By Sinazo Mkoko
Fintechs can be a good vehicle for expedited innovation if banks are able to drive internal alignment and support for the requirements of that external fintech.
This was heard at the two-day Sentech Africa Tech Week event which took place on 31 August and 1 September at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
Organised by Topco Media in partnership with Sentech, this is a groundbreaking hybrid tech experience, conference and awards focusing on opportunities for the African continent.
The continent’s biggest tech week aimed to drive economic growth in Africa through digital transformation strategies and to create awareness around the future of IT and the trends that are defining the new normal in 2022.
If you missed the event, you can watch it here.
Among the discussions that were had, participants and attendees learnt why banks aren’t dead in the fintech revolution. Panellists, Derick Truscott, Chief Financial Officer of SnapScan Marin Cundall, CEO and COO of SnapScan, Kurt Kruger, Chief Product and Technology Officer of SnapScan and Simon Just, Head of Payments, Standard Bank Group discussed how payments have changed overtime and how banks are pivoting towards becoming platform orientated and digitally Integrated.
Cundal stated that while this partnership model is by no means a silver bullet and there are many hurdles to overcome, there are a lot of variables that could contribute to success or failure. “It’s a model we believe we have to position to thrive, and we’re glad to work with the Standard Bank – a bank that wants us to stand on their shoulders and meet customer needs where they are. We’re already driving innovation for all of our customers and reaching an audacious goal of building millions of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs),” she said.
Standard Bank’s Simon Just, said the bank has embarked on what they call a future transformation and they are becoming a platform business and turning what traditional services were that one would access in bank branches, in off traditional channels. “So we are indeed becoming a platform business and turning what traditional services were what you would access in bank branches, into off traditional channels. We are effectively taking our business to our clients, to ecosystems, to partner networks and the way we’re choosing to do this is through a focus on a couple of really strategic ecosystems in the trader space. We’re doing it in agri, for example, and a key part of that futuristic transformation is how we partner with fintechs, how we partner with entities like our clients to take their products and services for banks” he said.
He added that Standard Bank has some incredible fintech partnerships in their investments in Africa that they view as key to accessing these small markets. “We have other platform businesses that we’re building. But SnapScan is a prime example of how we are using partnerships with fintechs both internally and at arm’s length to accelerate our transformation of the bank,” he said.