July 2019 marks yet another year of significant investment in financial technology in the realisation that the future of banking is in digital finance. Firms in the digital finance sector have in this spirit come forward to announce millions in sponsorship towards the inaugural Afro-Asia FinTech festival to be held on 15th and 16th July 2019 in Nairobi.
The festival themed “Sustainable Finance; Inclusive and green” is one of its kind in the region seeking to explore sustainable financial services innovations from emerging Afro-Asian Markets. ‘Fintech in the Savannah’ which will be co-hosted by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has received 5 Million and 10 Million from Safaricom and KCB financial boost respectively.
Some of the topics that will be discussed include Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cyber Security, Technology risks, Social impacts (SME Financing, financial literacy and inclusion, Sustainable finance and spirit of innovation among other key areas in Fintech.
According to KCB’s Samuel Makome, backing this year’s Fintech is informed by the need for Kenya to continue driving innovations in the banking sector to boost financial inclusion.“For the past five years, we have made significant investments in financial technology in the realization that the future of banking is in digital finance. We will therefore remain innovative and relevant in Fintech by continuously providing products and services that promote financial inclusion.”
For KCB, transactional activity continue to shift away from branches, with non-branch transactions, that is, mobile, agency banking, point of sale terminals and ATMs, standing at 88% of total volumes, compared to 12% handled at the branches. Mobile banking products have grown in transaction numbers and volumes with loans of over KShs.54 billion.
Safaricom attributes Daraja API portal giving over 16,000 developers an opportunity to integrate their businesses with M-PESA seamlessly as a significant strategy to deepen financial inclusion and give developers a chance to come up with new innovations.
Fintech brings up to 5,000 delegates to Kenya’s capital. The innovation space has seen Kenyan companies such as Cellulant, KAPs, Safaricom, M-Kopa, Sportpesa, Tala and Africa Talking expand across Africa.