Nomanini hosts the African Fintech Unconference

03 APRIL 2017, ACCRA, GHANA
Summary
Last month, Nomanini, in partnership with the Bankable Frontiers Associates’ FIBR project, hosted the first annual African Fintech Unconference. Innovators, thought leaders, industry regulators, banks, telcos, and other established players in the emerging fintech sector, gathered in Accra for two days to discuss how fintech players can engage in smarter partnerships in a fast-moving industry that is ripe for consolidation.

Last month, Nomanini, in partnership with the Bankable Frontiers Associates’ FIBR project, hosted the first annualAfrican Fintech Unconference.

Innovators, thought leaders, industry regulators, banks, telcos, and other established players in the emerging fintech sector, gathered in Accra for two days to discuss how fintech players can engage in smarter partnerships in a fast-moving industry that is ripe for consolidation.

This year's theme was "Mapping the African Fintech Landscape” and in addition to a physical mapping exercise, a keynote and three expert-led panel discussions, many engaging discussions took place among the diverse group.

The keynote address was delivered by Ignacio Mas, the Executive Director of Digital Frontiers Institute. He set the tone of the event with an address titled “Unleashing Inclusive Fintech”, and spoke about how both digital and behavioral factors need to be carefully considered in order to really advance financial inclusion.

The three panel discussions aligned the with three tracks of the African Fintech Unconference, namely:

  1. Fostering partnerships among fintech innovators
  2. Connecting fintechs to Financial Service Provider Partners
  3. Creating Customer Trust in Digital Financial Services

The unconference format enables participants to craft the agenda over the course of the event and self organise into sessions guided by which topic interests them most. Failitated by Kim Humby, Head of Communications at Nomanini, breakaway sessions initiated by participants included:

  • Do banks need fintechs?
  • How to design for trust in digital financial services
  • Last mile distribution: How do SME’s and consumers actually acquire goods and services?
  • What challenges are fintechs facing in becoming / being data-driven?
  • How can donors best support fintechs, in addition to financing?

‘Do banks need fintechs’ was a lively discussion hosted by Nomanini CEO, Vahid Monadjem. A number of African fintechs as well as representatives from Ecobank took part in the debate, which ended with advice being shared by both sides on how best to ensure successful partnerships.

Not shying away from asking tough questions, another participant-hosted session, ‘Will we ever be profitable?’, debated whether there was enough margin in fintech for fintechs to be profitable.

The Mastercard Foundation initiated discussion about how donors can better support fintechs proved to be extremely useful for all participants. Fintechs guided the discussion, providing valuable feedback to The Mastercard Foundation on various ways they would like to be supported.

We were really encouraged by the level of open sharing and depth of participant engagement at each session. Feedback on the unconference format was very positive and having players from across the fintech ecosystem ensured that the topics were relevant and input diverse.

It was an incredibly successful event and we look forward to organising the African Fintech Unconference in 2018.

About Nomanini

As the pioneering fintech platform for the informal retail ecosystem, Nomanini connects merchants and distributors to each other and global service providers, integrating payments, working capital, and data analytics to unlock the latent potential of Africa’s economy.

Nomanini turns any mobile device into a retail point-of-sale solution for informal merchants that is connected to an interoperable merchant wallet. The interoperable merchant wallet allows merchants to offer a broad range of digital banking (including cash-in/cash-out), mobile, utility and entertainment services to their customers boosting competitiveness. In turn, digital service providers rapidly increase the scale and reach of their offerings. By generating real-time insights based on transaction data, distributors using the platform gain a single view of their merchant network, ensuring inventory is where it is needed most to improve sales. Distributors can also begin to accept payments for goods electronically, eliminating the risk and inefficiency of collecting cash. With data analytics, Nomanini helps extend working capital loans to merchants via distributors allowing them to invest in inventory to grow their businesses. The increased volume of goods and services set against reduced operational friction increases the profits for all platform participants.

Headquartered in Cape Town and founded in 2011, Nomanini has partnered with Standard Bank Group.

For more information, please visit https://www.nomanini.com

news