Major Improvements in South African Fintech Space

Fintech is still on the rise in the world financial ladder. The development of little to touch and Bitcoin are some of the 2017 fintech surprises. The rise is still expected in 2018. Bitcoin has attracted most discussions in the tech world. It was predicted back in 2016 that 2017 was the year for Bitcoin’s breakthrough. The cryptocurrency has extensively gone into the mainstream media. Besides, many people globally know about Bitcoin. Large money institutions are considering Bitcoin, and it cannot be washed away.

The year 2017 made people know and have good knowledge of Bitcoin. That made it easier when it came to its usage. Much experimentation comes up with how to use Bitcoin. For example, Pick ‘n’ Pay supermarket in South Africa uses Bitcoin in its transactions. Many pilots and experiments will come up in 2018. This will only prove if Bitcoin can be used in the day to day payment activities.  Back them; insurance companies were against the use of Bitcoin. But they are embarrassing the service given the high number of people using it.

The South African market is still behind on the move. But there are new insurance businesses that are joining AlphaCode. They include Cascade, Fo-sho, and Click2Sure. There will be a rise of on-demand and microinsurance in South Africa. Insurance is also moving to the digitalization world a good example in OUTsurance. It has rebranded and launched an app. It created a more digitally friendly interface. The interface allows customers to log a windscreen claim. Customers can also insure their cellphone or laptop on the app.

There was thinking of banks destructions by fintech when AlphaCode started out. Unfortunately, that has not happened.  Instead, there are good collaborations between financial institutions and fintech. People are admitting that fintech businesses need a lot of money to scale. One needs time to build up a brand that customers have confident with. Many banks in South Africa are willing to work with fintech. Banks are coming into the reality of a need to do more to keep customers trust. The only fintech is good at building that trust.

There have been a very high profile chatbots oversees in the past years. Many banks and insurers have tried to develop their chatbots without success. They are now collaborating with businesses like FinChatBot. The partnership allows them to reduce cost without involving customers. The launch of FICA bill also proved that people are moving from rule-based to risk-based FICA approach. Banks took time to embrace digital FICA processes until the bill becomes functional. There is a need to embrace a risk-based approach. Discovery and CBA Tyme banks will pressurize other banks to use digital FICA processes. For healthy competitions, banks should reduce their costs and move to digital channels.

Fintechs that work on solving a specific problem for customers will gain traction. Examples of the fintechs are SnapScan, Zapper, Karri, and Walletdog. The banks are trying on improving their apps. There was the launch of mainstream robo advisor in 2017 called OUTves. The robot gives good customer experience. Many robo advisors are going to come up. Upcoming markets need a smooth and convenient process to get investments and savings. Below are South African fintechs to watch in 2018.


Luno allows one to sell, buy, send and receive store Bitcoin or Ethereum. This only requires three steps with as little as R10.


Click2Sure gives customers chance to buy a high valued product via an online e-commerce provider. The customer, therefore, gets policy insurance on the items they purchased. This is done during the checkpoint process.


It gives intelligent chatbots for the financial services industries. Therefore, FinChatBot helps in reducing cost and time.


Karri is a mobile payment app that allows one to make quick payments for school events.


Electrum offers a cloud platform used by banks and retailers to accept payments.

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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
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