Innovation-focused Fintechs will help boost intra-African trade – Hubtel official


Head of Product Management at leading fintech company Hubtel, Patrick Asare-Frimpong has said that “the way to increase intra-Africa trade is to provide enough tools to enable fintechs to innovate around all the protocols on the Pan-African Payments and Settlements System (PAPPS).

He said the absence of such access tools will not encourage fintechs to innovate and that will work against the continental drive to boost intra-Africa trade.

Patrick Asare-Frimpong was speaking at this year’s edition of The Money Summit powered by Business and Financial Times.

The Pan African Payments and Settlement System (PAPPS) is the intra-African trade and commerce payments, centralized payment and settlement system. With the participation of banks and fintechs, the deployment of this system is expected to contribute to solving the menace of low intra-African Trade.

PAPSS, hailed as a game-changer for intra-African Trade, is expected to be the most important component of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) because it promises to save businesses across the continent US$5 billion in transaction costs each year, with trade between African countries expected to increase by 22 percent by 2040, generating an additional US$70 billion in value. However, some challenges need to be addresses.

At The Money Summit, the first session was therefore dedicated to plenary session was dedicated to discussing the challenges, opportunities, and the way forward for Africa’s payment and settlement system with respect to the introduction of PAPPS.

During that session, Patrick Asare-Frimpong, noted that “issues like the fastest time for transfers on PAPPS being 10 secs are challenging because people always want their monies instantly. There are card transfers that take just about 2 secs”. 

He further stated that in recent times, Hubtel has conducted “research amongst our customers, and we found out that settlement is one of the major things for both businesses and individuals. It doesn’t matter the platform through which they send money; the recipient wants to get the money instantly. They want it in a second. If we cannot promise and deliver instant settlement, then there is a whole cloud of doubt and uncertainty which results in low trade”.

Touching on the topic of Anti-Money Laundering, he asserted that it PAPPS is done right, it will give Africa countries a strong arm and allow them to operate as one entity and trade among themselves profitably, so that no outsiders can treat Africa as a push over when it comes to international trade.

The first plenary session at this year’s Money Summit had a panel of industry experts such as Monica Oraro, Head of Product and Business Development, PAPPS, Dr. Settor Amediku, Head of Payment Systems at Bank of Ghana, Ato Okyri, Group Head, Technology and Innovation at Letshego Group and Chief Financial Officer at Fidelity Bank, Attah Yeboah Gyan.

Business and Financial Times organized The Money Summit in partnership with the Bank of Ghana with support from Hubtel, Letshego, AZA Finance, FBN Bank, Fidelity Bank, Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), under the theme ‘Africa’s Economic Growth: Facilitating Investment, Payments, and Settlement Systems. 


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