The Flip
The Flip
Oct 21, 2021
Africa Stack
Play • 34 min

This episode concludes our three-part fintech series this season. In the first two episodes, we tackled payments. In this episode, we explore the other layers of the financial services stack - namely, identity and data. 

Africa Stack is a play on India Stack - India's pioneering platform of open APIs and digital infrastructure that underpins the country's rapid move towards a paperless, cashless, and digital future. But whereas India Stack was built in one market, with one currency and one regulator, and with significant government investment, how does Africa Stack get built across a fragmented continent? 

[04:33] - What is India Stack, why is it important, and what does it mean for Africa Stack?
[07:20] - We explore one layer of the stack - identity - with Smile Identity's Mark Straub.
[08:51] - Identity is a distinct challenge in Africa due to the gaps left by governments. According to The Economist, in countries like Tanzania, Ethiopia or Malawi, for example, less than 20% of births are registered.
[12:50] - Another important part of identity is address verification - something that OkHi's Timbo Drayson is attempting to improve upon.
[19:25] - One reason why Africa Stack is important is because of the opportunities created by data layer and open banking startups, like Mono, as discussed with its CEO, Abdul Hassan.
[23:14] - Whereas Mono is tackling bank customers in bank-led Nigeria, Pngme is focused on USSD transaction data, the telco rails that power mobile money. We hear from Pngme's Brendan Playford.
[27:40] - Beyond data aggregation, there is a need for data empowerment, to create opportunities for real-time, customized credit, for example.
[30:25] - So how will Africa Stack come together across such a fragmented ecosystem? 

This season is sponsored by MFS Africa.

All this season, we're exploring value chains. And in the payments value chain, no fintech has a wider reach on the continent than MFS Africa. Through their network of over 180 partners - MNOs, banks, NGOs, fintechs, and global enterprises - MFS Africa's API hub makes connects over 320 million mobile wallets across 30+ countries in Africa.

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