Three South African financial tech companies ranked among the world’s best

Bank Zero, Yoco, and 22seven ranked among the world’s 200 best fintech companies, alongside prominent global corporates like Robin Hood, Tencent, Stripe, PayPal, and SoFi.

The list of the 200 best fintech companies was compiled by CNBC and Statista, with categories ranging from neobanking to digital wealth management to alternate financing.

The fintech industry has been through a period of upheaval. Valuations have fallen, funding has dried up, and businesses are cutting costs to appease investors.

However, innovation is still happening. Some companies are developing tools to help customers budget more effectively and predict their financial futures, while others are making access to credit and lending easier.

In the digital assets space, there is a growing focus on building technology to address some of the financial services industry’s biggest challenges, such as cross-border payments and real-time settlement.

CNBC and Statista set out to list the top fintech companies by analysing how they performed against a set of key performance indicators, including number of users, volumes, and revenues.


Bank Zero

In the neobanking category, Bank Zero was listed among the top 30 in the world, alongside global companies such as SoFi, Revolut, and Bunq.

Neobanks are companies, typically with their own bank license, that have been set up to disrupt large established lenders.

Many of these companies have struggled of late as their business model — spending lots to attain large numbers of customers and make money on card payments — has come under scrutiny with consumer spending slowing.

However, they have capitalised on the rise in interest rates by going into lending.

Bank Zero is an exclusively digital mutual bank in South Africa offering banking services to individuals and businesses.

It was founded in 2018 by a few former First National Bank employees, most notably former CEO Michael Jordaan (pictured) and executive Yatin Narsai. Jordaan is now Bank Zero’s chairman, and Narsai serves as CEO.


Yoco

Cape Town-based Yoco was listed among the top 40 digital payments companies worldwide, alongside global giants such as Stripe, Tencent, and PayPal.

Yoco is an African payments platform that enables businesses to grow by getting paid in-person or online.

Yoco offers card machines, online payments, and business tools to small businesses to assist them with payments and growth.

According to data from JPMorgan, the worldwide digital payments industry is currently estimated to be worth over $54 trillion.

Statista identified 40 firms as top digital payments companies. These include major players such as Chinese mobile wallet Alipay and tech giant Tencent, which operates the WeChat Pay payment services, and U.S. online payments powerhouse Stripe.

The buy now, pay later space has been under huge pressure amid fears of a drop in consumer spending — but it has equally become a lifeline for many as rising inflation forces people to search for flexible payment methods.


22seven

South African fintech company 22seven is featured among the top 20 in the digital financial planning space.

Over 580,000 South Africans use 22seven to manage their finances through the company’s innovative budgeting software allowing consumers to track all their money in one place.

22seven is backed by Old Mutual, giving it substantial resources to continue its growth and innovation.

Financial planning is another big area of finance that’s being reshaped by technology, as people have turned to online tools to manage their financial lives in favour of more cumbersome paper-based options.

In this field, Statista identified 20 names that fit the bill as companies leading the pack globally when it comes to innovating in financial planning.

They range from those changing the way people select and educate themselves about financial products, like NerdWallet, to services seeking to help people build up their credit scores, like Credit Karma.


This article was first published by Daily Investor and is republished with permission.

Now read: Money pouring into South African fintech and edtech companies

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Three South African financial tech companies ranked among the world’s best