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How to sell more in Africa: The role of payment processors

July 10, 2023
July 10, 2023
3 mins read
Astor George
Astor George
Brand Storyteller

Editor's note:

Digital payment processing is growing fast in Africa, and mobile payments alone accounted for $456 billion worth of transactions in 2019, with an estimated increase to $721 billion over the next four years. These stats present a vital opportunity for businesses seeking to increase sales in Africa. 

Scaling in Africa is an opportunity many companies (local or global) cannot afford to miss due to the continent’s high population growth rate and emerging economies. The truth is that expanding business operations and driving sales in Africa requires understanding the unique dynamics of the continent's diverse demands. One crucial aspect is establishing efficient digital payment processing capabilities. In this article, we’ll explore key strategies to sell more in Africa and examine the critical role payment processors like Kora play in driving business growth.

To achieve successful sales in Africa, businesses must first comprehend local consumers' unique preferences and behaviours. Conduct market research to gain insights into purchasing habits, cultural nuances, and regional variations. Companies should also consider the various languages used across the continent when creating content and marketing their products or services. 

One of the significant advantages of digital payment processing in Africa is the opportunity to reach previously unbanked populations. In Sub-Saharan Africa, over 350 million adults do not have access to formal financial services, i.e. about 17% of the total population. This is where mobile payment solutions come into play. Mobile payment solutions are transforming the African retail landscape due to the widespread adoption of smartphones. Even though the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) exists — a continental free trade agreement that aims to create a single market for goods and services in Africa, facilitating cross-border trade by eliminating tariffs on a wide range of products — partnering with payment processors like Kora that offer mobile payment integration enables businesses to accept payments through mobile wallets, QR codes, or mobile banking apps is a must for every business looking to scale in Africa. This strategic implementation provides many benefits, ranging from increased accessibility to enhanced market penetration in areas with minimal financial infrastructure.

Mobile payments are widespread in Africa, but other payment channels exist across the continent, and businesses should learn to make accommodations for as many of them as possible such as bank transfers, card payments, and cash-on-delivery. Having a payment processor like Kora that enables a business to accept payments in multiple methods helps it provide its customers with flexibility and convenience, increasing customer loyalty and trust.

Speaking of trust, customers in Africa are big on security.

They need assurance that their payment information will be secure and protected. Payment processors play a vital role in ensuring robust security measures and encryption protocols are implemented and adhering to industry standards and compliance regulations. Businesses should communicate the security features of their payment system to instil confidence in customers and dissuade fears of fraud or identity theft. 

Africa's vast landscape presents opportunities for businesses to expand across borders. However, cross-border payments can be complex due to currency conversions and regulatory challenges. Payment processors specialising in cross-border transactions simplify the process by offering competitive exchange rates, compliance with local regulations, and streamlined settlement procedures. By partnering with such payment processors, businesses can efficiently navigate cross-border transactions, expand their customer base, and unlock new market potential.

Businesses must also consider the target country's regulatory and compliance requirements. Digital payment processing is subject to regulatory oversight, and businesses must obtain licenses and adhere to specific regulations. A local legal firm can help companies to navigate these requirements and ensure compliance.

Businesses must adopt tailored strategies and take advantage of the capabilities of payment processors to sell more in Africa. By establishing a reliable payment processing infrastructure, companies can enhance customer experience, build trust, and tap into the immense potential of the African market.

At Kora, our goal is to connect Africa to the world and connect the world to Africa via payments. We provide All The Support You Need ™️ for startups and businesses working in Africa to start, scale and thrive on the continent. Visit to see all the ways you can thrive with Kora.