Fintech Vision for South Africa – Progress update and Covid-19 impact

Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) Innovation Hub was launched to respond to changes in the financial sector driven by financial technology (fintech) and to promote responsible innovation in the sector.

One of the recent deliverables of IFWG is a document that provides a forward looking, high-level vision for South Africa’s Fintech sector. According to IFWG, the vision is for South Africa to be a leading Fintech hub for Africa, promoting financial inclusion while spurring competition, digital skills, and economic growth through innovation.

“Though still emerging, fintech development in South Africa has already been catalysed by consumers and businesses alike seeking novel financial services to make payments, save, borrow, and insure against daily risks. To date, the government has embraced a pro-innovation stance, working across agencies to develop harmonised approaches to fintech, and clarifying the regulatory stance on emerging technologies and products, with the goal of benefiting the market and providing clarity with effectively managing the risks,” the report points out.

The six foundational elements of the fintech ecosystem in South Africa has been identified as:

1. Infrastructure
2. Regulation
3. Funding
4. Business Support Ecosystem
5. Demand: Local & Global
6. Skills

Looking to the future and taking into consideration the strategic choices across the six-pillar framework, the IFWG is committed to supporting and empowering the environment for fintech to achieve the vision.

One of the other deliverables of IFWG is Hub Talks, a video series highlighting emerging topics in the South African and global fintech scene.

In the fifth episode of Hub Talks, IFWG Chairperson Dr. Arif Ismail and Professor Douglas Arner, Kerry Holdings Professor in Law at the University of Hong Kong, discuss the impact of COVID-19 on fintech.

Click here to view the episode.

Click here to download the “Vision for South Africa’s Fintech Sector” document that provides detail on the Objectives, the Strategy Execution Roadmap as well as Governance.

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