Fintech in South Africa: A Quick Overview

May 3, 2018 Blog  FinTech

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Fintech Switzerland published a quick overview on fintech in South Africa recently.  Below follows a summary of the article.

Market demand for innovative products and services has been pushing fintech innovation in South Africa, and in response to this, the Reserve Bank (SARB) established a three-man fintech unit in January to monitor the impact of these new technology developments on the traditional banking sector.  This team reports directly to deputy governor Francoise Groepe.

Groepe exlained: “it’s primarily responsibilities are expected to include the facilitation of the development of appropriate policy frameworks for the SARB across the fintech domain”.

South African regulators are pro-innovation, and in 2009, the SARB issued a position paper stating that they welcome innovative digital solutions.  Shortly after this, the Fintech Program was launched, which is an initiative focused on the tracking and analysing fintech developments and assisting policy makers in formulating legal frameworks.

Fintech in South Africa

South Africa has a relatively small, but growing fintech industry.  In the peer-to-peer lending space, notable players mentioned are RainFin and PeerFin.  Digital and challengers banks include Dscovery Bank, Ban Zero and TymeDigital.  Activity has been minimal in the field of investing, asset and wealth management, but several financial services provides are developing investment platforms driven by AI.  Itransact launched an automated investment platform and a robo-advisor platform in 2017 and Absa unveiled its robo-advisory service, called Virtual Investor in August 2017.

Various startups like Luno, a cryptocurrency exchange platform and Ice3x, another exchange platform, were also established.  Startups such as Custos Media Technologies, Bankymoon and Geopay are using blockchain and cryptocurrencies to address specific issue.

The full article can be read here.

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