‘Regulators Have Critical Roles in Growth of Africa’s Digital Payment Ecosystem

Regulators need to create a level playing field for players in Africa’s digital payments ecosystem and ensure that the cost of transactions charged to end consumers using such platforms is reduced, the Group CEO of Pan-African FinTech Company, Cellulant, Akshay Grover, has said.

Grover said this during a recent appearance on Arise TV’s Business Xchange while appraising Africa’s digital payments ecosystem.

He noted that regulators of Africa’s financial sector have an important role in ensuring the growth of the digital payment platforms and that both big and small players in the ecosystem operate profitably.
“Regulators can play a significant role in making sure that the ecosystem is well balanced. By that, I mean that there is a level playing field for the innovative small companies versus the large institutions,” Grover said.

He commended some of the regulators already playing a fantastic role and highlighted regulatory constraints around foreign exchange and foreign capital remittance on fintech operations.

He said, “The need for fintech regulations cannot be over-emphasized, but there has to be a baseline. You cannot subject smaller fintech players to the same regulatory framework as large fintech companies; they will not survive. Regulators can play a vital role in driving further fintech development and digital adoption in Africa.”

Grover further noted that regulation can drive greater financial inclusion and reduce the fraction in payment transactions, but that too much regulation kills innovation, so there is a need to strike a balance.

“To drive transaction volume, the cost of the transactions which are charged to the merchants and the end-consumers needs to be reduced, and that lies in the hands of banks, mobile companies and other large institutions. I think if you enable these two core areas to happen over time, it will significantly drive up digital adoption,” he said.

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