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Locally developed technology targets Africa’s banking challenges

August 24, 2018 • Finance, Opinion

 

Locally developed technology targets Africa’s banking challenges

Andrea Tucker, Research and Development Head, e4

Technology company, e4, has been named among the top 11 finalists in the Ecobank Fintech Challenge for its new Virtual Identity product. The competition aims to identify innovative solutions that address African-centric issues within the financial services sector.

According to a McKinsey Report, Africa’s banking landscape is amongst the most exciting in the world and is the second-fastest-growing and second most profitable of any global region. Andrea Tucker, Research and Development Head, e4, says that the Ecobank Fintech Challenge is necessary in these continuously evolving and competitive times.

“It’s time for financial institutions to consider alternative solutions to address the challenges within their environments. The competition is thus an important initiative and one that will assist to further develop Africa as one of the most innovative continents.”

Tucker says that the Ecobank Fintech Challenge is a great platform for e4 to showcase its innovative technology to a pan-African banking giant: “We are excited about a potential opportunity to partner with Ecobank as part of a collaboration to share knowledge and insights of the state of Fintech in Africa.”

Virtual Identity provides a video-conferencing tool, enabling two people to communicate via a web browser or mobile app for the purposes of completing a virtual KYC process in order to verify a new or existing client’s identity.

“This exciting technology assists by providing banks with an opportunity to better service previously under-serviced or geographically remote clients. Bank customers with a smartphone are now able to call their bank to verify their identity as opposed to travelling to the nearest branch to do this in person,” says Tucker.

She says that by collaborating with these start-ups, Ecobank can focus on becoming more engaged with their customers, increasing customer loyalty and making it easier for customers to bank with them.

“By being more transparent and open to the challenges that regulatory and compliance requirements place onto their customers, Ecobank will improve its services and the banking life of its customers. This will shape the future of banking in Africa. Banks need to ensure that they ride the wave of innovation and digitisation for the benefit of all Africans. Rapid developments in banking services and financial inclusion are key for accelerating the movement of Africans into the middle class and driving economic growth.”

Digital transformation continues to change the world and the way we live and do business. Fintech remains one of the fastest growing and innovative industries. “This is more relevant in Africa than on any other continent, as technological advancements can result in more benefit than anywhere else,” says Tucker.

Edited by Daniëlle Kruger
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