How AI is revolutionizing the tech industry in Africa

How AI is revolutionizing the tech industry in AfricaHow AI is revolutionizing the tech industry in Africa

Register for the Chipper AI Day showcase here. Read on to learn how Chipper is using AI to positively power Africa.

It's an exciting time in the Artificial intelligence (AI) space. Foundation models, such as OpenAI's GPT models, have ignited industry-wide interest and cornucopia of use-cases, but the excitement extends beyond that: clever usage of AI could be a game-changer for good in the African tech industry.

Why AI in Africa Matters

The adoption of AI in Africa holds incredible potential to drive innovation and economic growth across the continent. The Africa Centre published a good explainer on this topic late last year.

While Africa faces unique challenges, such as nascent infrastructure and access to resources, AI offers a range of opportunities that can positively impact the people and economies of the continent. Take financial inclusion, for example. Around 50% of the total population of Africa remains un-or underbanked. It’s why we think our mission at Chipper – to provide the most trusted and accessible financial services for people living in Africa and beyond – is so important.

Fintech startups that are early adopters of AI are creating innovative solutions, like onboarding or alternative credit scoring models, to expand products and services to reach previously underserved communities. And, as a tool for economic growth on the continent, the adoption of AI can attract investment and foster job creation. African countries, such as Rwanda, are positioning themselves as AI hubs, and many offer degrees based on AI (Ghana was the first to launch in 2021). This attracts international partnerships, research collaborations, and investment.

For us at Chipper, here are the top five opportunities that we see for using AI to positively power Africa:

  1. Mobile Banking and Payments: Africa has a high penetration of mobile phones (continental average 84%) and in some countries, network coverage is almost 100%. AI-powered mobile banking and payment platforms can enable people to conduct financial transactions and make payments conveniently using mobile money and digital wallets.
  1. Risk Management: AI can help financial institutions better assess and manage risk, which historically has limited speed and service for underserved populations. In addition, AI algorithms can analyze transaction patterns and behaviors to detect fraud and anomalies, reducing risk and making financial services even more secure.
  1. Remote Identification and Authentication: AI-powered authentication methods, such as facial recognition, can enable secure and convenient remote identification for accessing financial services, especially in areas where physical branches are scarce, or where people prefer to conduct their transactions purely online. At Chipper, we are also excited by the potential to use diffusion models to help generate adversarial examples for our risk vision systems (documents, selfies) to keep our app and customers safe.
  2. Scalability as a competitive advantage: Startups can face resource constraints, but AI can help bridge the gap. As operations grow, AI systems can handle increasing workloads without requiring an increase in human resource. They can take on the boring, menial tasks where our human attention spans can begin to wane.
    By harnessing AI's capabilities in this way, startups can leapfrog more established competitors and disrupt traditional industries. A practical example from Chipper: we have a large language model system in production today that helps us enrich merchant transactions for our Chipper Card product. This helps us deliver a more polished experience to our customers, as well as extract more intelligent insights from our data.
  3. Data-Driven Insights: We know fintechs generate vast amounts of data. AI can quickly extract insights from the material, uncovering trends, patterns and behaviors that may go unnoticed otherwise. This can lead to more informed decision-making and the creation of more relevant and tailored products for customers on the continent.

Chipper AI Day – Join Us Online

AI has emerged as a transformative force in the tech startup space, revolutionizing the way businesses operate and deliver value to customers and economies across the region. And we’re already putting it to work within Chipper.

Want to learn more? Join us at the Chipper AI Day on 29 August, 10AM PST. During our broadcast, we will:

  • Show how we apply AI to strengthen customer satisfaction. 
  • Preview the latest AI product offering from Chipper. 
  • Share how we use AI to innovate, compete and thrive in today’s digital landscape. 

Register for your place.