The financial sector in Africa \u2014 which has a huge unbanked population and a young demographic hooked on mobile phones \u2014\u00a0 is ripe for disruption, and a new generation of creative South African fintech start-ups is taking the lead in offering innovative\u00a0 services to enterrprises and consumers alike.\nThe financial sector in Africa is responding to real-world conditions by offering services such as mobile banking, and various technologies that lower the cost of access to transaction services for enterprises. In 2019, African tech start-ups broke records. The African tech sector's attractiveness to investors is the highest it has ever been, with much of the interest being directed towards ventures within the financial services sector.\nFinancial inclusion secured the top spot when it comes to deal volume and value last year, with ventures that improve access\u00a0to financial\u00a0services being awarded over 54% of total investment, according to a\u00a0report by Partech Partners. An investment summary report for 2019 from London-based research firm, Briter Bridges, also noted the trend, highlighting South Africa as one of the top investment regions. \u00a0\nSouth Africa already has fintech success stories\nFintech is, generally speaking, technology that is applied to financial services or the management of transaction operations in businesses. While a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including most recently Mauritius, are trying to lay the foundation for a thriving fintech start-up scene, South Africa already has a number of fintech success stories. These include the likes of Yoco, Tyme Bank, Jumo and Luno. These brands are at a more advanced stage than other start-ups, having successfully partnered with big corporates, grown a large customer base, attracted big investments and challenged the industry status quo. But there are also a variety of smaller fintech ventures looking to grow.\nRand Merchant Bank's SA Fintech in Motion Report for 2019 outlines how digital innovations have fundamentally altered the way we communicate, transact and access information, spawning entirely new business models. And the opportunities that these forces are creating are set to shape the future of financial services.\nAccording Dominique Collett, a senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI) and the head of AlphaCode, an RMI incubation, acceleration and investment vehicle, South African fintechs are embracing emerging technology, social media and a changing consumer base to create new business models and change the financial services landscape.\n"SA's financial services sector is undergoing a process of unprecedented change brought about by the disruptive impact of fintech challengers and the emerging technologies powering their business models," says PwC, the world's second-largest professional services firm."Fintechs are redrawing the competitive landscape and blurring the lines that define players in the financial services landscape."\nBelow is CIO Africa's top 10 list of up-and-coming fintech start-ups to watch \u2014 smaller than some of the more well-known financial services start-ups, but making inroads into the consumer and enterprise markets with new mobile apps and innovative niche services.\nTop South Africa fintech start-ups to watch\nBank Zero\nYear Founded:\u00a02018\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Johannesburg\nCEO:\u00a0Yatin Narsai\nWhat they do:\u00a0Bank Zero is SA's newest bank. It's an exclusively digital mutual bank that offers a mobile app and promises free basic banking with charges only for additional extras.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0TymeBank and Discovery Bank\nCustomers:\u00a0Both businesses and individuals.\nWhy they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0Bank Zero is South Africa's first digital-only bank. This fintech is the brainchild of venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur Michael Jordaan and banking innovator Yatin Narsai, who worked together to transform First National Bank into the most innovative bank in the world.\nMama Money\nYear Founded:\u00a02013\nHeadquarters: Cape Town\u00a0\nCEO:\u00a0Co-founded by Mathieu Coquillon and Raphael\u00a0Grojnowski.\nWhat they do:\u00a0Mama Money is a cross-border, money-transfer service allowing migrants to send money from\u00a0South Africa\u00a0to their home countries. Mama Money tackles the high cost of international money transfers and currently operates in 12 countries.\nCompetitors include: Meerkat and TransferGalaxy\nCustomers:\u00a0Migrants keen to send money home to support their families.\nWhy they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0Earlier this year, Mama Money partnered with Western Union to allow customers to send money to their loved ones around the world via Western Union's Global Network.\nLulaLend\nYear Founded:\u00a02014\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Cape Town\nCEO:\u00a0Trevor Gosling\nWhat they do:\u00a0LulaLend makes use of proprietary credit scoring technology to provide quick decisions, fast funding and transparent pricing to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).\nCompetitors include:\u00a0Rainfin and JUMO\nCustomers:\u00a0SMEs located in South Africa that have been in business for over a year with an annual revenue higher than 500,000ZAR (US$30,000).\nWhy they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0The B2B digital lender was recently recognised in the 2020 Inclusive Fintech Awards.\u00a0The awards are given out to just 50 fintech start-ups from around the world that are making an effort to provide financial services to underserved communities.