AB Communications hosted a Fintech Talk on Friday 26 April at the ZiFM Gardens. Dandemutande was an official sponsor of the event. The talk was centred on the leading the African discussion on Industry 4.0. One of the speakers amongst the powerful delegation of speakers was Edward Chikoto, the Operations Manager of Utande Internet Services. Below are some nuggets from his presentation where he shared the importance of connectivity in Fintech:
Internet connectivity is a hotbed for Fintech innovation
The availability of fast and reliable connectivity is what has enabled Fintech firms to reach wider audiences and become leaders of improved transactions. POTRAZ reports that Zimbabwe’s Internet penetration rate reached 55.4% in the third quarter of 2018 signalling a 3.5% increase in the number of internet users from the 51.9% recorded in the second quarter of 2018. With such figures it has been widely accepted that increasing internet access will first pave the way for a hotbed of Fintech innovation in the developing world. This is evidenced in the internet shutdown we experienced in January 2019. The world as we know it essentially stopped and revenue was lost. Anyone who wanted to make any sort of transaction could not do so as financial systems were down.
Financial transactions now technologically driven
Due to cash constraints faced in Zimbabwe, circumstances have forcibly moved towards an increased number of POS transactions. As a result, other Fintech companies have shown great growth in such a short space of time. They have managed to break into the financial services sector with innovative, ground breaking solutions such as mobile money, that introduced ease and accessibility into the world of finance by adding new and more convenient ways which focus on using digital devices to pay for goods and services.
A lot of banks have embraced this digital transformation and it has changed not only the way people bank, but the way banks serve their customers. Although, investment in the Fintech sector is seen as an investment drawcard, we have not fully embraced this wave country wide, as we still experience long queues in banking halls. There is no doubt that financial transactions have become more technologically driven but there are still some areas where paper money still rules.
What Dandemutande offers
As an organisation we can offer 99.99% redundancy, as we have the ability to offer back up links through VSAT, Wireless and Fibre. This ensures the continuity of service without threat of interruptions. To ensure smooth running of the financial sector there should be backup mechanisms that ensure that if one avenue of connectivity shuts down, it will not halt business. In addition to high speeds and reliable connections, we guarantee that your business will run like a well-oiled machine. Connectivity also extends to beyond borders thereby allowing you to communicate and transact from anywhere to anywhere. This can be done through an interconnected MPLS system which we offer as a company.
Connectivity is an enabler to the 4th Industrial Revolution
At the core of Fintech are three technology families which are the Internet of Things, Big Data and artificial intelligence. The process of sparking the Fourth Industrial Revolution for industries involves familiarity, then commoditization, followed by developing best practices. As a reflection that we are in the familiarity phase, almost half of the population around the globe uses mobile technology for some sort of banking. Internet connectivity is also an enabler for all 4th Industrial Revolution practices.
The future of collaborations
Eyetro Digital have strongly recommended that banks and Fintech companies should partner given that Fintech companies have much strength in new ideas, cutting-edge analytics and online customer acquisition. This will add value to the current traditional banking system and will undoubtedly increase convenience. However, these collaborations should further extend to be between ISPs and Fintech firms. This is because the strength and speed of an internet connection determines the success or effectiveness of any transaction.
Data and Financial Security
Financeis all about risk, trust and security– but as Fintechpushes the world of finance into the future, the threats and challenges get even greater. Cyber security has remained a top priority for the financial sector. From bank data breaches, to mobile payment security, the risks involved in protecting both financial assets and data are constantly increasing. Locally financial institutions were given a deadline of 31 March in order for them to be cyber security compliant as a way to mitigate the potential risks of security threats. Dandemutande played a major role in ensuring that this was successfully implemented. As a result of the organisation’s Sophos Gold Partner status we can offer customised solutions which will work as cyber defence and protect organisations from cyber-attacks.
The advancement of Fintech poses major challenges as people who have not previously used the banking system are now increasing their involvement thereby increasing their vulnerability. In order to combat this there should be programs to educate the newly banked regarding digital financial literacy which also includes training on best practices for ensuring security when managing their accounts and engaging in transactions. We offer cyber security training sessions to equip online consumers with the right information.
For Fintech advancements to take place, the underlying thread should be the availability of fast and reliable internet connections. Collaborations can only be effective if there is assurance that the link will not go down at any moment.
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