Known as the first country to gain independence in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana only adopted capitalism in 1992. Hence just one generation here has lived in a free-market society. Nonetheless, Ghana has one of the most active tech scenes in the African continent, right next to frontrunners like South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. Many remain surprised as Ghana’s tech scene has quickly developed from the days when there were only one or two internet service providers and less than 200,000 mobile users.
Today, the mobile penetration rate in the country is 129%, up from 127.63% in 2015-2016, which is comparable with 80% penetration across Africa. There also is a palpably stiff competition between the international network service providers.
Traditionally, the economy has depended on the export of raw materials such as gold, cocoa, and timber. Despite discovering oil a decade ago, the country is still faced with high levels of unemployment, particularly among the youth.
Financial products and services have rapidly grown in reach and sophistication across the African continent, enabling entrepreneurs to provide access to a broader range of financial services for traditionally underserved and excluded communities. In 2017, Fintech was yet again the highest funded sector in Africa, garnering USD 30.68 Mn.
In Ghana, non-bank formal financial services have tripled in the last five years, and mobile money access is almost at par with access to banking. While some numbers unveil grave realities; over 70 percent of Ghanaians do not have bank accounts. This does not only highlight gaps but massive opportunities too.
Interestingly, Ghana is also one of the leading bitcoin economies in Africa among Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. Their local bitcoin trading volumes, the number of startups located in the region as well as community activity such as meetups and conferences can affirm this feat.
WeeTracker Research brings you a comprehensive list of 9 Ghanian Fintech companies to watch out for.
Widely regarded as the ultimate e-commerce enabler in Ghana, Express Pay has developed a payment gateway solution that brings various payment options under one umbrella—including mobile money. Its Bank Direct service allows users to send money instantly to any bank account.
This startup is a bot-powered system that allows customers to conduct banking transactions via selected chat services. The product will enable you to connect to your bank, allowing you to manage money and do more quickly and efficiently, by merely chatting. The service will allow customers to use conversational language to interact with their bank accounts, querying bank information, setting financial goals, etc. all while being provided a secure, encrypted communication platform to carry out these services.
This Blockchain startup aims to allow individuals and organisations to survey land and record deeds onto the Bitshares blockchain. As the pilot project is working out of Kumasi, Ghana, the team is looking to expand their reach further into the African continent. As the company grows, they seem to build infrastructure in developing countries to potentially unlock billions of dollars in untapped property rights.
It provides Ghanaians with the option to receive bitcoin remittances directly onto their mobile money account in Ghanaian cedis. This facility significantly reduces the cost of bitcoin remittances as the BTC can quickly and cheaply be converted to local mobile money. Currently, the company supports AirtelMoney, TigoCash, and MTN Mobile Money accounts.
Inclusive ID is a single identity verification API connecting unbanked Africans to the global economy. It would enable Pan-African financial institutions, and global financial service providers focused on Africa to meet Anti Money Laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) compliance.
The solution is a mobile app that helps customers to get access to financial investment solutions through their mobile phone regardless of an internet connection. Customers can select either long or short term investment solutions through our app or via our USSD platform. The app intelligently integrates with the mobile money account of the subscriber and an agreed amount is deducted from the account daily, weekly or monthly and invested into financial investment instrument on behalf of the customer.
This mobile money startup has developed an application for retail payment solutions. Its application enables customers to make mobile money payments via phone or point of sale devices, cellular airtime top-ups, bill payments, instant domestic money transfers, and international remittances; link bank accounts to mobile wallets; transfer between bank accounts and mobile money wallets; and transfer to bank accounts from the point of sale. The company secured an investment of USD 200K in 2015.
It is a marketplace that lets small business owners access financing like loans and savings, for their business through a smartphone, eliminating the costs and hassle involved in the process. On the other hand for the service providers – banks, MFIs, P2P crowd funders – it reduces the transaction time, costs, and risks in serving small businesses.
It received an undisclosed amount of investment from EWB Ventures in 2017.
This startup provides a cloud application for businesses and accountants to run payroll, file tax, and social security and pay employees via Mobile Money or through the Bank. With PaySail, payroll taxes are automatically calculated each month, based on employees’ basic salaries. Paysail generates simple payroll reports available in multiple formats. It also creates and sends payslips to employees by email. These payslips can be accessed by the employee at any time, from anywhere.
For the amount of tech capacity available to it, Ghana has been amazingly prolific, relative to Kenya, Nigeria and even South Africa, that enjoy the advantage of bigger markets and more access to capital. Being a great place to do business, far better than Nigeria (number 67 on the global ease of business ranking compared to Nigeria’s 147 out of 185 countries), certainly has a lot to do with that.