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The Voice for Banking and Finance in Africa

May / June 2013 £3.99

Austin Okere: On CWG’s Role in Africa’s IT Evolution IBM: A look at its Contribution to Africa’s Development Jean Christophe Knoertzer, IBM General Manger for Africa, tells us all about IBM’s operation in Africa.

Mobile Technology: Preferred Banking Channel in Africa Will mobile technology oust traditional banks in Africa?

Technology: Key Driver to Transporting Africa on the World Stage World Economic Forum for Africa 2013 takes technology seriously.

Think ICT? Think CWG

CWL Systems DCC Networks ExpertEdge Software

LAGOS ABUJA PORT-HARCOURT ACCRA KAMPALA DOUALA 5th Floor Octagon Building, 13, A.J. Marinho Drive, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria. Tel. +234-1-7333444, 2809800 Fax: +234-1-2705583 E-mail: Website:


Welcome to Technology Banker - Informing, Influencing and Insipiring Business With over 59 million phones shipped to Africa and the Middle East last year, it is no wonder manufacturers are scrambling to get a piece of Africa. The battle for a share of Africa’s mobile phone market is undeniably heating up in the continent. New, shiny and affordable smartphones are on their way to the continent. Early this year, Huawei and Microsoft launched 4Afrika, an Africa specific mobile phone handset. As of yet, I have no idea if Huawei’s 4Afrika is indeed as good as it promises. But, I’m betting my last penny that the rest of the manufacturers will follow soon. In the meantime, if you want to know the current bestselling handset in the continent, turn to page 26 to find out. Countries in Africa are vying for to lead the continent’s technology revolution. So, in March, Technology Banker started the year by asking you ‘Which African Country Do You Think Will Lead the African Technology Revolution?’ A number of you have quite happily helped us and openly expressed your views. So, thank you very much. The result of our poll is now out. I can’t say I’m surprised to see the result. Still, it is interesting to read what IT and banking professionals have to say. I won’t spoil your reading by telling which country it. So, just turn to page 34 for the full story. If you want to join in the discussion, visit the Technology Banker group on Linkedin. On banking, Karthikeyan from Finacle, South Africa, discusses the key considerations for banks when transforming their internet banking platform. I hope that you enjoy this month’s edition of Technology Banker.

Contact Details: Publisher - Stefan Grossetti Editor - Hope Varnes Deputy Editor - John Bennett Sales & Marketing - Jenny Howard Managing Editor - Remi Akinjomo Head of Operations - Monika Derfinakova Technology Banker Website Technology Banker is a registered trademark of Technology Banker Group. All rights relating to the content of the publication are reserved to the rightful owners.

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If you have any suggestions or industry information that you wish to share with the rest of our readers, please do get in touch. Hope Varnes, Editor

The contents of this publication are subject to copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic is expressly forbidden without prior written consent of the editor. Views expressed in the publication do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publisher. We welcome contributions, however, publishing it, is at the discretion of the editor. We also take no responsibility in the return of materials. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy, we cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies. All rights reserved. ©Technology Banker 2013 ISSN 2051-9443 | 3



NEWS 8 9 11

Banking News Security News Telecommunications News

FEATURE Mobile Money - Going Beyond the M-Pesa Model CWG’s CTO James Agada discusses why M-Pesa not replicated in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Africa on the World Stage

14 Mobile Technology: Preferred Banking Channel in Africa Only seeing images of hunger and unrest, for ordinary people outside of Africa, the continent may look like a charity case.

Mobile Money - Going Beyond the M-Pesa Model Mobile Technology: Preferred Banking Channel in Africa? Key Considerations in Transforming an Internet Banking Platform Technology: Key Driver to Transporting


Q & A with CWG IBM: A Look at its Contribution to Africa’s Development


20 Key Considerations in Transforming an Internet Banking Platform Finacle’s engagement manager dishes out advice to banks about internet banking transformation


Technology: Key Driver to Transporting Africa on the World Stage World Economic Forum for Africa 2013 takes technology seriously

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SunGard Saves Absa $1.1m Annually


Online Banking Threats: A Kapersky Lab Infographic


Which African Country Will Lead the African Technology Revolution?


Events for your Diary


Vendors Directory


Mobile Money Going Beyond the M-Pesa Model By James Agada, CTO Computer Warehouse Group


-Pesa clones in various forms have been tried right across Africa. Nigeria with 160 million people and 60% GSM penetration has long been regarded as the ultimate market for M-Pesa like services. With 20 registered mobile money operators, this was to be the market to be. Or it should be. Two years down the line, there is no M-Pesa success replica in Nigeria and a few are beginning to question whether there will be. Several factors have since long been identified as being responsible for the difficulty in replicating M-Pesa - lack of government support, regulatory bottlenecks, poorly funded start-ups etc. Michael Joseph had even attributed M-Pesa’s success in a large part due to the single-minded commitment of his team in Safaricom. The failure of mobile money to catch fire compares with the relatively more successful penetration of micro finance banks and institutions across the entire regions. Comparing the two phenomena that attempt to reach the vast population of unbanked people and their relative successes; points very clearly to the keys to success. Micro finance institutions have tended to provide a flexible range of services to customers close to their homes and businesses quickly, privately and unobtrusively. People within the community provide services, in most cases, and traditional sanctions are applied to ensure reliability, that is, service being delivered according to agreed rules at promised rates and on promised dates. Of course the trust implicit in these systems have been severally compromised, but this is compensated for in many cases by the convenience - any sum, any time quickly and conveniently. Micro finance institutions have also tended to blend into the socio-cultural fabric providing support for those transactions that the community needs. While mobile money has seemed to focus exclusively on payments, micro finance has made credit their bedrock. And credit designed to meet the community needs. For instance, some microfinance banks offer credit in kind rather than

