Dano Fotiadis
Dano Fotiadis

Retail FX in Africa

Retail customers tend have two reasons to engage with foreign exchange. One is through remittances. The other is through speculative trading.

With such a broad take up in mobile communications, apps to help with moving money have gained traction.  “The remittance space has become very congested,” explains Absa’s Robert Cousins, “with many fintech start-ups taking aim squarely at Africa, to try and break the dominance of Western Union, MoneyGram and the regional banks. There have been varied levels of success but the remittance space is yet to see real challengers to the longstanding money remitters mainly because of their strong point of presence network. Mobile money has also seen a lot of growth in Africa driven by the mobile infrastructure growth. The well-known Safricom has led the charge with many following suit. Again, the barrier to growth is the regulatory environments which make cross-border money transfer difficult.” Pure play FX investment and/or speculation however is “relatively untapped,” according to Brigid Taylor at Kaon. “Most retail investors are either invested in the money...continued

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