Kenya IGF Online Discussions. Day 3. Developments in Fintech and E-commerce

Dear listers.

Since the advent of Mpesa, Kenya has been recognized as Ground Zero for Mobile Money/Payments Innovation the world over. According to a World Bank report one in every ten human beings regularly using mobile money is a a Kenyan.

Over the last few years Fintech (Financial Technology) has become all the rage. American startups are setting up in Kenya. The more common ones that we know are Branch and Tala who combined have raised over $150m of venture funds in the last few years. These two are mainly mobile lending platforms. Insuretech is taking root. Payment Platforms are proliferating. Banks are jumping onto the Fintech Bandwagon with mainstream banks like Barclays and HF Group launching their mobile lending apps. Equity Bank boldly announced a few weeks ago that they are building an API Bank. Banking as a Service as it were.

Not to be left out, Blockchain and it’s offspring, Bitcoin is threading to complete the upheavals in the financial sector. On top of it all the government is playing catch up on regulation with the announcement of the Finance Bill 2018. See analysis from KPMG on this.

To ponder:-

1. Are we moving too fast? Is there a need to take a chill pill and reflect on the gains and achievements of the sector? Should we regulate lightly or heavily?

2. Should we regulate and cap the mobile lending platforms? Are they playing a crucial role of financial inclusion or are they just loan sharks on steroids?

3. How about the Credit Reference Bureaus? Are they stuck in a time warp or is the legislation in place encumbering them from innovation?

4. Lastly is the BlockChain conversation being overhyped? And how do you separate the technology from the cryptocurrencies it spawns?

Over to you Listers.

Ali Hussein
AHK & Associates
+254 0713 601113

Twitter: @AliHKassim
Skype: abu-jomo

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

Sent from my iPad
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