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The 2022 Payments Innovation Jury Report, which was also backed by The World Bank and Global Processing Services, was officially released today in Nairobi by Interswitch Group (GPS) The 2022 report, released in conjunction with Interswitch’s 20th anniversary celebration, explores several key areas where payment innovation is currently focused, including A2A payments and BNPL, what actually drives innovation, and which areas of innovation are most overhyped, among other topics. It is part of a series that offers some unexpected insights from senior decision makers across the industry.

The 2022 Payments Innovation Jury, comprised of 79 top payments leaders from 30 various markets, provided the report’s expert thoughts and viewpoints.

For the first time since the Jury’s creation, a sizable number of prominent regulators and investors, together with national payments businesses, banks, fintechs, and payments policy authorities, were invited in order to provide a complete, 360-degree picture. 

Importantly, all Jury members take part in anonymity to give them the freedom to talk openly without being constrained by the innovation priorities of their existing organization. 

The report for 2022 is the tenth in a 14-year-long series. 

Interswitch’s founder and group chief executive officer, Mitchell Elegbe, claims that:

As one of the leading and influential players in payments who regard Africa as both our origin and primary catchment market, we are extremely enthused at Interswitch to yet again facilitate this timely and important research effort, which curates practical insights and expert perspectives of senior leaders globally, and across the entire spectrum of African retail payments.

It is important to note that this edition coincides with Interswitch’s 20th anniversary of founding, and I am overjoyed that at such a significant turning point in our journey as a leading force in Africa’s payment innovation, we once again have the privilege of supporting this deserving initiative that is promoting fair assessment and better understanding of the payments industry as it develops. 

According to Interswitch Board Director and founder of the Payments Innovation Jury John Chaplin, “In the payments sector there have long been conflicting ideas on what will be the ‘Next Big Thing,’ especially when many outstanding concepts fail to acquire the size to function economically.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to gather the insights of 79 of the most senior players shaping the global payments industry. My grateful thanks to them for taking the time to share their views, which have been curated in this report. The support of Interswitch, the World Bank, and Global Processing Services is much appreciated, as their patronage allows us to operate on a not-for-profit basis and distribute the report free of charge to anyone with an interest in the future of innovation in the payments industry.”

One of the report’s main conclusions is that: 

The market share of account-to-account (A2A) transactions is anticipated to grow steadily over the following five years, however certain aspects of the A2A business case are in doubt due to the absence of a sustainable income stream for participants. 

Even though the card model will continue to rule in affluent nations, volume growth in card payments will become more difficult as other payment options like A2A gain market share. 

The introduction of licenses for payment institutions with less regulatory capital than full-service banks was deemed to be the most effective measure for promoting innovation, while sandboxes were not thought to have much of an influence.

Whether Banking as a Service (BaaS) is a business model or a technology model was virtually evenly divided. 

Hopes that traditional banks would gain seem to be mostly unfounded, since the movement is being led by a new generation of specialized platform providers. 

Because of the significant advantages for customers and businesses, BNPL usage is anticipated to rise in the short- to medium-term. 

However, given upcoming regulation and mounting credit losses, its rapid expansion is probably only going to last a short time. 

In the majority of markets, the introduction of CBDCs is thought to be very plausible. 

But the jury emphasized the substantial operating costs of deployment and expressed its skepticism regarding the existence of a market for CBDCs.

In essence, the Jury is of the opinion that CBDCs will exist, but neither the majority of the industry nor the end consumers will actually benefit from them. 

With the exception of fraud prevention, payment data is still not being fully utilized. 

A limited number of global bigtechs with superior technology and an alternative business model to traditional payment providers are finding that the market is essentially open as a result of regulatory limits on the use of personal data. 

Mobile money still faces a number of important legislative obstacles to overcome, despite becoming the preferred form factor for payments globally and gaining particular traction in emerging economies.

Despite historically having far lower levels of investment, Asia continues to lead the world in payments innovation, while Africa outperforms the USA and Europe. 

Cryptocurrencies and BNPL were the two areas of payments innovation where the jury felt that reality and expectations will most likely diverge.


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