FinTech has had a meteoric explosion in the Kenyan tech landscape. One illustration of this can be seen by simply looking at the Google search volume for the term Fintech over time — with its exponential growth seemingly emerging in the past five years (since 2016).
But what is Fintech? At its most basic level, Fintech is simply the application of technology and innovation to solve the needs of consumers and firms in the financial space. Of course, when defined and thought of in this way, it becomes immediately clear that the notion of Fintech as a recent phenomenon is sorely mistaken, and verges on somewhat insulting to finance’s wealth of innovation history. Insulting why? Because Fintech has been a technological phenomenon ever since the inception of the digital transformation. This means that Fintech has been on the cards for as long as digitisation has been around.
Of course, like any future event, the future of Fintech is the most difficult to predict, being dependent on a huge number of unknown (and perhaps even unknowable) circumstances and events that will change its evolutionary path. That being said, a best bet for Fintech’s new innovative home is emerging — Africa. With favorable demographics, a shrinking reliance on natural resources, and rapidly expanding infrastructure, the continent is concocting the perfect mix for an innovative explosion.
“Broadly speaking, we still have a lot to develop, we are not yet entirely competitive. Financial conduct issues will become more prominent as Fintech grows said David Cracknell, the Director at First Principles Consulting. “Still, we are going to see the growth of real world use cases, that are customer facing. Just like pay as you go systems, or e-commerce. This will lead to financial technology linking other ecosystems such as health.” he continued. Making it clear that Fintech is nothing new. We have been experiencing its continual evolution and impact throughout history, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. What is new, however, is how rapidly different pieces of Fintech are developed, adopted, and then discarded for even more cutting-edge solutions
“App based platforms will be developed around user groups, such as the Safaricom digifarm, once we get through operational deficients. Leading to the growth of data aggregators.” he concluded.