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How Mobile Wallet, Crypto, and CBDCs Challenge Cash Dominance in Nigeria and Beyond

A recent report by Cellulant on the payment system in Africa has identified three major trends that are challenging the dominance of cash in business transactions. These trends include the adoption of cryptocurrencies, the introduction of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and the increasing popularity of mobile wallets. These emerging payment trends are set to reshape the way businesses and consumers process payments not just in Africa, but worldwide.

According to the report, the global payments market is expected to record significant growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9 percent, with a projected growth of $612.04 billion. By 2027, the market is expected to hit $847.59 billion at a CAGR of about 8.5 percent as more people embrace alternative payment platforms. The report attributed this growth to an increase in the security, reliability, and speed of alternative payment platforms, such as mobile wallets, and the adoption of technologies like biometrics and blockchain to strengthen security.

The report also pointed out that Africa is at the forefront of smart payment development, with platforms such as M-Pesa in Kenya, MTN Mobile Money in Ghana, and Tingg leading the way. The growth of mobile money and the increasing use of phones for payment transactions are among the most significant changes in the African payment market. Furthermore, blockchain technology is emerging as a key trend reshaping the payment market in Africa, as it eliminates middlemen in payment settlement, making transactions faster and more cost-efficient. The report predicts that blockchain technology could potentially revolutionize African economies by making it easier to move money without losing value through exchange rates or fees.

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