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The gig economy – characterized by the prevalence of flexible independent contractors, as opposed to permanent jobs – is growing at a rapid pace worldwide. According to Mastercard’s white paper on The Gig Economy in East Africa, this global economy is currently sized at $193 billion and increasing at a projected annual rate of 17.4%. By the end of 2023, it is forecast to be worth $455 billion.
Technology, with its rapid advancements in digital offerings allowing people to work from wherever they like, is driving the exponential growth of the gig economy and SMEs. As a digital-first fintech enabler, we at Ukheshe are ramping up efforts to establish key partnerships internationally, expanding our operations to include Asia-Pacific – known as the hub of the gig economy with 84% of hiring managers outsourcing to freelancers – and price-sensitive East Africa, a region with a burgeoning gig worker population that is still dominated by cash or mobile money options. By partnering with local institutions, like banks and telcos, we are able to offer payment solutions that allow more people to participate in economic activity.
Our cutting-edge Eclipse API makes informal banking an accessible and lucrative growth market for our partnering institutions with payment technologies that solve for the problems of expensive acceptance rails and carrying cash. This is particularly important in markets like Singapore, where digital wallets are growing in popularity, and East Africa, which is poised for a surge in digital banking, with the likes of QR payments and digital cards likely to make the biggest impact.
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