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 clearly in the midst of one of the most exciting phases of innovation and disruption in the financial sector.
The hugely successful events in our Finnovation Africa Series in Uganda and Ethiopia in 2017 saw more than 500 thought leaders, FinTech pioneers, bankers, investors and government policymakers 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: South Africa 2018, which will be held on the 6th of June 2018 at the Radisson Blu Gautrain, Johannesburg. 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, Banking & AI, Payments innovation, and Mobile Money & Digital Wallets, Finnovation Africa: South Africa 2018 also features a number of innovative sessions such as The Wolves’ Den, Founder’s PainPoints, Collaborate2Accelerate, 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: South Africa 2018, David McLean, President of Ethico Live, said that: “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.”
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 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.”
Combining a highly innovative and interactive event format with world‐class speakers and more than 300 carefully selected participants, Finnovation Africa: South Africa 2018 will take place at the Radisson Blu Gautrain, Johannesburg on the 6th of June 2018 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.