BNPL is growing at a spectacular rate in Africa and the Middle East. This is driven by vast consumer demand in credit card-starved Africa, where consumer lending is underdeveloped to say the least. Meanwhile, in the Middle East demand is coming from people who do not want to pay interest as well as the region's large pool of expatriate workers.
Lafferty's new BNPL Index Middle East and Africa 2022 estimates the size of the BNPL opportunity over the next five to seven years.
This report notes that Middle East countries have a unique demographic opportunity in the large expat worker population that is severely under-penetrated for credit cards, while Africa holds out an opportunity in the large unbanked but smartphone-holding population that is hungry for credit.
For both these regions, BNPL is projected to be the engine of growth in digital payments and consumer/SME credit. The MEA region has a diverse range of countries – high credit card penetration to virtually no credit card; 100% smartphone to less than 30% smartphone coverage; but a common thread running across the region is the huge appetite for credit by consumers and SMEs.
The current infrastructure for credit is largely dominated by banks with conservative policies. BNPL – led by FinTechs – is going to be the major disrupting force that will ignite the true potential of the countries in this region. This report seeks to capture the size of the opportunity.