In 2021, Africa had about 21 digital banks serving more than 18 million customers, according to a report by BPC Banking Technologies and Fincog. 80% of these neobanks are concentrated in South Africa and Nigeria.
In a recent report entitled “Digital Banking in Sub-Saharan Africa”, BPC Banking Technologies and Fincog (Fintech Consultancy Group) established a ranking of the ten largest African neobanks in 2021, by number of customers.
Thus, the South African Bettr is the first entirely digital bank on the continent with 6.5 million customers. It is followed by TymeBank, also South African and owned by billionaire Patrice Motsepe. It will have 4 million customers in 2021. Also with 4 million customers, the Nigerian Chipper Cash occupies 3rd place in this ranking, ahead of another Nigerian neobank, Alat, which with its 1.5 million customers is in 4th place.
With its 1.1 million customers, Zazu is the 1st digital bank in Zambia and the 5th in the ranking. Next come Kuda from Nigeria (1 million customers), its sister Carbon (659,000 customers), and Bank Zero from South Africa (500,000 customers) which are respectively 6th, 7th and 8th in this ranking. Mama Money (South Africa) and Rubies (Nigeria) close this top 10 with 500,000 and 90,000 customers respectively.
While Africa currently has 21 digital banks that together serve more than 18 million customers, South Africa and Nigeria alone account for around 80% of these structures. These countries are the most developed on the continent in terms of network and Internet infrastructure.
In 2021, the mobile penetration rate was 47% in Nigeria compared to 61% in South Africa. Internet penetration was 50% in Nigeria compared to 64% in South Africa, according to the report. These Internet infrastructures are essential to strengthen access to financial services for people living in rural areas and to reach many unbanked communities.