New momentum driving digital finance boom in East Africa

Technology

New momentum driving digital finance boom in East Africa


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Digital finance is reshaping the African banking landscape through its ease of use and focus on the customer experience. PHOTO | SWIMMING POOL

Digital finance is reshaping the African banking landscape through its ease of use and focus on the customer experience. In Eastern and Southern Africa, the rapid increase in Internet access is creating a market for financial services seemingly out of thin air.

While it lacks the banking tradition of South Africa, Kenya’s high-tech approach has made it the most exciting market in the region, proving that a blank canvas can be used to great effect.

Now even traditional financial institutions are eager to embrace digital transformation. These banking institutions are beginning to embrace the changes wrought by fintech in a process that has given rise to the concept of engagement banking, a “people-first” approach to banking that places user satisfaction at the top of the pyramid. of priorities.

By using digital solutions to offer your customers the seamless and streamlined experience they expect from modern online services, Participatory Banking achieves a higher level of user retention, creating a base of satisfied and loyal users.

As digital services mature, there is a risk of a divide emerging between customer-focused startups that are native to the online world and older companies struggling to adapt to contemporary expectations.

The question is not simply one of technology, but how best to use digital tools to create a business model that puts the customer at the center. Consequently, a transition to the participatory banking model should not be a leap in the dark, but should be facilitated by shared resources, best practice tools, and accumulated wisdom in the field.

For decades, if not longer, techno-pessimists have warned of the isolating potential of technology, seeing it as a barrier in the way of personal interaction and fearing its power to reduce the human experience to a mere algorithm.

But as the digital century progresses, we are beginning to see the opposite of that vision, with digital technology connecting the world, breaking down geographical and cultural barriers, and enabling human connections where none existed before.

Participatory banking can drive that approach even further, allowing efficient, personalized services to redefine the rather impersonal relationship between financial institutions and their customers.

With younger generations of digital natives expecting such services from the start, the next few years will be crucial in shaping how banks engage with their customers. The participatory banking model could be the answer.

Mr. Cornel Dixon is Regional Director for Africa at Backbase, a technology company that offers an innovative solution to banks in their digital transformation.

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