cash - cement blocks in lieu of mortgage cash, daily loans instead of long term loans. One can argue that M-Pesa was a special case and that its success is not a template for other successful operations. It is only recently that M-Pesa created new products, which transfer funds to bank accounts, where money can earn interest or allow access to credit. M-Pesa’s success could have been a point in time anomaly that benefited from Safaricom’s dominance in the market, the dearth of alternative payment and transfer channels and the violent election upheavals. Operators aping M-Pesa will not have the stars so well lined in their favour elsewhere. For instance, in South Africa, there is an existing and pervasive credit card culture and a high ATM penetration. While, in Nigeria, there is a large number of growing alternatives from cards, to ATMs and bank branches as well as pervasive street crime. The success of Mobile Money in countries like Nigeria will most likely be dependent on how much deviation they have from the straitjacket M-Pesa model. There is a need to invest in providing cheap and convenient access that will create an opportunity for small unpredictable transactions of all sorts frequently, quickly, privately and close to home and office. It is necessary to provide the connections that will allow credit of some sort to be available and for interest of some sort to be paid on deposits. For these connections to be realistic, it will require a reconfiguration of the infrastructure serving the rest of the financial system. Taking Nigeria as an example, there are more than 1000 microfinance banks, more than 5000 cooperatives as well as 20 microfinance operators. How do you manage this integration puzzle? Hopefully, service providers like AppZone (BankOne) and MTN XaaS (CWG and MTN) will start aggregating some of these institutions making it more feasible for mobile money operators to start fitting in more into the socio-economic fabric at the bottom of the pyramid. Till then? | 5


Q & A with C W G Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) is one of the Africa’s leading ICT conglomerates and a fast rising African Multinational Company. On this issue, Technology Banker catches up with its Founder and CEO, Mr Austin Okere, to find out more about its success in the continent.

Infrastructure division of the Group. This division provides enterprise and data centre servers, storage, desktops, notebooks, ATMs and other hardware related solutions to the clients. The Group has a market share of over 15% for computer systems in Nigeria, a growing market share in Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon. It’s a key provider of ICT solutions in the West, East and Central African sub regions. DCC Networks is CWG’s communications. Its’ services include system integration, wireless and wired communications services and a network infrastructure, Management Solutions covering, Assets management, Security Management systems and Database Management. ExpertEdge is our software solutions and training division. Its’ primary focus includes software development and deployment, system integration, software implementation, software support services and software enhancement and customisation. EE was behind the success of Finacle, the universal banking solution, which empowers banks to transform their business via leveraging agile new generation technologies from Infosys Technologies. Through its expert support and implementation, over 40% of the banks in Nigeria now run effectively on the Finacle platform, including First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa. EE also provides Finacle implementation and support to banks in Nigeria and in Africa.


Can you tell us about CWG Group, its services and products the company offer?

Computer Warehouse Group is a Pan African Systems Integration company that offers Integrated ICT solutions that add value to the operations of our diverse clientele. We started as a small company selling DELL computers to businesses in Nigeria in 1992. Over the years, CWG has grown from just a computer hardware supply company to an integrated ICT Group consisting of three divisions. From an initial annual turnover of under $1 million, CWG now has a turnover of about $120million and about 650 employees. We currently have virtual operations in 17 African countries, with physical presence in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon. CWG business model hinges on partnering with the best-in-class global companies, for their best products and services and delivering them to our customers in the best manner, using the best people. We provide ICT solutions and services through our divisions; CWL Systems is the hardware and IT

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What is the mission of CWG in Africa?

Our vision is to be the number one IT Utility enabler in Africa by 2015, while our mission is to deploy world class ICT Solutions Enabling business and driven by innovative people and process.


How does the CWG assist banking clients in Africa?

We partner with best-in-class global companies such as Oracle, IBM, Infosys, Dell, and Microsoft amongst others for their best products and services and deliver them to our customers in the best

manner, using the best people. CWG presently has about 11 banks out of 22 banks in Nigeria using Finacle core banking application deployed by CWG in partnership with Infosys. This solution has also been deployed and is being supported by CWG for other banks in Africa. CWG believes in the importance of collaboration and we apply this in our business pursuits. Collaboration has enabled us to work with some companies to deliver solutions that enhance businesses across the African continent especially the banking sector. As you may recall, in 2012 CWG, in collaboration with MTN, launched MTN Xaas, a Microfinance banking Software as a Service in Nigeria. This solution is providing competitive advantage for Microfinance banks in Nigeria.


What do you see as the future of ATM in Nigeria and across Africa?

The evolution of ATM in Africa has contributed immensely to reducing the issue of theft and long queues in the banking hall as the bank customers can do transfer, pay bills, recharge telephone airtime amongst other features. However, the evolution of Point of Sales (POS) services seems a better solution for promoting cashlite economy. Nevertheless, the role of ATM in Africa cannot be completely ruled out though some other solutions like online banking and POS are competing seriously with it.


What sort of training and certifications does CWG provide and to what industries?

Our training and certification centre, ‘ExpertEdge Training Centre’ undertakes training on Business Applications, Network and Infrastructure Solutions as well as IT Management Solutions. Our services cover trainings on Sun Solaris, Novell, Microsoft, NetApp, Dell, VSA, Finacle banking application, Oracle, IBM, Java, ITIL, Project Management, TOEFL/Prometic/PearsonVUE Exam testing as well. The strength of our training centre lies in our focus on practical teachings, employing the services of seasoned and experienced in-house and external facilitators where scenarios are simulated and solved, thereby transferring practical knowledge to ensure that training sessions are intensive and dynamic.

CWG incorporated CWG Academy as a core human capacity development programme, which is a detailed and structured educational programme for fresh graduates to enhance their technological skill and prepare them for fulfilling IT careers. The CWG Academy is designed to transform an OND, HND or BSc holder to a world class IT Professional or Entrepreneur. It offers Class room training, Hands-on laboratory, real life project attachment and more in the three information technology disciplines as follows; hardware Infrastructure, Software and communications. The academy was established in 2011 and since then it has produced world-class professionals who now contribute their quota in the industry globally.


In your opinion, what does Africa need to make it a world leader in technology innovation?

Technology has been the bedrock of growth and success stories of so many businesses and improved economy of many nations especially in the African continent. Technology itself is not static as it keeps evolving at a very speedy rate. Information Technology is required in every sector of the economy. We have to enable business through cutting edge technology sourced from world class Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that will add value to our customer’s business and the economy as a whole. For Africa to lead the technology innovation, it has to embrace the technology trend and speed by working with companies like CWG who understands the technology requirements for business growth.

