The Advancement of FinTech in South Africa

The Advancement of FinTech in South Africa

Written by FuseBox

I was in a shop the other day when I paid for goods on my virtual credit card (as I regularly do), when it occurred to me just how advanced our financial ecosystem is in South Africa, and how far we’ve come in a short space of time.

I was privileged to travel overseas to a first world country earlier this year where I was amazed to learn that cheques are still a key integral part of their banking system. Many first world countries such as the USA, UK, Israel, Japan, Canada, Australia and many others still use cheques on a regular basis. Most South Africans, on the other hand, probably haven’t seen a cheque in over a decade, and they were completely phased out of our banking system by 2020.

Cheques are only one example of how South Africa has arguably been ahead of the global curve in the FinTech space for years – to a point where we make first world countries look archaic! It’s a fascinating trend because the South African market is not typically considered to be an early adopter of technology. For those who have experience in the tech startup space, you’ll know how incredibly difficult it can be to start any kind of tech-based business in South Africa. FinTech however seems to be the one big exception to the rule.

Let’s analyze the trends – South Africa was one of the first countries to introduce mobile speed point machines, chip and pin cards, banking apps, and even virtual banks. Products such as E-wallet, Zapper, PayShap, SnapScan and many others have made it easy and seamless to pay anyone anywhere, without having to carry anything other than your phone or even just your watch! In fact, the recipient doesn’t even need a bank account to receive money virtually!

It’s not just transactional banking where South Africa’s FinTech market shines, but there are also fantastic South African apps out there that can help you manage your finances, invest your savings, take out a loan, or even take out an insurance policy without speaking to a single human or filling out a single form.

This makes you think – when you consider the pace that IT moves at, and especially considering the recent rise of artificial intelligence, what is next for this sector? I would think that we will start seeing smarter budgeting apps, possibly easier ways to transact globally, and perhaps apps that can consolidate complex banking and investment portfolios into a single space.

Whatever is coming next for FinTech, I feel almost certain in saying that South Africa will be at the forefront of it, and we at FuseBox would like to think that we will do our bit to lead the charge!

Do you (or your organisation) have an idea for a fantastic FinTech app or product? Reach out to the FuseBox team today to discuss how we can work together. FuseBox has proudly worked with several prominent FinTech companies and consider it to be an area of specialty for our organisation.

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