As Chinese and African economic and trade relations intensify, Chinese and African financial institutions are cooperating increasingly closely. This session will look at the trends, opportunities and challenges within Africa’s financial sector, give an overview of the regulatory context, and ask what can be done to further China-Africa trade relations.
The implementation of the RMB internationalisation strategy is driving the use of RMB in the China-Africa trade channel. This session will look at why establishing a secure, fast cross-border RMB payment channel is becoming an increasingly important issue for markets and institutions in China and Africa alike.
Interbank collaboration between China and Africa is on the rise and plays a key role in trade relations. This panel session will provide a platform to facilitate in-depth cooperation between Chinese and African financial institutions.
According to the African Development Bank, economic diversification is key to solving Africa’s problems and removing barriers to intra-African trade has the greatest potential for building sustainable economic development. The signing of the landmark continental Free Trade area (CFTA) in March 2018 by 44 countries provided fresh optimism for African countries to increase intra-Africa trade.
However, while the free flow of goods and services is crucial in boosting intra-regional trade, the movement of financial flows across borders is equally important. How are payment market infrastructures across the continent supporting the drive for increased intra-African trade and to what extent has this already had an impact? What is the role for banks?
Thomas Attah John
Alan John Kyerematen
Dr. Olayinka David-West
Public policymakers recognise that a healthy, growing economy cannot rely solely on a cash-based payments system. The African Development Bank has stated that financial inclusion is one of the main building blocks of inclusive growth. Financial inclusion enables and empowers people and communities, and can help drive economic growth by bridging economic opportunities and outcomes.
Financial exclusion is still prominent in Africa. Bringing this number down is therefore high on the agenda of governments across the continent, with a focus on non-cash payments infrastructure.
Payment innovations such as mobile money solutions have proved a catalyst for greater financial inclusion over recent years. However, accelerating financial inclusion will require cooperation on many fronts including governments, regulators, telecoms, banks and FinTechs. Challenges remain including poor financial infrastructure, a lack of suitable products and geographic isolation of rural communities.
What initiatives are being developed to address these challenges? How is the drive for financial inclusion also driving innovation in the wider payments space? How can new developments such as open banking support the drive for increased financial inclusion?
Banks’ customers clearly want a fast and easy user experience when making payments similar to the services received in the retail sector. They want interoperability between systems and between different actors in the payment process, they want a frictionless experience end-to-end, increased control over information and full transparency on where payments are, when the payment will arrive and what fees are deducted.
This session will explore customers’ requirements in cross-border payments, how banks should respond to this demand and how to rebalance the value-add for banks’ customers.
Technological advances are bringing into play powerful and flexible new capabilities such as artificial intelligence, APIs and distributed ledger technology. Financial institutions must keep up with the pace of change and prepare for the future to remain competitive in such a rapidly evolving landscape.
How is technology shaping the payments landscape and how are banks embracing these new technologies to deliver new products and services to their customers?
Dr. Kasirim Nwuke
Stimulated by technological growth and new entrants, the world of international payments is experiencing considerable pressure for change. Transactions across borders have to be faster and simpler. Platforms to send transactions have to be more open, compliant and secure than ever. Even the market providers themselves are no longer bank dominated, with FinTechs and players from outside of the financial sector creating disruption both good and bad. In this session we explore how radically strategy must change – or not – to ensure that banks continue to lead in tomorrow’s international payments space.
In today’s digital economy, the speed and complexity of doing business is increasing, and businesses are looking for more innovative payment solutions that can help them better adapt to the pace of today’s financial transactions. Faster payments are at the centre of this digital revolution.
In Africa, faster payments are common in the retail space. Mobile money provides a quick service for consumers, and set to become ever faster, with the news that MTN and Orange have signed a joint venture to create an interoperable transfer service in real-time.
However, cash makes up 90% of all payments in Africa, and is the most real-time payment there is. Whatever electronic payments capability we can build, cash will always be more instant.
Is there drive in Africa to develop real-time payments outside of the retail space? How will banks and market infrastructures need to evolve to remain competitive in the 24/7 digital economy?
The financial landscape is changing. Across the value chain, organizations are investing in new technologies as they adjust to shifting market conditions and more demanding customer expectations. These new technologies - such as artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology and APIs - offer significant opportunities for incumbents and FinTechs alike to transform the payments sector.
FinTechs are transforming the delivery of financial services across Africa. This session will bring together the best and brightest fintechs from Ghana to showcase their products and services to ARC delegates.
- EP solutions
- Fido Micro Credit Limited
The payments landscape in Africa is as unique and diverse as every country on the continent. While much of the landscape has evolved under pressure from new technologies, the lack of the necessary payments infrastructure, regulation and payment ecosystems has slowed down the growth of both domestic and regional remittances. For African countries, solutions that are applicable both locally and regionally are optimal. But what do these look like and how could we get to them? And how do we include and integrate the growing number of maturing mobile money offerings? This year BankservAfrica in partnership with the Cenfri (Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion) will explore some of the approaches to and challenges of African payments empowerment during this plenary session.
The World Economic Forum has put cyber-security and fraud as top threats for the entire world. According to the World Bank, Africa has lost an estimated $3.5 billion to cyber security attacks over the last few years. The sophistication of threat actors is increasing at a seemingly exponential rate and massive data breaches are almost common place.
Open opening speaker will look at the current threat landscape, and cast a light on the most at-risk areas for the financial industry.
As the global trend towards real-time payment systems continues to accelerate, many industry stakeholders fear increased fraud – and rightly so. One of the most pressing issues for banks, system operators and regulators is how to increase speed without sacrificing security. In the past, financial crime compliance and cybersecurity have been handled by separate departments, and often in silos. However, both compliance and cyber are business risks – should they therefore be handled as one and the same by financial institutions?
During this session, we will hear about how operational risk and cyber-security concerns are converging as a topic for risk managers, and how financial institutions are tackling this challenge.
Arguably the biggest cyber-security risk is simply ‘people’. From insider threats to acute skills shortage, poor diversity, and all the while the internal staff are still clicking on the phishing link. Are the solutions to cyber-security closer to home and in our own hands? Is it all just over-blown hype that can be managed just like any other risk with a bit of education and discipline, or will people always be the biggest intangible and the cause of the biggest headaches?
Banks are under increasing scrutiny to improve their anti-money laundering efforts, and are challenged with how to accomplish this with existing resources. New technologies have been promising to make an impact, but most firms are still trying to understand how this can be done.
Although in its infancy, AI technology has the potential to be applied in a broad range of areas and provide business insights to drive innovation, improve the effectiveness and efficiency of processes and mitigate compliance and fraud risks. Machines can also play a critical role in dealing with the data challenges linked to higher levels of information, and data processing associated with the increasing flow of international transactions.
Together, are AI and robotics a magic bullet to reduce cost and increase effectiveness? As we embark on the RegTech journey, how can banks convince regulators that the technology works? And does all the hype have a real-world application in such a key risk area?