FNB and Easy Equities win big at Finance Indaba’s FinTech Africa Awards

FNB has won Most Innovative Bank in Africa and Easy Equities was named Best African Fintech company for 2016.

Economic inclusion and transformation were big themes at this year’s Finance Indaba where the Fintech Africa Awards also held its final round of judging and awards.

The Finance Indaba is the biggest annual event on the continent for financial managers and specialists in Africa looking for partners to help them grow and transform their business.

The top 100 finalists were announced earlier in the year for public voting in six categories with Absa, Standard Bank and FNB making the top three for Most Innovative Bank in Africa.

Easy Equities, I Know First and Wealth Migrate made the final round in the Invest Tech category which recognises firms offering innovative investment platforms.

Financial planning jobs in the investment industry are being threatened by robotic advisory capabilities which are powered by algorithms and data analytics.

Other categories included payments, blockchain, lending and financing; over 30,000 public votes were received and the top 3 in each category were invited to do a final pitch and answer questions from the expert panel of judges.

Easy Equities CEO Charles Savage pitches to the panel of expert judges at Fintech Africa Awards

The FinTech Africa Awards celebrates innovators that shape the future of finance and acknowledges the work they do to transform the industry.

The final round of judging is entirely based on the expertise and knowledge of the judges, all of who were selected as leading thinkers and innovators.

IBM was the main sponsor of the conference and others included KPMG, Old Mutual and Standard Bank.

The three incumbent bank finalists presented in the final session of the day, widely anticipated to be a showdown between these highly competitive industry leaders.

Absa’s digital journey has focused on shifting the bank’s culture and ex Googler Brett St Clair spoke about how their new Agile processes and Express services layer meant they could deliver Chat Banking on Facebook Messenger in a matter of weeks.

ATMs brought banking to people where they needed cash and this innovation aims to bring Absa’s banking services to where people are already messaging.

Standard Bank has developed a platform that drives internal innovation and they are focusing on banking solutions tailored around life events; “customers don’t wake up to do banking – our services should enable their life choices”.

FNB recently launched version 5 of its award winning banking app which offers enhanced features such as fingerprint verification, tap and pay, secure chat with a private banker as well as a watch app.

With over 2 million connected devices and R276m returned to customers through app-enabled discounted vouchers and coupons, the scale and financial return of the bank’s digital journey is industry leading.

The judges questioned the lack of FNB’s partnerships in the industry but acknowledged the continued delivery of the internal team.

FNB pitches it’s award winning banking app and digital journey to the panel of expert judges at Fintech Africa Awards

Watch the pitch here: https://www.periscope.tv/peteralkema/1jMJgAVNokXKL

Disruption in the banking industry is being driven by new entrants; in South Africa there have already been attempts by telcos to offer banking services such as MTN’s Mobile Money and Vodacom’s Mpesa. Discovery is investing R1Bn in a retail banking division to complement their industry leading insurance and investment products.

A core transactional bank account offers significant customer insight and intimacy, far more than a cell phone account or insurance policy.

FNB’s response to these entrants has been to launch its own SIM card offering as well as a new, license backed life insurance business.

Extending the bank’s digital ecosystem beyond banking creates value for customers who have higher expectations for mobility and convenience.

However, the day belonged to Easy Equities / Satrix Now who won in their own category as well as the overall competition, meaning they scored the highest of all finalists.

They have developed a very successful micro-investing platform that makes equity portfolios much more accessible and affordable.

Easy Equities offers a highly innovative model for direct, part ownership of shares which drives financial inclusion because more people can create wealth.

They demonstrated the entrepreneurial and innovative qualities that South Africa desperately needs to kick start inclusive economic growth; this makes them the Best African Fintech company of 2016.

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