Africa at the forefront of fintech globally

Africa is now at the forefront of fintech with 57.6% of the world’s 174 million active registered mobile money accounts in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to Ecobank.

Speaking at the Africa Tech summit which took place in Kigali on 14 & 15 February, Ecobank’s assistant vice president for the push payments division Nshuti Lucy Mbabazi said Fintech in Africa is predicted to grow from US$ 200 million to US$ 3 billion by 2020.

The summit explored major trends in the continent’s tech sector.

Speaking at the conference, Ecobank’s Head of Research,  Edward George said every single business is being affected by disruptive technology.

“If you come across anyone who says, well that’s not really relevant to me, you’re talking to a dinosaur,” he said.

Meanwhile,at the Dot Finance Summit held in Kigali on 21 & 22 February, industry leaders shared key insights and trends around the fintech space.

Panelists spoke about a new generation of customers used to instant value delivery and gratification.

Steward Bank CEO Lance Mambondiani said the bank of the future is one that understands the power of tech to provide financial access to as many people as possible.

He also spoke about the power of a digital lifestyle in society, saying in Zimbabwe there is more access to digital financial services than toothbrushes.

Tricia Martinez, CEO of Financial Platform Wala, spoke about the power of blockchain. She said most people don’t know how it works, comparing it to when the internet first came along.

“Now we use it and we trust it. Any point in your life that requires trust can easily be replaced by blockchain. You remove the need for a middleman.”

Strands Finance CIO Marc Torrens said banks need to start sending personalized offers to their clients.

Edward Beauvois, Head of Marketing & Communication at Sopra Banking Software, said over the next 5 years, 168 million people will be connected via mobile services across Africa.

He said the next generation of banks will be end-to-end platforms connecting people, services and processes.