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Issue One: Middle East and Africa


Issue One: Middle East and Africa

Country case studies: South Africa, Israel, Saudi Arabia
Company case studies: Capitec, Mpesa

The Middle East (GCC countries + Levant + Egypt) is a small region in terms of number of credit cards, but punches far above its weight on average amount of transaction and balance outstanding. According to a research by the World Bank, as many as 66% of sub-Saharan Africans are listed as "unbanked". But Africa is the incubator of mobile wallet technologies such as M-Pesa and other innovations that are disrupting the landscape of financial inclusion. Africa has the largest portion of what is classified as 'informal economies.' Not only consumers, but most of the businesses are also outside the purview of banks and have limited access to financial services. To deliver inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa, countries need to find ways to provide citizens with the opportunity for economic stimulus and financial inclusion. A whopping 370 million people remain unbanked and unserved out of the total population of 590 million in 2019.

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