How to leverage Africa's massive e-commerce potential through cross-border payments

The African continent has witnessed remarkable growth in its e-commerce, revolutionizing how people behave and buy online. Despite understanding the digital market's potential, global brands keen to expand and thrive in this dynamic region must know the importance of tailored cross-border payment strategies for local consumers.

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Online buyers' ascendancy in Africa

Despite being in the early stages, Africa's e-commerce should grow fast through 2026. The continent of 1.3 billion people is already the most significant mobile-driven region worldwide, with an 83% penetration of mobile users. By 2026, Africa is forecast to have the most significant number of digital buyers growth worldwide.

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The region is forecast to have the largest number of digital buyers growth worldwide.

Digital buyers growth index, CAGR 2018-2026

Source: Insider Intelligence, with EBANX calculations. * digital buyer: internet users who have made at least one digital purchase during the year (% age 14+)

A digital-payments
-first region

Africa's digital payments landscape has seen rapid growth, propelled by several factors, including the increasing penetration of mobile devices, expanding internet access, and the emergence of a burgeoning middle class.

A rising online market

African online payments are expected to grow 34% per year through 2025. Online electronic payments in Africa, per year, USD Bn.

Source: McKinsey Global Payments Map

South Africa, Nigeria & Kenya:

the continent's rising stars

South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya are leading the digital revolution in Africa, seeing remarkable growing trends and developments in their respective markets. Adopting digital payments has been a significant game-changer, with platforms like M-Pesa in Kenya, the USSD technology in Nigeria, and OZOW in South Africa gaining widespread popularity.

Where the largest digital economies are in Africa 

South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya are the main regional hubs. Digital economy size (or iGDP), in USD Bn, 2025.

Source: Accenture, via Google/IFC

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Expanding and growing into the African digital market

By leveraging technology, understanding local preferences, and building solid partnerships, global brands are unlocking the full potential of the African digital market, fostering long-term growth, and establishing a competitive edge.

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The fastest growing digital industries in Africa

Among the top-3, Cloud/SaaS, delivery apps, and online retail. CAGR (2021-26)

Source: Statista, Insider Intelligence, Newzoo, and IDC/Statista, with EBANX calculations

A comprehensive analysis of the e-commerce landscape in Africa and how cross-border payments push massive opportunities

A comprehensive analysis of the e-commerce landscape in Africa and how cross-border payments push massive opportunities.

By reading the study, you will track down the following:

  • The e-commerce landscape in Africa

  • Leading industries growing double-digits

  • The growth of Africa's digital payment system

  • Payment methods and consumer preferences in Africa

  • Tailored cross-border payment strategies to profit in Africa

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