Friday, December 13, 2018 7:00PM / Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV
At the maiden edition of the Africa Fintech Festival in Lagos, panelists discussed “Global Fintech Trends and the Opportunities for Africa” looking at the development in the global Fintech industry and how Africa can tap into the ecosystem.
On the investment landscape and opportunities for Africa, Rotimi Oyekanmi Partner APIS Nigeria shared that South Asian and Africa have the common factors of demography, lack of infrastructure, return on investments in the macro-economic space and the issues of regulatory changes.
Mr Oyekanmi believed that there are investment opportunities in Africa covering how technology can be deployed, to address low penetration of the insurance industry and deepening financial services.
He said what must be given top consideration include the cost of acquiring a customer, cost of making payments and the cost of distribution. Oyekanmi said investors must adopt the three costs to have a winning formula for the long-term.
Mr Emmanuel Akinwunmi, Private Sector Specialist Africa Development Bank called for an alignment between banks and fintechs, to expand financial services to the poor in rural and urban areas.
He acknowledged the fact that banks are focused on increasing financial access points, which will drive financial inclusion and lead to poverty eradication.
Akinwunmi said the AfDB was committed to improving financial services to the unbanked, vulnerable and the poor in the region.
Looking at the trends and opportunities for insurance in Africa, Mr Andrew De Cock, MD/CEO 4Thawt Consulting said the insurance market in the continent needs new products, innovation, adoption of Blockchain, Fintech and Insurtech to reach a wider market, to deepen penetration.
Speaking also on the insurance industry Mr Kobi Bendelak CEO of Insurtech Israel believed technologies like blockchain and internet of things, IOT will help to change the way insurance companies provide services to consumers in Africa.
In terms of investments in the African market, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi cited an example of how APIS invested in a payment company set up by an Israeli in Kenya, which has expanded to 34 countries where payments are made across Africa.
Mr Oyekanmi said APIS started with an investment of $7million in the company owned by the Israeli businessmen, and increased its investments to the tune of $25million. The company according to him is the biggest payment service firm in Africa processing $1.4bn in a year.