Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has challenged the innovators in the telecoms and financial sector to tap into the fintech industry in Kenya which is expected to top Ksh100 billion next year.
Safaricom Chief Financial Services Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit told a global fintech Summit in Singapore that the increased Internet penetration and access of mobile telephony have opened numerous opportunities for businesses to deliver more innovative digital products and services.
“At 83 per cent, Kenya is leading in share of mobile phone internet traffic overtaking Nigeria, which was at the top in 2017,” said Mr. Sitoyo. “With over 100 FinTech products in the country, the FinTech industry in Kenya has attracted huge investments and is estimated to be worth around 1Billion USD by year 2020.”
He cited the M-PESA revolution which is credited with transforming the financial sector in Kenya in just over a decade.
“Our success is driven by our deep passion and commitment to Transforming lives, in addition we are consistently investing in our M-PESA platform to ensure scalability and stability to manage new innovations, developing relevant products and services, making sure no one is left behind in mobile money growth in Kenya,” said Mr. Lopokoiyit.
The Singapore FinTech Festival, which is in its fourth year, is currently the biggest FinTech event in the world providing a global platform for the FinTech community to connect, collaborate and co-create. It attracts over 60,000 delegates among them visionaries and thought leadership executives from financial institutions, fintechs, venture capital firms, central banks and regulators and academia.
Mr. Lopokoiyit told delegates at the event that social innovations such as M-TIBA, a mobile healthcare wallet, have led to an investment topping $2 Million dollars in the health sector benefiting millions of Kenya through sustainable solutions in healthcare.
“In line with our purpose Transforming Lives, we are using technology to create sustainable ways of doing things by focusing on innovation verticals of health, education, healthcare, economic empowerment amongst others,” concludes Mr. Lopokoiyit
During the Festival, Kenya’s micro insurance firm for small scale farmers Pula insurance won the award for its innovative model of delivering agriculture insurance products to rural smallholder farmers.
The firm, which is one of Digifarm by Safaricom partners develops and distributes index-based insurance products by bundling them with agriculture inputs such as seeds, fertilizer and credit.
At the close of the festival, Governor of Central Bank of Kenya Dr. Patrick Njoroge announced that Kenya will host the second Afro-Asia Fintech Festival in July 2020.