Africa’s financial services landscape continues its dynamic evolution as the rapid growth of FinTech on the continent drives both the disruption and leapfrogging of legacy systems and further accelerates the digital transformation of financial services.
In South Africa, the major banks are rapidly ramping-up their own innovation strategies and collaborating with new game-changing start-ups to drive efficiencies, make digital profitable and capture new markets.
South Africa’s FinTech adoption rate is expected to experience a major leap over the next few years. EY’s annual FinTech Adoption Index Report 2017 forecasted 71% growth, with the country ranking third in future growth behind only China and India.
There is a greater number of technology hubs in South Africa than any other country on the continent and the country enjoys a more significant amount of national and international investment in the sector.
South Africa’s Reserve Bank has created a team dedicated to monitor the latest FinTech developments in the key areas of payments, lending, deposit taking, investments and insurance, which will report directly to the Deputy Governor.
South Africa is in the midst of one of the most exciting phases of innovation and disruption in the financial sector.
“FinTech holds a particularly powerful promise for Africa especially as an enabler of key strategic priorities and the impact of new disruptive financial technologies is well placed to be genuinely socially useful, meaningfully improving how ordinary people engage with financial services and therefore deliver broader-based positive economic outcomes across the continent. FinTech also sets the bar higher for incumbent banks in terms of their own innovation agendas as the leading banks internationally and in Africa seek to make digital pay and explore collaboration opportunities with FinTech trail-blazers. We are very excited to be bringing Finnovation to the high-growth South African market and look forward to progressing discussions on the digital transformation of financial services in Africa,” says David McLean, Ethico Live President.
“A very positive story, if one that is not yet well understood, is unfolding in Africa. New technology, new ideas and new business models are producing new opportunities. The distinctions between telecom services providers, payments services providers and financial institutions are breaking down. In virtually all African countries, there are sufficient numbers of mobile phones ‐ which are not necessarily smartphones ‐ for previously unbanked people to have access to high quality financial services at low cost. Innovative companies are using Blockchain technology and crypto‐currencies to resolve fundamental problems such as lack of access to electricity and lack of access to global financial markets. Finnovation Africa highlights how FinTech is transforming Africa for the better, facilitating payments, boosting financial inclusion and developing new enterprises. However, the Finnovation conference does much more than that, as it engages key stakeholders to reveal how the entire world is changing. In many ways, Africa is a FinTech leader, rather than a follower,” says
Chris Principe, International FinTech Thought Leader.