‘Our vision is to be the number one IT Utility enabler in Africa by 2015’ | 7


FNB one of the Top 10 most popular websites in Africa According to the latest web users’ survey conducted by, FNB is the only banking website that made it to the top 10 websites in Africa. It is also the continent’s most popular banking website. According to FNB’s Online CEO Lee-Anne van Zyl, the bank’s website generates around 2.8 million unique visitors every month. Considering that the bank has only 1.3 million online banking customers, the figure indicates that over 50% of the sites visitors are non-FNB customers. Despite the current popularity of the website, Zyl said that the bank is planning to re-launch its site in July. Zyl added that FNB is pushing its online process towards a level where the customers don’t need bank branches to interact with the bank. It is FNB’s goal to solely interact with its customers through digital channels.

Kingdom Bank is fit says Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe After revelation that AFRASIA Kingdom Bank has amassed a massive US$21 million bad loan it extended to local mobile phone operator, Spiritage Group, and that it has misrepresented its real financial situation, rumours are rife that the institution is in the brink of collapse. According to Dr Gideon Gono, Governor of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the central bank has carried out an investigation on Kingdom Bank, and it has assessed its efforts to address the problems with the bad loans. He said, that the result of the investigation gives the central bank the confidence that Kingdom Bank is in a position to continue its business as usual. Dr Gono also announced that Reserve Bank has decided to approve and expedite all legal and administrative requirements for Kingdom bank and all its shareholder in the event that they need to inject more money into the institution.

Stanbic Bank and Rwanda to issue $400m Eurobond South African bank Stanbic Bank has agreed a partnership with the Rwandan Government in the release of its $400 million, 10-year Eurobond. The partnership makes Rwanda the latest sub-Saharan country to obtain funding from international capital markets – a first not only for Rwanda, but also for East Africa. According to Anne Aliker, Regional Head of Investment Banking for Stanbic Bank, the bank acts a rating adviser to the Rwandan government. So far, bond issue has received great interest from investors. It has received around 7.5x its issue size, totalling to $3.5 billion. The bond will mature in 2023, and bond started trading at 6.625%, and closed at 6.875%. The money raised from the issue will be used to build an international convention centre, and to fund the capital expenditure of Rwanda’s national airline, Rwandair.

UBA posted 905% increase in profit in 2012 After the loss recorded in 2011, United Bank of Africa Plc (UBA) bounced back dramatically, recording a whopping 905% growth in 2012. In its latest audited report for year ending 31 December 2012, UBA recorded a $370.4 million profit, compared to the $43.1 million it recorded for the same period in 2011. UBA’s audited account revealed that its pre-tax profit in 2012 grew by 295% to $330 million, against the $169 million loss it posted in 2011. But the biggest growth it recorded was on its comprehensive earnings from equity holders. UBA recorded a 5,058% growth on its comprehensive earnings, amounting to$352 million against a loss of $7.1 million it recorded in 2011. The bank also kept its total operating expenses in 2012 at 3.30%.

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Cyber security threats on the increase in Africa According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report published early in May, Africa is facing increase cyber security threats. The report showed that targeted attacks cyber security grew by 42% in 2012. Symantec’s report ranked Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritius and Nigeria as the seven top countries in Africa that are seriously under threat. The report also revealed that the most common individual targets are employees with access to intellectual properties and sales employees. According to the figures on the report, 27% of the attacks are aimed at employees with access to sensitive information, while 24% of the attacks are aimed at sales employees.

U.S. claims Chinese university lab linked to cyber-attacks In its latest yearly report, the Pentagon claimed that it identified Wuhan’s Computer Science School Key Laboratory of Aerospace Information Security and Trusted Computing in China, as the latest cyber combat research and assault centre within the country’s covert cyber combat program. The Pentagon has confirmed for the first time that there is evidence that the Chinese government and military are behind the cyber-attacks against the U.S. government. U.S. officials claimed that the Key Laboratory, situated around 425 miles west of Shanghai, is one of Wahun’s three computer science laboratories. The site was built in 2008 and is deemed one of the university’s top information security and cyber combat centres. It has already trained over 760 people who are now working with the Chinese government and military department.

McAfee introduces all-in-one online security solution Capitalising on the customers’ need to feel safe online, McAfee introduces a new security product, ‘LiveSafe,’ which it claims to be ‘a new ‘ all-in-one’ solution to protect you from the perils that await you online.’ According to McAfee, ‘LiveSafe’ is designed as “one-stop-shop” for all customers’ security needs. The security suite is available for PCs and Macs. McAfee explained that although Mac computers are not as prone to computer virus as PCs, it is a myth that they virus proof. LiveSafe supports a Web-based central application that manages customer security across all devices, virus protection and data backup, plus the capability to lock-down, erase and locate device in case it is lost or stolen.

Lookout intercepts privacy-invading mobile ad network apps Look has announced in early May that it will flag mobile apps adverts as adware if they don’t have explicit consent from users. The firm is giving advertisers and mobile app developers 45 days to meet its list of privacy and security best practices. According to Lookout, advertisers, Ad agencies and app developers have until 24 June to ensure that their mobile app adverts comply with its security and privacy best practices. Mobile advertising apps that fail to comply with the company’s policy will be potentially blacklisted. | 9

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Tanzania to fine Telecoms for Poor Services Tanzania’s Minister for Communication, Prof Makame Mbawara, has announced that telecom operators that provide services without explaining the cause to the customers are facing five to six months imprisonment. The minister also admitted that Tigo experience technical problems that cause the outage in November. He added that Tigo’s system was inundated and burned its equipment located in Sabasaba. As a result, the firm’s base station and radio network controller, home location register and mobile switch centre were destroyed. He assured the Parliament that the country’s Communications Regulatory Authority had formally written to Tigo asking the firm to explain its plans to prevent similar situations in the future.

