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Digital Finance Africa Recap: Unlocking the Future of Fintech

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A resounding success is what attendees of this year’s Digital Finance Africa had to say about the event that was held on 2 August at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

The event that started at 9 am brought in a crowd of enthusiastic tech experts and industry leaders excited to hear from like-minded peers about latest industry trends, ideas, thoughts and opinions on the future of Fintech.

Our CEO Abe Wakama graciously opened the event by introducing Dr. Nomonde Nyameka Ngxola lecturer at Wits Business School. With eloquence, passion and a deep understanding of digital transformation in the realm of business, she elegantly strung together the various components of the day’s presentations from start to finish.

The most prominent element that underpinned the overall message of each speakers presentation was the leveraging and strategic application of emerging technologies like AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Cloud Computing and even Quantum Computing, and how these technologies can be best leveraged in the financial sector and used as mechanisms for capitalization in a fiercely competitive digital landscape.

Senior Revenue Expert Yolanda Kope from Chennosis – thriving IT startup and API ecosystem platform that provides user friendly no-code, code solutions to businesses across Africa; Sergio Barbarosa, skilled software engineer and innovative product developer heading up the Open Banking platform for Future Bank; and Thabo Ndlela MD of Financial Services were a few of the prominent key speakers who shared their insights on topics like user verification technology for the secure exchange and use of personal data, the potential and risks of hyper-personalisation and the leveraging of AI in the customer service domain.

These were only a few of the keynote speakers and the topics touched upon at the event. Other esteemed speakers included the likes of: Robert Brine, Mo Kola, Shanaaz Trethewey, Chipo Mushwana, Anine de Kock, Dr Nishal Khusial, Paul Mulder, Matimba Trevor Mabasa, Dr. Christoph Nieuwoudt, Christoff Pienaar, Anelisa Ndebele, Shaun May, Tiaan le Roux and Carrie Peter.

A few words here are not enough to describe the rich gemstones of knowledge and strategic elements  that were shared at the event, but a few of the key-take-aways may provide some food for thought, and inspiration;

  • Christoff Pienaar and Anelisa Ndebele from Webber Wentzel touched on subjects like emerging trends in Fintech, like crypto currency being declared an asset, financial inclusion and exploring the opportunities for a rand backed digital currency and the influence of geopolitics on the African Market.
  • CTO of business solutions at The Foschini Group, Mo Kole elaborately provided the inside scope from the Major Retail brands digital strategy in leveraging data with a use of an online virtual big data analytics platform to track sales in real time and drive growth.
  • Vibrant, energetic and dynamic sales solutions professional Paul Mulder from The CRM Team, addressed the global conundrum surrounding the fear that AI would take over the roles of humans in the workforce, debunking the myth with powerful, practical insights on the subject matter.

These and others, shared a wealth of knowledge on how emerging technologies should be viewed as a mechanism to drive financial growth, innovate and revolutionize the way African markets and the world does business – instead of a threat to humanity.

A powerful statement shared by sponsors Comcorp encapsulated this perfectly stating: “Technology amplifies true leadership.”, and as Paul Mulder, an academic at heart, so accurately transliterated the infamous cinematic rhetoric summing up the predominant thoughts of the day when referring to the role of AI in digital transformation, “Will you take the blue pill? or the red pill?”.

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