The digital challenge for mobile financial services

The mobile financial services space is booming, it’s reshaping the way we live and changing how we transact. According to Statista, 1.9 billion people worldwide actively use online banking services, and the number is going to reach 2.5 billion by 2024.

Financial services firms should embrace mobile and not miss out on any future opportunities, especially with the advancement of technologies such as AI, big data and blockchain.

They are under intense pressure from all sides from cryptocurrency to digital upstarts as well as the need to exceed customer demands for speed, efficacy and personalisation. This market is highly competitive, so to get an edge they need to adapt and offer a unique experience. They must innovate with these technologies and provide a totally new customer experience.

Apps help reduce economic inequality

Access to financial services via mobile apps is the key to reducing economic inequality, it provides people from low and middle-income countries with a platform to transact financially. These apps are particularly promising on the African continent where financial inclusion is under 50 percent whilst mobile phone penetration is close to 90 percent.

Many are also in remote or rural areas with no access to the internet except through their phones. These apps provide financial services to people and communities who are typically excluded from traditional banking. They are now also able to process cross-border remittances to support their families.

Mobile wallets

eCommerce is booming, consumers need the fastest, easiest and most secure way to pay. This is no more relevant than in Africa. Fintech is all about cashless and digital payments, so most consumers are now carrying a digital wallet for everyday transactions. Nowadays, wherever you are, it is easy to tap or swipe.

They simply make our lives easier, allowing us to pay at a store quickly and conveniently without pulling out a card. In many low-income communities, mobile money systems make a massive difference in people’s lives – it provides access to basic financial services they would not otherwise have. For example, a mobile wallet enables them to receive a money transfer, pay accounts or withdraw cash.


Security is by far the headline topic in the fintech space and biometric authentication certainly addresses the consumer demand for protection. Mobile apps integrated with biometrics can provide significant security and ease of use.

Fingerprint and facial recognition scanners have become the norm for most mobile users. There are several biometric modalities that need to be incorporated for financial institutions to provide heightened security for their mobile app users.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Fintech is making significant use of AI, typically to enhance the security features in apps. AI and machine learning can easily detect suspicious activities, it helps banks and fintech companies identify patterns of fraud attacks.

Algorithms provide insights that help these companies improve their customer service. It also ensures accurate sales and performance forecasts.


Contextual usability should be applied considering education, language and regional considerations.