Safaricom’s Full-Year Profit on data income up 39% According to Safaricom Ltd, its full year profit for 2012 has gone up by 39%, as it is largely due to the increase in earnings from its data services. Safaricom’s Chief Financial Officer, John Tobleson, said the firm’s net earnings went up to $209 million between March 2012 and 2013, from around $150 million the previous year. He added that Safaricom’s sales increased by 16%, assisted by a 29% growth on its non-voice earnings. As the voice market matures in Africa, mobile operators are turning their attention to data services, such mobile internet to grow their revenue. According to Bob Collymore, Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer, increase in their nonvoice services is behind the company’s strategy to expand its revenue channels. Currently, Safaricom Ltd competes against East African Breweries Ltd, the Kenya’s largest company by market value.

Etisalat installs additional intercontinental fibre optic cable Etisalat, one of the large telecom firms in the Middle East and Africa, announced early in May of its part in the building of the Bay of Bengal (BBG) submarine fibre optic cable, together with major telecommunication companies. The new cable installation is hoped to improve the international connectivity and diversity of the Middle East and Africa. The building of BBG will connect the Middle East with South East Asia and South Asia. According to Etisalat, the project is a clear sign of the increasing requirement for bandwidth in the region. The new fibre optic cable spans around 8,000 kilometres. It has a 100Gps technology and easy to upgrade when needed. BBG is expected to be completed, and ready to carry commercial traffic by the end of 2014.

ACE launched in Accra Early in May, Ghana inaugurated the landing base for ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine fibre-optic cable in Accra. ACE is a 17,000 km undersea cable that connects Africa to Europe, starting from France, going through Portugal, to South Africa and Ghana. The cable directly connects 23 coastal countries. It will then use terrestrial links to connect landlocked countries such as Niger and Mali and Niger. The ACE project is estimated to cost $700 million. Tyco and Alcatel-Lucent were chosen to supply contractors for the project, and Expresso-Dolphin is in-charge for the maintenance and operation. ACE is the first continuous link to connect seven countries in Africa. | 11


IBM: A Look at its Contribution to Africa’s Development Africa is a potentially huge market for IBM. Industry experts predict that IBM’s sales in Africa will more than double and exceed $1 billion in 2015. Technology Banker catches up with Jean Christophe Knoertzer, IBM General Manager for Central East and West Africa, to find out more about IBM’s operation in Africa.


IBM is widely known for its contribution to technological advancement all over the world with the highest patent count per company for the last 20 years. Having recognized the unique role the company can play in the transformation of Africa, IBM opened its first research lab in Africa in August 2012, located at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi. The lab will focus on improving the services provided by the public sector, smarter planet initiative and the development of human capacity.


IBM has also made a significant contribution to technology by creating partnership with universities locally to improve technical skills among the students by providing the students with access to the latest technological facilities, IBM experts, and real case studies. These universities include Riara, Strathmore and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Can you give us an overview of IBM’s operation in Africa?

IBM identifies Africa as one of the key growth markets in the world and has in the recent past made significant investments into the continent as part of its growth plan. Currently, IBM is present in more than 20 African countries with the latest office having opened in Rabat, Morocco in late 2012. IBM has also been working with local governments and non-governmental organizations in Africa through the Corporate Service Corps (CSC) program, an initiative that has seen several hundred IBM professionals work to resolve issues facing African economies.


What is IBM’s major contribution to the development of technology in Africa?

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Mobile banking is a hot topic in Africa, has it changed the financial market in the continent? If so, how?


Mobile banking is an innovation that has greatly changed the financial market in Africa by transforming mobile devices into tool used to access financial services. With more than 650 million mobile phone users in Africa, the ability to transfer money, save money and pay bills via mobile phone has enabled development even in the remote regions of Africa where banking service are limited. This in turn has lowered the costs of financial transactions and increased disposable income among the population.


Which mobile banking solutions does IBM deploy in Africa? What positive results have they delivered to IBM customers?

We are working with several banks including Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, RAWBANK (DRC), Fidelity Bank (Ghana) and Family Bank in Kenya to deliver systems that are enabling them to roll out a wide suite of mobile banking products relevant to their markets. In most cases, these solutions enable the banks to reach a wider section of customers and deliver more services without having to invest in the traditional brick and mortar model of banking that has so far held back banking growth in Africa. In 2011, IBM signed agreements with five major banks in Kenya, Credit Bank, Family Bank, National Bank of Kenya, Co-operative Bank of Kenya and National Industrial Credit Bank (NIC) to transform their businesses and increase profitability through the adoption of more sophisticated technology including mobile and internet banking. The technology delivered will not only enable the banks to follow through on their aggressive growth strategies but also improve operational efficiency and quality of customer service. The contracts with Cooperative Bank of Kenya and National Bank of Kenya make two of the largest technology deals in East Africa to date.


Do you think that all banks, big or small, should embrace mobile banking? Why or why not?

Banks are keen to embrace mobile banking as it is a more efficient means of delivering services and is cheaper and convenient; in many ways a smarter solution to resolve many issues customers face. Mobile banking has grown in popularity and soon will be a key consideration in the choice of a bank. An example of this is Fidelity Bank, which unveiled a mobile money platform that has earned them many new clients. Other benefits of mobile banking include reduced fraud cases and ease of data collection for client analysis.


For banks that have already implemented mobile banking, how do you think they can maximize its profitability potential?

Banks should continue using analytics to find out what gaps exist in their products and services then find ways to fill them. One way of identifying such gaps is by using social media tools to get feedback from customers and to establish customer expectations. Once this information is available, the bank can use it to improve customer experience and satisfaction by addressing any issues that come up. Banks can also employ analytics to define customer trends and adapt to them for higher profitability.


What differentiates IBM from its competitors, particularly from the end users’ point of view?

IBM is committed to delivering value through its end-to-end products. In Africa, IBM created partnership with many companies to ensure improved services for customers. Safaricom’s M-pesa, for example, runs on an IBM platform and IBM puts effort into ensuring M-pesa clients get the best of the service. Having been in the technology industry for over 100 years, IBM has the experience and expertise required to run major technical projects effectively. IBM tailors its products to each client’s needs in an effort to ensure client satisfaction.


Finally, what difference does IBM make to lives of the African people?