\nClickatell\nYear Founded:\u00a02000\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Cape Town\nCEO:\u00a0Pieter de Villiers\nWhat they do:\u00a0A global player in mobile communications and chat commerce, Clickatell offers real-time customer engagement and transaction platforms designed to enable businesses to connect, engage and transact with their customers via mobile chat and other digital channels.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0Infobip\nCustomers:\u00a0Ranging from Fortune 500 organisations to well-known consumer brands and SMEs.\nWhy they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0The company has a well-established track record and has been in the business for two decades. Clickatell serves over 15 000 customers and has connected to six billion mobile phone users in over 220 countries and territories worldwide.\n\u00a0Livestock Wealth\nYear Founded:\u00a02015\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Johannesburg\nCEO:\u00a0Ntuthuko Shezi\nWhat they do:\u00a0Livestock Wealth is a crowdfunding company that focuses on funding for cattle. The company connects investors with farmers that need funding using cattle as a form of investment.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0SwiftVee\nCustomers:\u00a0People with no\u00a0access\u00a0to the land, time or skills needed to own livestock and run a professionally managed farming operation; including big retailers like Woolworths.\n\u00a0Why they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0The livestock crowd farming platform recently expanded its offerings to include a shared farming project that buys, cares for and sells free-range, grass-fed beef.\nPaycode\nYear Founded:\u00a02014\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Johannesburg\nCEO:\u00a0Ralph Pecker\nWhat they do:\u00a0Paycode provides financial service access to the unbanked by giving them a biometric identity. In doing so, the fintech is opening up the world's financial systems to everyone.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0Veridium\nCustomers:\u00a0The unbanked living in the world's least developed markets.\nWhy they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0Like LulaLend, Paycode was also selected out of 403 applicants as a winner at the Inclusive Fintech 50 Awards for 2020. The fintech start-ups named on this year's list were chosen based on criteria including inclusiveness, innovation, scale potential and traction.\u00a0\nBettr\nYear Founded:\u00a02015\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Cape Town\nCEO:\u00a0Tobie van Zyl\nWhat they do:\u00a0Yet to officially launch, Bettr is building an alternative banking service for low cost, everyday transactional use. The\u00a0digital banking app won't actually provide products but will adopt a marketplace business model to connect their user community with the products that best meet their needs.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0Bank Zero, Tyme Bank\nCustomers:\u00a0Aimed at tech-savvy Generation Z and millennial customers.\nWhy they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0A technology company that aims to do banking differently, Bettr's "marketplace" business model means that consumers will have access a range of products and services and don't have to pay various fees to transact with multiple different banks.\nPeach Payments\nYear Founded:\u00a02011\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Cape Town and Johannesburg\nCEO:\u00a0Rahul Jain\nWhat they do:\u00a0Peach Payments build online payments systems for Africa.\u00a0 The fintech allows businesses to accept payments via their websites and mobile apps.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0PayU, Ozow\nCustomers:\u00a0The payments platform is available for entrepreneurs, SMEs and large enterprises in South Africa.\nWhy they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0The company currently services between 1,500 and 2,000 merchants \u2014 including three of South Africa's four big supermarket groups \u2014and is signing up 200 to 300 new merchants every week. Peach Payments recently raised additional capital to fund their African expansion.\nLettuce\nYear Founded:\u00a02019\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Offices in the UK and Cape Town, South Africa.\nCEO:\u00a0Simon Dingle\nWhat they do:\u00a0Providing an open banking hub, the app allows users to see all their assets in one place. The platform offers real time market data so it's possible to track your assets, no matter what you are or where they are.\nCompetitors include:\u00a022seven\nCustomers:\u00a0Described as an "investment tracker for people who hate spreadsheets".\nWhy they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0Looking ahead, the Lettuce team are building tools to allow users to automatically rebalance their investments and buy and sell assets.\nThe People's Fund\nYear Founded:\u00a02017\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Johannesburg\nCEO:\u00a0Luyanda Jafta\nWhat they do:\u00a0The People's Fund is a purchase-order crowdfunding platform for businesses that have orders with government and enterprises but need capital to deliver on these orders. The platform allows everyday people to participate in the growth of entrepreneurs, which makes it easier for entrepreneurs to get access to funding.\nCompetitors include:\u00a0Thundafund, Jumpstarter\n\u00a0Customers:\u00a0The platform is exclusive to black-owned, innovative businesses.\nWhy they're a fintech start-up to watch:\u00a0The fund attempts to fill a gap in the financing of SMEs, helping entrepreneurs to buy assets they need. The range of campaigns they support is diverse from funding hives for a bee-keeping company\u00a0to buying a vehicle refrigeration system for a chopped vegetable delivery service.