Fintechs tipped to drive next phase of digital banking shift


The government, through the Finance Bill 2023, has made a landmark proposition to incentivize startups and transform the fintech space. FILE PHOTO | POOL

Banks and financial technology (Fintechs) firms have been tipped to deepen collaborations as customers continue to disrupt traditional models of banking.

Speakers at the seventh edition of Connected Banking Summit themed Accelerating Digital Inclusion and Sustainable Transformation said banks and fintechs will increasingly become collaborators as opposed to competitors to build digital banks.

The summit’s series offers a platform for financial sector players to discuss ways of building future-oriented banking models that fit changing needs of customers without compromising on security and privacy.

“Banks are partnering with fintechs to meet speed and agility and this collaboration has to continue into the future. Fintechs cannot be seen as competitors who are eating into the income of banks,” said Winnie Syowai Onyancha, senior transaction banking manager at KCB Group.

Customers are increasingly turning to digital channels such as mobile and internet banking in search of speed and convenience as opposed to visiting physical branches.

Banks have been asked to collaborate with Fintechs to develop local solutions that can strike a balance between convenience, security and privacy.

“Most of the developments we see are foreign-based so we would like to urge the sector to look at local solutions for local issues through research and development,” said Timothy Were, the deputy director of ICT at the ministry of ICT and digital economy.

“There has been a public outcry of people losing money through online scams, insider malpractices and collusion with telcos operators. That whole ecosystem needs to be looked at.”

Director of information technology at Safaricom, George Njuguna said the experience with M-Pesa 'super app' shows collaborations hold the key to cutting costs, increasing convenience and solving challenges such as cyber security.

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