Coronavirus has impacted the world in every aspect. With more than 4 Million affected worldwide, the pandemic has halted the economy of many countries. The African continent has confirmed cases of about 60,000 patients (by 10th May 2020).* Consisting of many island-nations, the virus did not catch up very quickly to Africa but is now crawling its way up there.
Due to the highly contagious nature of the virus, cash transactions are being questioned worldwide. The notes or coins might be carrying the virus which can pass on to a large part of the population. To battle this, digital transactions and mobile money are being advocated by experts and authorities.
Why go digital during the pandemic?
In order to avoid coming in contact with the virus through money, digital platforms are being preferred by the people. Also, to practice contactless delivery of items, many eCommerce websites, as well as food delivery outlets, are practicing online payments for goods. Suggested and supported by the World Health Organisation itself, digital payment, in the present scenario, becomes the need of the hour.
Mobile money, therefore, emerges as a viable (and only) option to protect one against the virus. The African nations come under third world countries but they are neither less prepared nor incompetent when it comes to protecting themselves. Africa has equipped itself by undertaking the use of mobile money, digital lending, and other digital transactions. A quick response to the pandemic, African nations promptly utilized the digital platform to generate cashless payments. Kenya became the first such nation in the continent to advocate E-money and E-payment in order to avoid coming in contact with banknotes and coins- the potential carriers of disease and death. Over 30 other nations followed.
Many companies of the Fintech industry enabled such transactions easily. By providing them the means, these digital lending companies supported this revolution and allowed the exchange of goods and services, saving the economy.
The advocacy of digital transactions had been present before in the name of financial inclusion- spreading the arm of inclusivity to the underserved sections of the nation. However, in the present scenario, we are observing how every business is trying its best to stay on the current. Digital money, hence, becomes the savior for all the sections of society.
The ongoing Fintech revolution of Africa has been given a push since this crisis has acted as a catalyst in progressing the nation’s financial inclusivity. What started as a plea for avoiding cash in transactions has now incited financial inclusion.