The expert’s voice on the new landscape of the financial services industry

Spokesperson: Julian Mwika

Media: News on Sunday

1. Is there any positive impact of coronavirus on Banking?

Covid-19 provided a digitization opportunity to the banking sector that led to an exponential increase in innovation and uptake of digital banking products. We have also noted an increase in innovation in the e-commerce sector since 2020.

2. What do you think will be the five new trends in the industry in the nearest future?

New trends have already emerged in the banking sector with the main ones being:

  • Increased use and innovation of contactless paymentsIncreased digitalization of banking services through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
  • Personalized customer value propositions – using customer data to better understand individual needs and provide more personalised experiences. With data-driven personalisation rapidly increasing in its adoption, banks are able to provide customers with access to managing their finances, viewing their
  • spending habits and accessing saving opportunities in real-time
  • Partnerships between FinTech and mainstream financial institutions
  • Decentralized finance and blockchain based solutions

3. FinTech has been the buzzworld. Has Covid-19 slowed down or increased its pace?

Covid-19 has significantly increased the pace of FinTech expansion globally. As rightly said by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

4. How is a FinTech community emerging in Africa countries?

FinTech is emerging as an alternative to the traditional banking industry in Africa where the majority of customers are underserved. Indeed, penetration of branch network banking remains very low especially in rural areas across Africa. There are issues around affordability of banking services and poor user experience. FinTechs have taken advantage of these gaps to offer enhanced customer value propositions and address pain points in terms of affordability and access to credit by offering flexible savings and investment options among others.

Across Africa, the FinTech community is riding on partnerships with mobile network operators, offering mobile money services, to propose complementaryfinancial products to the underserved. FinTech is focused on areas largely ignored by traditional banks, namely payments, savings (micro-savings, micro-investments), digital lending (retail lending, MSME lending, Services (personal financial management, merchant solutions), and fully digital banks leveraging on the increased use of smartphones.

5. How is FinTech influencing the landscape of the financial services industry, and how can traditional financial players embrace the rise of FinTech companies?

FinTechs are rapidly innovating to meet every day financial needs with a simplified channel (the smartphone). A wide variety of services previously accessible only to large corporates and elite customers are now accessible to everyone (wealth management, investment solutions, multi-currency accounts). Collaboration and partnerships are the buzzwords in this new landscape. Traditional players have key strengths that cannot be ignored or replicated by FinTechs and, similarly, FinTechs have key strengths like time-to-market which cannot be replicated by banks. Partnerships between the two to unlock synergies is, therefore, key.

6. How can banks disrupt and reinvent themselves and turn digital?

Banks could use analytics to exploit existing customer data and tailor-make customer propositions to meet the same standard of customer experience provided by other industries. They should also capitalize on building and developing distinctive capabilities in those segments where sustainable competitive advantage can be maintained in the long run.

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