IBM’s smarter planet movement continues to have positive impact on lives all over the world. In Africa for instance, IBM’s smarter traffic solution has the potential to reduce traffic congestion significantly and save resources including time and energy. In healthcare, IBM’s solution has helped save lives by utilizing mobile devices to tell counterfeit medicine from genuine. In addition, IBM is working with governments in Africa on smarter government solutions that will enable public service delivery to be accessible and efficient. | 13


Mobile Technology: Preferred Banking Channel in Africa? Only seeing images of hunger and unrest, for ordinary people outside of Africa, the continent may look like a charity case. But not anymore. In recent years, it has turned into a place to experiment pioneering ideas, ground-breaking technology products, and inspiring start-ups. By Aisha Benson

to the finance and banking industry. Africa’s vast banking market is virtually untapped, that it is like a gold mine for banking and finance institution looking to expand its global market share. The number of people with formal bank accounts amongst Africa’s 1 billion citizens differs considerably between countries, but a big part of the population in countries like Tanzania and Senegal, practically have no access to formal banking. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, only around 25% of adults have bank accounts and only 3% own credit cards. But, since bankers consider the market to be profitable when it reaches around $10,000 GDP per capita, Africa poses a major challenge. With an average of $2,334.34 GDP per capita, it is a difficult for financial organisations to make a profit serving the rest of Africa’s population the traditional bank branches.

Bringing fruits to the market. Morocco. Photo: © Curt Carnemark / World Bank


frica may have once been an ICT straggler, but it is now becoming a leader in the industry – particularly in mobile technology. In fact, when it comes to mobile financial services, Africa is not only closing the gap with the rest of the world, it is setting the pace. As the world’s fastest-growing market for mobile phones, and one of the world’s youngest and most tech-savvy cultures, Africa is very attractive for international companies and entrepreneurs are looking for better pastures. With more than 55 million Africans using their mobile phones to pay debts, buy t insurance policies, and accept payment, the future of technology in Africa is definitely shining. A Vast Untapped Market The advent of mobile phone hasn’t only made the continent appealing to technocrats but, more importantly

14 | Technology Banker May / June 2013

A Mobile Banking Revolution No one can argue that Africa has dominated the world’s mobile phone consumption. Mobile phone is the fastest growing technology in the region. In fact, according to the World Bank’s record, there are around 650 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa. There are more people in the region who have access to mobile phones than television, electricity, clean water or toilets.

The boom in Africa’s mobile technology was considerably aided by a quick expansion of infrastructure — including the undersea fibre optic cable, EASSy (Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System), which connects ten land locked countries between South Africa and Sudan, and ACE, connects Africa and Europe, running from France to South Africa. There is no doubt that mobile phones have dramatically impacted the lives of people in Africa. In fact, according to a report published by the World Bank, mobile phones have directly created 5 million jobs in Africa last 2012. It has also contributed 7% to Africa’s GDP. With the arrival of mobile phones, the hurdles for banks have been lowered. Technology has commoditised banking, making it more accessible to the lower income population in Africa. Since the launched of M-Pesa in 2007, nearly 100 mobile money services have launched. The M-Pesa model is simple. Customers can pay off debts, accept payment or receive remittance using a simple text message. This means that customers don’t need expensive smart phones to bank, and with most of the population having

access to a mobile phone, mobile banking is an ideal banking solution for Africa. Mobile banking has been so successful in Africa, that in 2012, the mobile money market in the continent was recorded at $16 million, that’s more than the combined amount of money sent through mobile phones in North America and Europe. A Bigger Challenge for Banks Like ATM, mobile banking is here to stay. And it is making headway to the realisation of financial inclusion in Africa. A recent case study conducted by Vital Wave Consulting has confirmed that indeed mobile banking has improved financial inclusion. According to its study, in Kenya, the number of people with bank accounts has increase 400% from 2007, and this is large due to the increase in numbers of people with M-Pesa mobile money accounts, which currently stands at 17 million. However, although mobile banking has reduced the banks’ cost of delivering financial services, it has also increased the market competition. Banks are not just competing against each other, but also against mobile operators, who are more savvy when it comes to mobile banking. | 15

Traditional banks in Africa have been catering to highincome individuals, corporate customers and the government. This puts to a disadvantage because they are not designed for low-income customers, whom they have badly neglected for decades.

into the mobile banking business, with banks focusing on their skill on regulations, cash management, settlements and trust account operations, while mobile operation their strong customer base, wide distribution network, and marketing and technology expertise.

Therefore, they need to make some changes to their business models, re-organise their business structure and even change their mind set. Unlike traditional banks, mobile operators don’t have these hurdles to jump. Most mobile operators, understands the dynamics of mobile banking, and therefore they have defined strategies.

The collaboration between banks and mobile operators could mean that banks don’t have to set up ATMs in rural areas, which would require internet connection to work. Banking customers can simply visit one of the operator’s agents to withdraw money. As for mobile operators, collaborating with banks, increases their product offering, including insurance, loans, over drafts and mortgages, without having to increase capitalisation.

Additionally, they are used to serving the population at the bottom of the pyramid, where business is all about ‘small but more’. Potential for Collaboration in the Market Place Despite the difference between mobile operators and traditional banks, it is possible for both industries to collaborate. Both institutions can bring their core strength

16 | Technology Banker May / June 2013

Technology Banking & Finance Africa Get an in-depth knowledge about African Banking and Technology sector. Check out updates on Technology for banking. Find out the best way to develop relationships with local business in Africa. Learn about new laws, regulations, standards and technical requirements that affect your business in Africa. Read Technology Banker ... The technology resource for banks and finance in Africa.



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Online Banking Threats: A Kapersky Lab Infographic A

s online banking continues to gain popularity, criminals are also getting adept at deceiving customers in order for them reveal their personal details, be it through malware, DNS spoofing, keylogger, phishing, or out-and-out stealing data. However, despite more advanced cyber-attacks coming into the market, phishing is still the most common attack use by criminals to steal financial data. In fact, according to Kaspersky, 23% of users have admitted that they received phishing e-mails. Phishing has been one of the earliest forms of cyber-attack. It was first explained in detail in 1987, and AOL customers were some of the earliest victims. 26 years on, while AOL declines, phishing has persisted. Kaspersky also revealed that on average 230 keyloggers are discovered every day.

