What will the future of banking look like across Africa?
Jason, Suttie, RMB, Agile, DevOps, Rand, Merchant, Bank, Technology, IT, Disruption, Foundery,
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What will the future of banking look like across Africa?

FinTech is making waves across the globe – but little is known or predicted about how this will shape banking in Africa. I sat down with KNect 365 on what the future could look like. 

What will the future of banking look like across Africa?

The future of banking in Africa is mobile, inexpensive, inclusive and tailored to local culture. For banking to succeed in these territories, it is critical to understand the needs of the individuals, families, communities and ultimately the cultural intricacies of each African country. Digital paths are found through banking that help clients to navigate their lives and solve their unique needs.

Are the established banks best placed to deliver on the promise of tech enabled financial inclusion?

Established banks are certainly positioned favourably to deliver in this space as they have the technology and financial resources to rise to the challenge. The question is whether financial inclusion is indeed the focus for these established banks. The big challenges in banking are hard to solve and not everyone has the appetite to take up these challenges. It’s often far easier for established banks to find more revenue in existing parts of their businesses.

Is collaboration or enhanced competition the best way to deliver the best products and services to consumers?

Collaboration often serves the financial institutions, while competition serves the customer. Customers vote with their feet. Ultimately, I see a middle ground where both institutions and customers can benefit from a combination of collaboration and competition.

What are some the most exciting developments that you’ve seen in the Financial Services sector? What technologies do you see as the most impactful?

From a South African perspective there are examples of exciting collaboration in the financial services sector. An example is Africa DevOps – a movement where companies in the financial sector collaborate and share how they deliver technology solutions in an agile way. There are many technologies that will be impactful such as:  Blockchain, AI as a service and others. What will be more impactful though will be the disruptive business models that harness these technologies.

What are some of the barriers to innovation? Any necessary changes that you would highlight to better support innovation?

In Africa cheap access to the Internet is probably one of the largest barriers to innovation – particularly technology enabled innovation. Another barrier to innovation in my opinion is the perception that people who come from poor and/or disadvantaged backgrounds often lack confidence. This typically holds them back from the levels of innovation that they could achieve. By simply sharing more success stories about innovation in Africa, to as many people as can be reached, is in my view a very powerful lever to support innovation.