FinTech and the Positive Transformation of Banking in Africa

FinTech and the Positive Transformation of Banking in Africa
25.05.2017 07:45 am

FinTech and the Positive Transformation of Banking in Africa

The unique environment for financial services in Africa is fertile ground for innovative FinTech players who are capitalising on the opportunities to disrupt or leapfrog established business models to make financial services more affordable, accessible and profitable across the continent.

Due to their potent blend of trail‐blazing technology and disruptive innovation, FinTech players have the ability to accelerate the digital transformation of financial services in Africa and, in turn, further spur the major existing banks to rapidly ramp‐up their own innovation initiatives to meet the financial needs of under‐served markets across the continent. FinTech players are increasingly becoming an important part of the fabric of Africa’s financial services ecosystem and the leading banks on the continent are now more urgently seeking to harness technology innovations, collaborate with FinTech start‐ups, and create a platform to scale much faster – to make digital financial services pay.

The hugely successful launch of the Finnovation Africa Series in Uganda in April saw 328 thought leaders, FinTech pioneers, investors, government policymakers and bankers representing the foremost financial institutions from across the continent gather to address how FinTech can contribute to the positive and profitable transformation of financial services in Africa. Against this dynamic backdrop, Ethico Live! is now excited to announce the expansion of the series with the launch of Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia 2017, which will be held on the 3rd of November 2017 at the Radisson Blu Addis Ababa. The event will seek to harness the FinTech revolution to boost strategic economic priorities such as financial inclusion and deepening – and how FinTech can make a positive and profitable difference in Africa.

With a focus on the most significant technologies driving the financial services paradigm shift, including Blockchain & Bitcoin, Open Banking & APIs, Payments innovation and Mobile Money, Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia 2017 also features a number of innovative sessions such as The Wolves’ Den, Founder’s PainPoints, Inside the Investor’s Mind, and live-on-stage interviews with international Finnovators and African FinTech pioneers.

Speaking at the announcement of the launch of Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia, David McLean, President of Ethico Live, said that: “FinTech holds a particularly powerful promise for Africa especially as an enabler of key strategic priorities, such as financial inclusion and deepening. 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 Ethiopian market and look forward to progressing discussions on the digital transformation of financial services in Africa.”

Chris Principe, international FinTech thought leader, shared some persuasive insights while speaking on the sidelines of the Finnovation Africa Series: “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 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.”

Combining a highly innovative and interactive event format with world‐class speakers and more than 300 carefully selected participants, Finnovation Africa: Ethiopia 2017 will take place at the Radisson Blu Addis Ababa on the 3rd of November 2017 and will tackle the most pressing questions for the progress of FinTech in Africa, providing a platform for all stakeholders to engage in creating the future of financial services on the continent – from established banking powerhouses to FinTech start‐ups.

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