18 | Technology Banker May / June 2013



Key considerations in transforming an Internet banking platform By Karthikeyan V - Engagement Manager - Finacle, South Africa


ost banks today face the need to transform their Internet or mobile banking application to keep it relevant in the face of competing apps that offer a far superior online offering, not to mention user experience. While the business case for transformation varies from bank to bank, one consistent observation is that yearslong Internet banking projects are no longer the norm. With both channel business and technology changing at an unprecedented pace, the costs and risks associated with long drawn Internet banking upgrades that take a long time to deliver business value are becoming increasingly hard to justify.

– preferably quarterly – release roadmap that banks can use to deliver new functionality to their clients? Most leading commercial Internet banking products today offer comparable depth of functionality and usability in both retail and wholesale offerings. Apart from the traditional considerations in ‘Build versus Buy’, decision such as: • • •

level of differentiation in functionality control and agility of development and deployment availability and cost of in-house development talent versus that of deploying a market leading product

In my experience, gathered over years of participating in the channel transformation journey of several banks, I have found the following worth considering while planning an Internet banking transformation.

…there are very few reasons to custom-build an Internet banking application today if a ready product at varying degrees of customization offers the same or similar functionality.

1. The key Build versus Buy decision. Can the chosen product deliver the necessary functionality without massive customization? Does the product support a periodic

Custom development strategy can provide several advantages in the near term, especially to banks with the ability to regularly enhance the in-house developed

20 | Technology Banker May / June 2013

application. However, the total value realized over the long term could be higher in a product deployment scenario where the vendor invests in continuous R&D and in upgrading the functionality of the product to keep pace with the market. An in-house development team would find it difficult to maintain the momentum of the product roadmap and technology upgrades over the long term.

products, but for most banks, is difficult if not impossible. Channel initiatives are often constrained by the capabilities of the back end systems. In one bank, known for its highly innovative channel offering, the reality of an aging core banking system that necessarily went offline daily during end of day cutover meant that the channel layer had to build in-transaction caching capability during the offline period.

The key factor in the product decision is to determine the amount of customization needed to develop desired functionality. If the cost of customization is more than 20% of the cost of implementation of the base product, it merits a careful review of the need for such customization and whether it really differentiates the bank.

Another bank that went through an extensive user experience design phase with wireframes and user navigation diagrams later discovered that implementing the UI in the selected e-banking vendor product was not going to be easy. It faces two choices - ‘compromise’ on the UI or undertake costly customization to the vendor UI to suit its requirements.

A high degree of customization introduces additional risk and cost into the overall lifecycle as the customized parts need to be maintained separately from the routine product, whose maintenance is covered under licensing and annual support fees. It could also hamper the bank’s ability to quickly upgrade to newer versions of the vendor’s product should those releases not be backward compatible. Banks must ensure that their vendors support at least a six monthly if not quarterly release roadmap. Their own version of the product that is in production should not be older than two or three releases away from the vendor’s latest version. This helps them maximize the return on investment by rolling out new products and services on the vendor’s latest platform. 2. User Experience. While designing the user experience first banks should be cognizant of existing back-end constraints or product limitations and ensure adequate workarounds. As Steve Jobs said, design the user experience first and then engineer the systems behind it to deliver the functionality. This is quite possible for Apple, which builds both the software and hardware for its market-defining

The key takeaway here is that the traditional waterfall delivery model may not be best suited to Internet banking upgrades, and a more iterative or agile model might provide early validation of constraints and workarounds or prototyping of some of the key requirements before committing to full development. 3. Vendor’s product delivery, product roadmap, quality and availability of consultants for implementation. Do the delivery capabilities of the selected product and implementation vendor inspire a high degree of comfort and confidence? Banks must validate delivery capability not just in terms of project execution but also with respect to roadmaps and availability of functional consultants during implementation. The eventual success of the project will be determined not only by a high degree of product fitment, but also the availability of the vendors’ consultants to advise and implement the solution in a timeous manner. Hence, the banks’ teams must necessarily meet the implementation project managers and their teams well before the project commences and understand the project organization from the vendors’ side. | 21

4. The business case for channel transformation. Is it a revenue enhancer or cost optimizer or both? Most business cases for channels assume a payback period of no longer than a year. Projects that take much longer than this run the risk of losing business support simply because the channel landscape is changing faster than ever, and a product launch that takes more than a year is probably too late or behind the curve to provide the benefit it was originally intended to. The biggest culprits in delay are customization, data migration and user interface-specific changes. Banks need to put in place mid-point reviews of the business case. This helps to continuously validate the assumptions underlying it. Banks might also want to take a “dip-stick” of continuing business support for the project, and continually share expectations with the teams involved to avoid sudden surprises like the loss of business support in the event of unplanned delays. 5. In-Channel, Cross-Channel and Multi-Channel. Banks must review capability holistically instead of taking a silo-based approach. As a 2010 McKinsey study on multi-channel banking points out, the journey to realizing its full benefit will take most banks years. They need to ensure that the Internet banking architecture – either home grown or vendor provided – fits into the enterprise roadmap for a true multi-channel offering. If an external product is being considered, it is important to understand the level of integration with other channel products from the same vendor, e.g. the integration between mobile and Internet banking and how it is achieved. If a Multi-Channel Manager is being used, it is necessary to figure out if it integrates with pre-existing channels as well. The same McKinsey article also highlights the need to create owners responsible for delivering the overall multi-channel experience, instead of “silo” owners for each channel. Banks need to ensure that the program governance for the channel transformation project reflects this. 6. Out-of-box UI and workflows. Banks should make sure the business value of the UI (or any other) customization is justified and forward compatible with later versions of the product. Banks which customize the look of the UI as well as the workflow and navigation in the screens rather than using the out-of-the-box (OOTB) UI from the vendor, must review each change to the OOTB UI and question whether it really adds value to the business. In most cases, the vendor’s OOTB UI should suffice, but where it does not, it is important to be convinced that the change is really necessary. Before customization must come an

