Viewpoint: Bank-Telco Distrust Inhibits South Africa’s Financial Inclusion
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Although partnerships between banks and telcos are essential in enabling financial inclusion to billions of people in Africa, the egos among the institutions are hindering such partnerships, especially in SA.
That was the word from Kim Dancey, regulatory head and specialist advisor for digital and alternative banking at FNB, speaking yesterday during the Amdocs Africa Executive Summit in Johannesburg.
"Financial inclusion is the direct consequence of consumers across the income spectrum accessing and sustainably using financial services that are affordable and appropriate to their needs," she said.
In countries like Kenya mobile financial services have flourished, especially on platforms like M-Pesa and M-Shwari. However, SA has not had the same success with Vodacom's M-Pesa attempt, as an example, failing to scale as expected.
"Banks struggle with partnering in mobile finance because they worry that telcos want to be banks, and telcos worry that banks want to become telcos," she pointed out.
In SA and Nigeria, she added, banks want to be phone companies; however, in Kenya, the phone company is already the bank.