The Cashless Payment Summit, held in Cape Town, South Africa on 19 and 20 October 2017 ̶ brought together influential business leaders and market participants in the African digital payment space to discuss the potential transformation of the continent into a cashless society.
Barry Cooper, technical director at Cenfri, was invited to present on “The stickiness of cash: a case for cash in the transition to digital”.
The presentation specifically highlights that although the stage may be set for the take-off of cashless payments in Africa following the growth of mobile money and improvements in bank account access, research conducted by Cenfri and FSD Africa suggests that cash is still king. This is the result of both perceptions by consumers of cash as a trusted, free and universal medium of transaction and the limited reach of digital payment ecosystems into rural areas. The presentation highlights the potential of formal remittance services to act as a key entry point for low-income consumers to overcome the stickiness of cash and incentivise the poor to transition towards digital payments. It offers recommendations to transform the payment ecosystems within Africa through interventions capable of improving rural reach, infrastructure interoperability and smooth transitions to digital.