22 | Technology Banker May / June 2013

assessment of the flexibility of the product’s UI framework, which will determine the cost and time involved. The vendor should also confirm that the UI changes would be ported to future versions of the product. 7. User resistance to change - The need to inform and educate extensively particularly if it is a new UI. In one e-banking revamp, there was a huge outcry from users about the new user interface. The users were extremely comfortable with the previous UI with all its quirks and inefficiencies and had ‘learnt’ how to work around it. The new UI, even through far more efficient than the old one, presented a new learning curve that they resisted. The bank had to quickly control damage by providing a manual for transitioning from the old to the new UI. Subsequently, the noise died down, and the e-banking web site is now growing at a rapid pace. 8. `Definition and agreement on the support model well before go-live. Visiting the support sites of the vendor’s other clients helps understand the different kinds of support models in use. Support models can be as varied as the market; they could change according to the capabilities of both bank and vendor or according to the models in use within the bank. Understanding post go-live objectives and putting together a support model that delivers, is not something to be deferred till the go-live date draws near. The quality of support often determines how business and end-users perceive the success of the channel transformation. Talking to the vendor’s other clients to understand the kinds of support issues faced and the support models used is a good idea.

Custom development strategy can provide several advantages in the near term… However, the total value realized over the long term could be higher in a product deployment scenario where the vendor invests in continuous R&D …


SunGard Saves Absa $1.1m Annually In April this year, SunGard reported that it has migrated Absa’s corporate and investment banking division to a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 environment. The migration enables Absa to cost-effectively support its primary business application – SunGard’s Front Arena trading and risk management application.

Charmain Alves, Regional Manager for Africa “Front Arena is essential to what we do. All of our traders use Front Arena for positions and risk management,” says Doron Klotz, Head of Trade Management IT, Corporate and Investment Banking, Absa. “If they can’t do that, we lose a lot of customers and a lot of money.”

migration was performed by Absa, SunGard and Microsoft over a weekend. With its new solution, Absa has saved $1.1 million annually. Klotz says that it is a huge win for the bank to be able to cut that much off of its annual IT budget.

Absa needed to migrate off of its Sybase system, and, Klotz says, the decision to move was easy as the bank already had a data warehouse based on SQL Server R2, plus it wanted to take advantage of the close relationships between SunGard and Microsoft. Due to the critical nature of the Front Arena product, the

“Much of that savings come from the new licensing agreements with Microsoft, which are far more agreeable than what we had previously,” he says. The company has seen an increase in performance and a reduction in start-up time from 90 minutes to 30 minutes. | 23

“SunGard has also been able to give Absa increased performance time and reduced system indexing time by 92% - from 25 hours to 2 hours - allowing IT to focus on critical tasks,” says Charmain Alves, Regional Manager for Africa at SunGard. Looking ahead, the corporate and investment banking division of Absa has more insight into how its environment can be further tuned to improve performance. Says Klotz, “This solution really sets us up well for the future, and we are very confident in our partnership with SunGard and Microsoft.” SunGard is one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies with more than 17,000 employees and serves approximately 25,000 customers in more than 70 countries. SunGard provides software and processing solutions for financial services, education and the public sector. It is the largest privately held software and services company and is ranked 480 on the Fortune 500. SunGard’s Africa operation has over 70 employees based in Johannesburg and Cape Town. SunGard Systems South Africa (Pty) Ltd is a level 4 BEE rated company. It serves over 100 customers in ten

24 | Technology Banker May / June 2013

African countries across capital markets, core banking, asset management, insurance and corporate treasury. On the other hand, ABSA, a subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, is South Africa’s largest financial services groups. Absa’s corporate and investment-banking division provides acquisition, financing and risk management services to global customers.

“Front Arena is essential to what we do. All of our traders use Front Arena for positions and risk management. If they can’t do that, we lose a lot of customers and a lot of money.” Doron Klotz, Head of Trade Management IT, Corporate and Investment Banking, Absa


Africa: A Battleground for Smartphones Who Will Emerge as the Market Leader? The battle to capture a chunk of Sub-Saharan Africa’s over 650 million mobile phone users is heating up. Despite the increase internet connection in the continent, there is still not enough bandwidth to support the customer’s increasing demand to stay connected. By Grey Thomas A place for the dying giants Once upon a time, in the late 90s early 00s, Nokia dominated the world of mobile phones. It was the bestselling mobile phone across the globe. It also sold the most number of cameras. Fast forward to today, and many mobile phone users in the west will shun Nokia. Some may even go further and say that the Nokia brand is dead. But not so in Africa. The dying giant in the west is still fighting fit in Africa. While Apple and Samsung are fighting over European and American market, Nokia remains strong in Africa. In fact, according to StatCounter Global Stats, between March and August 2012, the top two mobile operating systems used in Africa were Symbian OS and Series 40, both from Nokia handsets. Additionally, three of the top selling mobile handsets in Africa during the second half of 2012 were Nokia phones. Nokia Xpress Music 5310, with its 30MB internal memory, SMS, MMS, E-mail and YouTube capabilities, was not your feature packed smart phone, but it was rated great value for money. The model was released in 2009, and not anymore in production, but it still has huge following in Africa. It was so popular in the continent that it was the bestselling smart phone handset during the first half of last year.


s a result, mobile phones have become the major medium for internet access in Africa. During the run up to Christmas 2012, over 59 million phones were shipped to Africa and Middle East. And Africa’s demand for mobile phones has no sign of waning. It is predicted that by 2015, the 85% of the continent’s population will own mobile phones, with countries such as South Africa, Seychelles, Botswana, Tunisia, Gabon, Morocco and Reunion-Mayotte, already reaching over 100% mobile penetration. It is then perhaps not surprising that major phone manufacturers are focusing their efforts on the continent.

