As the fastest-growing start-up industry in Africa, African fintech raised over US$1,3 billion in 2021 alone, the success of fintech companies is being fuelled by several trends, including increasing smartphone ownership, declining internet costs, expanded network coverage, and a young, fast-growing, and rapidly urbanizing population. [ii]
African fintech has a significant impact on day-to-day life on the continent and with its current upward trend it can be perfectly poised to rapidly advance Africa’s global competitiveness with an increase in the exporting of fintech services globally.
These fertile grounds do have challenges. Regulatory uncertainties and differences between countries are a bottleneck, throttling the expansion of financial inclusion in Africa. This has led to the continent’s fintech’s calling for a Pan-African regulatory body to define comprehensive regulatory policies for regions rather than countries.
Certain governments and the private business sector continuously work on providing regulatory policy frameworks for businesses, customers, and economies with the current focus on:
- Regulations – digital-only banks and fintech are influenced by but independently regulated from the traditional financial system regulations.
- Anti Money Laundering Scrutiny – more regulatory bodies are insisting on compliance herewith, worldwide there is a clamp down on non-compliant companies. This requires the verification of information received from the client to avoid fraudulent, terrorist, or other illegal activities being facilitated, supported by other processes such as Know Your Customer.
- Consumer centrism – fintech must be vigilant in consumer education, especially the consequences of services and products that did not exist before, protecting the consumer from being exploited.
- Protection of Privacy and Security of Data – stored personal consumer information is susceptible to cyberattacks. Fintech companies must comply and have the necessary security systems and protocols to secure sensitive data.
The Global fintech Index of 2020 lists the top 100 fintech ecosystems, 4 sub-Saharan African cities features, that are leading this sector namely Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos and Cape Town, and account for most of the continent’s fintech start-up funding.
The countries represented by the 4 cities above have taken significant strides towards regulatory systems designed to protect stakeholders. Each country’s approach to regulations shares similarities, while others are unique to the challenges faced in their market. What is definite is that these regulations evolve rapidly as access to technology empowers this market to scale significantly.
Regardless of the size of the fintech, these changes become prohibitive to the success of fintech due to the cost and/or inconvenience caused since they impact all areas of the customer relationship lifecycle.
Bizzamm accelerates African FinTech
Bizzamm, comes from South Africa, home to 2 of the 4 African cities represented in the top 100 Global Fintech Index. Bizzamm is a user-friendly, intuitive, affordable tool that empowers its clients to automate their business processes and addresses many (if not all) of the current regulatory requirements.
Bizzamm is the future of affordable business processing – providing absolute control with an all-in-one tamper-proof, end-to-end document management solution on blockchain, offering management, solutions, and control over the increasing regulatory demands discussed here, most importantly, with an emphasis on customer convenience.
As it relates to the 4 focuses highlighted above, Bizzamm offers a non-exhaustive list to aid with, and to manage compliance; such as the flexibility to create custom document templates; making use of verification; validation and mandatory fields. Setting automatic reminders for actions required by specific parties by specific dates, the highly secure yet flexible cloud environment wherein Bizzamm is housed keeps data safe and provides ease of access when searching for documents. Role and permission-based access allow only authorised access and only authorised changes to documents. Bizzamm offers an electronic signature, on completion of a document it is anchored to the blockchain, providing an immediate unique digital fingerprint, with a permanent record of creation and making it tamperproof.
Regulations around the safe gathering and storing of sensitive client information, how information is processed are becoming more robust, encompassing, and enforceable worldwide. Bizzamm enables businesses to become compliant in an easy, practical and affordable way that is customer friendly.
REF: [i] McKinsey & Company, fintech in Africa: The end of the beginning, 30 August 2022.
[ii] McKinsey & Company, fintech in Africa: The end of the beginning, 30 August 2022.