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Why Fingo Africa App could be the perfect tool to boost Financial Inclusion in East Africa

fingo banking app was launched in kenya

Accessing financial services can be a major challenge for young people in Africa today. Opening a bank account can be a lengthy process, taking anywhere from a couple of days to a pulse of weeks in some countries. Moreover, it may require multiple in-person interactions and requirements to bring physical paper documents. 

Often, they are facing expensive fees to send money and maintain their accounts. Young adults in Africa still struggle to access savings, insurance and credit, financial services.

That’s why Ecobank Kenya, part of Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking Group, announced the launch of the Fingo Africa app, which is set to revolutionize financial inclusion for young people in Kenya and across Africa. The new app has been developed in close collaboration with Fingo Africa, a Kenya-based Fintech. 

A new app aimed at powering financial inclusion across Africa

According to Ecobank, the neobank is the first of its kind in East Africa. Unlike other African countries such as Nigeria or Egypt, where collaboration between banks and fintechs are commonplace, allowing the latter group to launch fast, it is few and far in the East part of the African continent.

Initially, The app has been launched in Kenya but since Fingo Africa targets the youth in the continent, it has plans in the pipeline to launch in 32 other countries where Ecobank is also present. At the beginning of operations, the fintech claims it has acquired 10,000 active users with a waitlist of 100,000 customers within 24 hours of launch. 

What Can Users of The Fingo Africa App Do

Opening the Fingo digital account is free and easy. It attracts no minimum balance and no monthly fees. Fingo Africa app offers its users a bank account “under 5 minutes,” paired with free peer-to-peer transactions and immediate access to multiple services such as savings, financial education and smart spending analytics, the company said in a statement. 

In addition, the app allows users to send money to other Fingo users for free and to M-Pesa users and pay bills via Paybills and Till numbers at subsidized rates. Clients can also receive funds using QR Code and earn a cash reward by completing a few simple actions after self-onboarding. 

Keep Track of Your Saving Goals

Users therefore get instantly rewarded whenever they use the App for their day-to-day transactions. They are also able to create their own savings goals, set recurring deposits, and track your progress at your desired pace. Building a savings habit is essential for long-term financial stability; it helps people manage your finances, avoid debt, and build a safety net for unexpected expenses or emergencies. 

By setting specific savings goals within the app, be it for a big purchase or an investment, clients are able to track their progress, and, why not, get motivated to save more and make more progress towards users' financial goals.

Boosting Financial Inclusion 

“We are proud to support the deployment of the Fingo Africa app, a game-changer in digital finance in Africa that brings many young people into the mainstream financial sector and caters to their needs and preferences”, underlines Jeremy Awori, chief executive officer of Ecobank group

“The youth are a key pillar for any business and are an invaluable segment for Ecobank as the average age in Africa is 19, and it is forecast that by 2030 young Africans will be 42% of global youth. As a Bank, it is crucial that we provide products that have appeal and are user-friendly to the young population, who have an immense appetite for digital engagement. The Fingo Africa App seeks to do exactly that, as we seek to deepen financial inclusivity among the youth in Kenya and beyond”, said to media Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Managing Director, Ecobank Kenya and Regional Executive, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa

Mobile Banking is the Future In Africa 

“Mobile banking is our future”, says Jeremy Awori, “the mobile phone is a powerful vehicle for transformation and we need to include more financial services to facilitate payments and communication with users”, added Ecobank CEO. 

According to the latest figures, Ecobank Mobile has experienced a 54% increase in transaction value to $7.1bn in the last 12 months. Ecobank Group, which has invested heavily in technology ($14m in 2021 alone), has seen its digital division become a major part of its business. 

According to data, the future of mobile money payments in Africa is one of tremendous growth and opportunity, indicating that the future of African banking is mobile. The value of African transactions made up about 70% of global transaction values, which hit over USD 1 trillion for the first time in 2021. Furthermore, there are about 140 active companies in the mobile money market on the African continent: the main ones being M-Pesa; Money Telephone Network (widely known as MTN) Money; Orange Money; Airtel Money; and Tigo-Cash. A report from McKinsey & Company projects mobile payments to increase by 7% by 2025. 

From Cash to Digital

Over the past decade, East Africa has seen a significant shift in the way people access and use financial services. The region has experienced a rapid increase in financial inclusion, thanks to the emergence of digital financial solutions.

According to a 2022 study by Statista, in 2021, formal financial services and products were accessible to almost 84 percent of households in Kenya. This marked a significant improvement from 2006 when only around 57 percent of households had access to financial services in this East African country.

Other East African countries like Tanzania and Uganda have also been highlighted by the Word Bank in their Global Findex Database 2021 showing a significant increase in financial inclusion in these countries.