M-Pesa To Monitise: How Necessity Is Pushing FinTech Innovation From Africa To The UK
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Necessity is often said to be the driver of innovation. Nowhere is this clearer than with the mobile-phone based money transfer and microfinancing service, M-Pesa, in Kenya, wherein the need to provide financial services to the under-banked population resulted in a truly transformative fintech solution. Yet, there is also a second cause of innovation: opportunity. The UK has its own environment of changes and challenges, as well as legacy banking systems that were falling behind the times and the needs of consumers. This has given rise to numerous innovative firms, which I’m fortunate to meet every day as the founding director of Innovate Finance. While you can see the impact of many of them – CrowdBnk’s funding platform, Yoyo’s mobile payments and rewards system, and OnTrees’ money management and budgeting app come to mind – there are others such as Monitise who operate behind the scenes, providing critical back-end infrastructure to enable banks to offer new services safely and efficiently. Whether through necessity or opportunity, in the UK or globally, it is the fintech sector that is stepping in with innovations to address unmet financial and social needs.