking down transactional data for the different providers, and

reconciling what was sold and what has been settled is very challenging for many businesses without a single platform that supports automatic reconciliation.

The above intricacies demonstrate that business-to-business payments necessitate an additional back-end layer for the execution of business payments.

These are some of the challenges we’re solving at Cellulant by enabling businesses with the payment rails they need to operate. Driven by the goal of empowering global and local businesses operating in Africa with the ability to collect and payout seamlessly, we’re building the continent’s most extensive payment platform.


Cellulant’s payment platform, Tingg, enables businesses of all sizes to accept payments online and instore(collections), and to make payments across multiple regions and currencies (payouts) while allowing anyone to pay businesses from their mobile money, local and international cards or directly from their bank. The platform directly connects to over 350 payment methods covering over 35 countries in Africa and is arguably the continent’s most comprehensive payment infrastructure.

Whether it’s an FMCG company in Zambia faced with the challenge of reconciling payments from three mobile money wallets, a global ride-hailing company looking to make daily payouts to thousands of its drivers in multiple African countries, or a remittance company powering safe and reliable international payments into Africa – the thousands of businesses on the Tingg digital platform benefit from a single view of their auto reconciled transactions.

To fully unlock growth for most businesses, support has to go beyond payment solutions to value-added services along the value chain such as access to credit. Cellulant is looking to further the strength of its payment infrastructure through business lending in the near future.

Cellulant firmly believes in the power of building a payments ecosystem that creates seamless interoperability across the continent to create opportunities and accelerate growth for businesses and individuals.


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