For more than half a century, the US has been the centre of global innovation for financial technology, inventing credit cards, ATMs, and online banking. But are things changing?

Understandably, China is an emerging leader of mobile payments, but now African countries — namely Kenya — are making huge strides with familiar technologies such as mobile phones and SMS-style messaging while rapidly expanding financial inclusion.

Three important lessons can be learnt from this most recent wave of innovation: bundle services (think: banking and cellular as one offering); finance is about TRUST; and, of course, cutting edge technology to enable mass adoption or expansion.