The rapid adoption of mobile technology and the growth of online shopping by an emerging middle class makes Africa a fertile region for expansion, according to Rupert Keeley, general manager for PayPal's business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"As people rise up the economic ladder, embrace mobile telephony, embrace the internet, and move from surfing and information sharing to buying online, and selling online, that really plays to PayPal's
sweet spot," Keeley
"Many people in Africa are used to mobile phones, using the internet, but often buying things online and importing things, whether it's digital goods or physical goods, is a real challenge," Keeley
"There is enormous pent-up demand, really, from people in Africa as wealth increases, the size of the middle class increases in a number of countries.
People want to buy goods and services overseas, as well as in other markets within the continent, and they want to get access to that.
But actually, practically in one of the 43 markets that we serve in Africa, it's quite difficult to buy goods and services."
The speed with which first mobile phones, and then mobile payments took off shows Africa's capacity for leapfrogging older technology and business models as it develops, and the same could well be true of the banking sector, according to Keeley
"What's exciting for us is that we're seeing economic growth and development across the continent and seeing many people getting a global mindset," he