South Africa scores highly for fintech adoption, according to new research by Tipalti.

The study analysed factors such as global fintech adoption rates, Google searches for fintech by country and the regions that have the highest virtual capital funding to uncover the world’s biggest fintech adoption hotspots.

It identified the top 10 countries with the highest rate of fintech adoption as:

Rank Country Fintech Adoption as a % of Digitally Active Population 2019
1 China 87%
1 India 87%
3 South Africa 82%
4 Colombia 76%
5 Peru 75%
6 Netherlands 73%
7 Mexico 72%
8 Ireland 71%
8 UK 71%
10 Argentina 67%
10 Hong Kong 67%
10 Singapore 67%
10 South Korea 67%


China emerges as the country with the highest fintech adoption rates. As of 2019, 87% of China’s digitally active population has adopted the use of Fintech. Tied with India, these two countries have been leading the fintech market for years.

India, tied with China for first place, has an 87% adoption rate. Between 2021 and 2022, India had around 6 600 fintech startups with a total market value of $31-billion, making it the third largest fintech ecosystem in the world – although, in the first half of 2023, the investment into fintech startups in India dropped by 67%. Despite this massive dip in investment, it is still the third-highest funded country for fintech in the world as of 2023, trailing only the US and the UK.

South Africa has the third-highest adoption rate of fintech, with 82% of the digitally-active population now using it. South Africa is internationally recognised as a small fintech market that is highly sophisticated and fast-growing, making up 40% of all fintech revenue in Africa.

Further research shows:

* Across the six markets that were researched, there are just three that are above the 60% average for fintech adoption rates as of 2019: the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. In fact, despite having one of the largest fintech economies in the world, the US has just a 46% fintech adoption rate, the lowest of the six markets.

* North America is the region with the highest amount of venture capital funding into its fintech industry as of 2022. Of the global capital funding that has gone into Fintech in 2022, 56,3% has gone specifically to the North American Fintech market.

* Japan had the lowest adoption rate of fintech among the country’s digitally active population, at just 34% as of 2019. This sees Japan lagging behind other countries in Asia, such as China and Singapore. However, this is largely due to the innate nature of Japan’s financial environment, which is extremely conservative and risk-averse. As a result, fintech investment is very low in the country.