Barclays Africa Group has announced it will collaborate with nine financial technology (fintech) companies to rapidly explore promising new technology-based solutions that could prompt significant improvements for consumers and in bank services.
The financial services conglomerate will collaborate with fintech companies including Abe.ai from the US, Kapitalwise from the US, as well as FOMO Group and Byte Money from South Africa to test the potential to scale up and roll out the solutions across the ten countries where Barclays Africa Group has operations. Others include Howler, FlexPay, Spatialedge, Sun Exchange and Avenews-GT.
“The solutions created by these companies are among the top innovations in the fintech space in the world right now,” said Yasaman Hadjibashi, Chief Creation Officer at Barclays Africa Group. “Any of these solutions could have the potential to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the financial services sector in Africa,” said Hadjibashi, who leads Barclay Africa Group’s innovation agenda.
The fintech companies are among ten businesses that participated in the 2017 Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. The 13-week mentorship driven accelerator programme, hosted at Rise, Barclays Africa Group’s fintech innovation hub in Cape Town during May to July.
This follows the renowned Techstars curriculum which comprises intensive networking and development initiatives. The experience is enhanced through the involvement of local and global mentors, including industry experts and Barclays Africa Executives. The ten companies showcased their solutions during a ‘demo day’ held in Cape Town and were selected in a robust and competitive process that attracted applications from more than 50 countries.
Barclays Africa Group is exploring potential agreements with further participants.
Staying ahead of the curve The financial services industry has experienced significant disruption over the past few years as agile fintech start-up companies introduced solutions that brought step-changes to customer convenience and efficiency. Barclays Africa Group is staying ahead of the curve by embracing start-ups and their agile approach, seeking out their disruptive thinking and challenging the norm.