Talk360 has announced it will debut its own payment platform next year. The platform will be the world’s first single checkout integrating all local currencies and payment methods across the African continent. Additionally, it’s not just limited to Talk360; it will make it simple for businesses to connect with over 500 million African consumers, giving them access to products and services they previously couldn’t. The announcement is coming 1 month after the startup announced an additional $3 million in seed round funding, bringing its total seed round after its first close in May of this year to $7 million.
A huge market for mobile digital services exists, according to the startup, with 60% of the population under 25. However, we must first address the issue of accessibility, which is complicated by the fact that every African nation has a different card or wallet system, as well as different payment customs and a huge variety of payment service providers. On top of that, most international digital services do not support local currencies.
According to Dean Hiine, co-founder and managing director for Africa for Talk360, closing the payment gap will improve the lives of “hundreds of millions of consumers” by giving them access to dependable, affordable, and simple-to-use digital services that integrate them into the larger economy,.
“We simply cannot afford to leave huge parts of the African population out of the financial mainstream any more. Their spending is key to the continent’s economic growth, and giving them the tools they need to access international services and to transact safely lowers inequality and opens up a host of economic and social benefits. The faster we close the payment gap, the better for the entire continent,” says Hiine.
Hiine estimates that 70% of all African consumers are currently unable to purchase international digital products and services.
“In Africa, we’re in our second decade of digital financial services. We’re world leaders in the field, and we’ve seen massive adoption of mobile money across the continent. This has been key to enabling financial inclusion for hundreds of millions of previously excluded Africans. But there’s still plenty of room for growth, both in mobile payments and accessibility to international services,” says Hiine.