Safaricom has challenged innovators in the telecoms and financial sector to tap into the fintech industry in Kenya which is expected to top Ksh100 billion in 2020. The company’s 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 the leading African country in the share of mobile phone internet traffic overtaking Nigeria, which was at the top in 2017,” said Lopokoiyit. “With over 100 fintech products in the country, the industry has attracted huge investments and it is estimated that it will be worth around 1billion USD by the 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,” he further said adding that the company is consistently investing in its M-Pesa platform in order to ensure scalability and stability in managing new innovations, developing relevant products and services, while making sure that no one is left behind in mobile money growth in Kenya.
The Singapore FinTech Festival, which is in its fourth year, is currently the biggest event of its kind 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, regulators and academia.
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 of transforming lives, we are using technology to create sustainable ways of doing business by focusing on innovation verticals of health, education, healthcare, economic empowerment amongst others,” Lopokoiyit emphasized. During the festival, Pula insurance won an 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, the Governor of Central Bank of Kenya Dr. Patrick Njoroge announced that Kenya will host the second Afro-Asia Fintech Festival in July 2020.