Ukheshe, a leading fintech enablement partner, is working with others in East Africa as part of its plan to grow. Anthony Karingi, the company’s vice president for business development in the region, says they know how important it is to make partnerships and use local knowledge when they move into new markets.
Karingi clarifies that the company can’t please everyone, so it focuses on its strengths and works closely with partners to take advantage of theirs. He also says that East Africa is about to grow quickly because the market for cashless systems and digital payments is very advanced.
Mobile money is available in all of the major East African markets and is even ahead of South Africa in many.
Nearly 70% of the $1 trillion worth of mobile money transactions worldwide in the past year were done in Sub-Saharan Africa.
But with this fast growth comes more attention from regulators, especially on fintechs. Karingi says having local partners and feet in these new markets is essential because regulators are still trying to find the right balance between protecting consumers and not stifling innovation. Local rules and compliance requirements change, so new operators must keep up with them.
When Ukheshe enters a new East African market, it works with established partners who want to digitize their services and contribute to the digital economy to help people access financial services.
Ukheshe is the enablement partner that helps fintechs, financial institutions, and MNOs drive their vision and goals and improve their offering by using their licenses, customers, and local knowledge.
Karingi says that this is a new way of doing things in the business world and is different from what most competitors do. Ukheshe uses partnerships because it would be hard to follow all the different local rules in all the markets it wants to operate in. This makes it easier for Ukheshe to roll out its solutions and grow.
Ukheshe invests in its local partners and uses its innovative products to improve what its partners can offer. The company invests money into infrastructure, building people’s skills and resources. This makes its local footprint bigger, strengthens the partnership, and improves both companies’ services for customers.
In the next five years, Karingi thinks that mobile money operators and telcos will lose their first-mover advantage to more flexible fintechs that can deploy their technology faster and cheaper. Interoperability will become one of the most important selling points. With technology leveling the playing field, the market is proliferating, and it’s important to be aware of these changes to stay ahead of the competition.
Karingi ends by saying that everyone wants a piece of the action, and even big companies like Apple and Samsung are now involved in mobile payments. The best and most exciting part is that there is no script, and everyone builds the plane as they fly, going to places that have never been explored before.