Cameroon is set to embark on what entrepreneurs call a ‘digital revolution’ with many new entrants in the market.
The activity of the banking industry in Cameroon has doubled over the past five years : a spectacular trend for a country that barely struggled to maintain its lending businesses just a few years ago.
One key factor explaining such a traditional low financial penetration in the country was related to poor IT infrastructure. As indicated by Brice Mbodiam? Director at ICT Media Strategies in a recent analysis, poor IT structures restricted the development of the banking activity. However, recent and active changes implemented through the Government new IT policies seem to signal the domestic , as well as international audience that Cameroon is set to embark on what entrepreneurs call a ‘digital revolution’ with many new and powerful entrants in the market.
Cameroon is steering full speed toward FinTechs ventures
With growing fintech in the region, Cameroon is steering its financial industry towards a profitable venture. Financial technology is revamping the banking and financial sector in Cameroon, making services and products easily available to people (LTP – Elena Mesropyan, Dec 13, 2016). Benefiting from these advanced technology set forth by the Government, financial companies setting up their operations in Cameroon are able to generate more business by up-selling their services.
Penetration rate of mobile services has reached historical summits in Cameroon. Having most of the population connected via internet makes it easier for fintech companies to implement innovative technologies. As a dire consequence of this situation and as a strong evidence of the relevance of the connectivity and online exchanges stands The recent internet blackout in Cameroon that lasted over a month and ended in Avril 2017 and which resulted in huge corporate losses (African Arguments – Amindeh Blaise Atabong, Mar 10, 2017) : Internet has become an integrated part of citizens in Cameroon. Such a new conjecture accounts for the fact that the country has also become a leading contender in the continent, in the financial sector, hosting many reputable lending businesses establishing offices in the region. Among the major fintech companies that have transformed the financial sector of Cameroon we have identified the following participants that features impressive track record in the economy :
Eclectics International is reshaping the financial industry by developing innovative digital products for the Cameroonian market. The company is focused on developing and implementing financial products for the banking and finance industry. Its presence in Cameroon has played a major role in increasing financial accessibility to individual in the region (LTP – Elena Mesropyan, Dec 13, 2016). The business operates in more than 20 countries and its operations in the domestic market have been fruitful. At present, 15 financial institutions operate in Cameroon, offering five more times products and services compared to three ago.
Softeller operates much like Western Union, but with lower conversion rates. Using innovative mobile technology, the company has emerged new options for Cameroonians abroad to send remittances back home at lower rates (LTP – Elena Mesropyan, Dec 13, 2016). The software is convenient and offers ease of access, making it widely adapted in the region.
An emerging venture capitalist, aiming to fund small and innovative businesses, Guanxi Investment uses smart fintech to generate a pool of funds from the public. It will do so by selling shares, which will be used to fund small business ideas by young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs (Business in Cameroon – BRM, May 18, 2017). The business prospects growth in job creation will help the country lower unemployment rates.
In a broader perspective contribution of fintech corporations in Cameroon has lead the way to significant growth opportunities for the overall economy. As Cameroonian market emerges into a technologically advanced corporate market, financial and banking institutions from neighboring countries are starting to share a growing interest in the region due to high potential returns.
The digital revolution in Cameroon has been leveraged by the growing level of investments originating from the financial sector through the unexpected success of these fintech corporations. In this regard, we can safely state that Cameroon recent emergence among Africa leading economies has been facilitated by the innovative policies of the Government.