“In the next few years, if you are an IT professional not doing Cloud, you’ll probably be fired” Nicholas Nesbitt, Country General Manager, IBM East Africa
In a constantly changing environment, use of technology is an integral part of how businesses interact with its clients and environment. Advancement in technology has changed traditional business models making it easier for clients to purchase goods and services at the client’s comfort regardless of location, all you need is a device with an internet connection.
The spike in smartphone usage in Sub Saharan Africa has brought more financial inclusiveness through various innovations in mobile money. An individual can easily be able to transact regionally and on a global level. We have seen usage of mobile money in money transfer services, banking services, e-commerce and also to some extent an impact on capital market transactions e.g. buying and selling of securities.
In the financial services sector, banks are actively seeking ways to fit in the high-tech ecosystem lest they be disrupted. We have seen this in Kenya where banks have been partnering with telecommunication companies in developing mobile money credit solutions. Earlier in the year, Barclays Bank Kenya introduced agency banking making it the first foreign bank to adopt this system.
Barclays has also established a startup accelerator called Rise which currently has a presence in London, Manchester, New York, Vilnius, Cape Town, Tel Aviv and Mumbai. The accelerator program helps startups with capabilities in machine learning, lending, digital banking solutions, trading, cyber security, data analytics, payments, crypto-currency, insurance and wealth management.
The Bank also announced that it had successfully tested a series of block chain transactions which gave insights on how powerful block chain technology is and its application in commercial transactions. Block Chain significantly cuts costs and reduces lag time in completing transactions. Have a look at the video below on how block chain might be used in a practical scenario.