Govt urged to embrace Fintech to support growth

Govt urged to embrace Fintech to support growth

Key sector players in the financial industry have identified a number of significant opportunities in place for government under Kenya’s development agenda.

Part of the openings stated includes revenue generation, job creation and a better financial inclusivity for all.

Though at their infancy stage, Financial Technologies (Fintech) have already shown the potential they hold to the advancement of traditional financial services with block chain techniques and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in particular holding the biggest opportunities in the innovation space.

Players such as banks have already began integrating the new technologies in to everyday operations with mobile loans applications for instance determining the credit worthiness of their clientele through the generation of algorithm based big data.

Speaking during the inaugural Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysis Forum (ICFA) which brought together players in the financial industry, ICFA Chairman Job Kihumba said the government stands to reap big from leveraging on the opportunities in place.

“It is important for the government to enable growth of Fintech activities and instruments. If you as an example think of the intra-Africa trade there is a lot of possibility of using the technologies to enhance trading among countries within Africa,” Mr Kihumba said.

The technologies to this moment operate within a regulatory sandbox as government remains a step behind innovation in the space.

The Central Bank of Kenya has so far expressed concerns on the feasibility of new technologies in the country with the Governor Patrick Njoroge calling for caution and good market conduct amongst participants in the sector as a mitigation strategy against the possible losses emanating from un-sound and fraudulent financial practices.

In light of the prevailing challenges, Mr Kihumba expressed optimism in the future of Fintech saying the new wave will withstand the test of time just as it were at the advent of previous inventions such as mobile-money services.

“Fintech will be order of the day in the next 5 years. It will be the in-thing. The world is moving so fast that one will be left behind if they fail to keep up,” Mr Kihumba said.

In February the Ministry of ICT setup an 11 member taskforce to look into the opportunities in place for Kenya around devolved ledger technologies and AI.

With the taskforce’s mandate lapsing at the end of the month, the country will now await the direction the government takes in regards to the implementation of new innovations in the financial industry.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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