The use of technology to enhance and automate financial services and processes has risen dramatically over the years. This has seen the birth of many FinTechs who are helping businesses, companies and consumers to better manage their financial operations.
According to the ZICTA Tech Bulletin, the use of mobile money services to receive and send funds as well as pay for utilities is the widely used form of financial technology in Zambia.
Recent statistics issued by the Bank of Zambia show that the volume of mobile money transactions increased from 304 million transactions at the end of 2018 to 553 million transactions at the end of 2019, reflecting an improvement of 81.9 percent.
This shows that FinTech is among the main players in the financial field. The emergence of FinTechs providing new market solutions and increasing the efficiency of the financial industry is at its peak.
But what drives Fintech innovation that improves the way consumers use financial products?
Financial technology exists because of technological advancements. By leveraging new technologies, FinTechs can facilitate quicker and easier financial solutions and serve their customers better.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most used technologies in FinTech. AI can be integrated into FinTechs for credit scoring, regulatory compliance, virtual assistance and predictive financial services, among others.
- Big Data and analytics help FinTechs to enhance user experience through the insights which can be used to make informed decisions about their customers and offer personalised services. Big data insights can also be used to manage risks and detect fraud.
- Blockchain provides secure storage of store transactions and other sensitive data without the intervention of a central authority. Blockchain technology offers faster transactions, greater anonymity, and better data management.
A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by a regulator that allows FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment under a regulator’s supervision. With this, FinTechs can test their solutions and easily enter the market.
This can also help regulators to make critical decisions on regulating new solutions and services in the future.
The Zambian Securities Exchange Commission is currently developing a framework for regulatory sandboxes within which FinTechs can pilot and stress test their digital financial solutions.
Fintech and Financial Institutions Partnerships
To stay viable, competitive, and relevant, financial institutions and FinTechs need to collaborate. The two can benefit from each other’s technical knowledge to form a solid structure of improvements towards innovation.
For example, banks can collaborate with FinTechs to continuously engage their long-standing customer base with advanced, digital options and improve the customer experience through the agility and new insights from FinTechs.
On the other hand, FinTechs can get exposure to large volumes of data which can give them access to a huge customer base, penetrate new markets and scale quickly.
These are some of the innovative solutions enabling FinTechs to be competitive and deliver value to consumers.
We have partnered with United Capital Fund on a FinTech4U Accelerator programme which is aimed at providing support to FinTechs who are offering innovative and digital financial services and products in Zambia. We are currently conducting the 2nd cohort, facilitating virtual training sessions to 10 Zambian FinTechs.
We also partnered with Financial Sector Deepening Zambia Limited (FSD Zambia) to support the growth of the digital economy and increase access to financial services through the BongoHive FinTech Challenge.
We are open to discussions on how Fintechs can be better equipped to offer innovative financial solutions. Talk to us.