26 | Technology Banker May / June 2013

Nokia had always capitalised on its image as long lasting, tough and value for money phone. And it looks like the Nokia Express Music 5310, was just that. Four years on and many customers who bought this handset are still raving about it. One South African user referred to it as the next generation brick, comparing it to Nokia’s successful 3310 model. Nokia 2700 and Nokia 3310 also managed to land the third and fourth bestselling handset in the continent. Blackberry is another mobile phone giant that is struggling to keep its place in the west, but is still very

strong in Africa. Its Blackberry Curve 8520 is said to be the sixth bestselling handset in the continent during the first half of 2012. Although Africa is leading in the technology consumption race, there is still not enough data to give us a total unbiased picture of the market share of mobile phone manufacturers in the continent. However, in countries where there are data available, such as South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, Nokia remains the most popular mobile phone handset of choice, holding over 50% share of the market. BlackBerry and Samsung are on level pegging, taking around 18% of the market share in African in 2012. The Rise of Smart Phone for Africa Despite the rise of the middle class in Africa, now at around 35%, expensive smartphones within iPhone and Samsung Galaxy category are still the toys for the rich, leaving a is a big gap in the market for feature packed affordable smart phone. A gap that local companies filled happily. The first local company to launch its smart phone for Africa is VMK, a Congolese based company started by Verone Mankou. VMK launched Way-C tablet and Elikia smartphone in 2012. The Way-C, which translates in the local Lingala as “the light of the stars”, is a tablet similar in size as Samsung’s Galaxy Tablet. It’s 7.40 x 6.70 x 0.50 in size and 13.4oz in weight. It has 4GB internal memory, and features Wi-Fi connectivity as standard. Its specification is nothing to rave about, but at $300, less than an iPad mini, some may consider it good value. Elikia, meaning ”Hope”, is VMK’s Android-based smartphone. It boasts a 650MHz processor and 512RAM storage. It also sports a 3.5-inch display with back and front facing cameras. Without a contract, it retails for $170. Mr Mankou is trying to position Elikia and Way-C as the African counterparts of Apple. However, Mr Mankou has got a big challenge on his hand. Although he has the advantage of being the local boy made good, big manufacturers with established brand names are rushing into the market. In February this year, Chinese manufacturer Huawei, in partnership with Microsoft, launched its Huawei 4Afrika smart phone. The phone is simply a customized version of the Huawei Ascend W1. The handset’s thickness measures at just 10.15 mm and it features a 4” IPS LCD, Zero-Gap Touch technology 480x800 touchscreen. A minute layer of air between the panel LCD panel and the handset’s glass interior that exists in other smartphones, can distort it colour output. With ‘zero-gap touch’ technology, users can see the truer colours of what they are viewing. Huawei4Africak also promises around 420hrs standby time, and up to 560-minutes 3G talk-time. And it is powered by S4 MSM8230 dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™. The handset also features a 5megapixel Auto-Focus Camera and VGA Front Camera. Unlike the VMK, Huawei 4Afrika does not sell itself as African made, but it is loaded with custom apps designed by African developers, specific for African users. It also allows users download apps and content that relevant locally. Huawei 4Afrika hasn’t yet announced its retail price yet, but it is expected to be under $200. If it is priced at the same level as Elikia, VMK will be facing very bloody battle, indeed. Huawei 4Afrika is initially available Kenya, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Morocco, Angola and South Africa. | 27


Technology: Key Driver to Transporting Africa on the World Stage For many years, the outside world has carried an image of Africa as a continent devastated by hunger, sickness and poverty. But that image is slowly changing. And technology has played a big role in the transformation of the continent’s image. By Hope Varnes gathering where the political and business glitterati get together to be seen as doing something? Government and business leaders are positive that they are making progress, and that this meeting is not just another fruitless forum. The agenda for this year’s World Economic Forum revolves around three major subjects: accelerating economic diversification, boosting strategic infrastructure, and unlocking Africa’s talent. Computer class at ENA school for distance learning in Cocody, Abidjan. Côte d’Ivoire. Photo: Ami Vitale / World Bank


lowly, the continent’s image is changing from ‘waiting to receive dole outs’ to ‘an emerging economy with strong capabilities to innovate and lead.’ Between 8 and 10 May 2013, top African business leaders, world government heads, and some of the richest people, gather in Cape Town, South Africa, to attend the 23rd Wold Economic Forum on Africa. Their goal was to discuss how to capitalise on Africa’s current growth to move the continent forward. As usual, the media, social activists and critics are asking difficult questions: Have the leaders made any progress from last year’s meeting? Is this just another one of those

28 | Technology Banker May / June 2013

So, what has been discussed during the three days meeting? With over 650 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa, it is no question that mobile technology is a major topic alongside improving political stability, governance, health and education, poverty, climate change and regional cohesion. In fact, it featured heavily on two of the sessions: ‘Building Africa’s Financial Sector’ and ‘Digital Technologies: Unlocking Transformational Growth.’ During a session on ‘Building Africa’s Financial Sector’, the important role of mobile technology in financial inclusion is highlighted. There is a general view that retail banking still has a long way to go to address the inclusion of the low income but huge consumer market.

Despite the highly publicised success of mobile payments in Africa, it seems that its success is still limited. However, participants at the meeting have high hopes that mobile technology is the key in enabling financial inclusion, and that further mobile solutions should be explored, including the offering of mobile microcredit. There is also the need to resolve issues such as government regulations and platform ownership conflicts between banks and telecommunication companies that prevent the success of mobile banking in the continent. The discussion on the importance of mobile technology to the financial industry in Africa continues during ‘Digital Technologies: Unlocking Transformational Growth.’ The general theme remains the same: mobile technology has the potential to expedite progress across a variety of industry in Africa.

Mads Kjaer, CEO and Co-Founder, MYC4, Denmark; Social Entrepreneur at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2013. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

Once again, there is an emphasis on financial inclusion. Mobile technology is a doorway towards financial services and payment advancement in the continent. In fact, participants in the meeting believe that e-payments can transform Africa. It is very clear that the continent is edging their bet on mobile technology to put Africa on the world stage. But before this can happen, the continent has to overcome some hurdles. The lack of broadband infrastructure remains a serious challenge. Everyone in the meeting recognises this as a key priority. However, on top of that, Africa also needs open and homogenised standards across the region if it wants to develop the information and communication technology industry. Yet, despite the rapid changes in the industry, the continent still has limited regulations that cover it. There is still a big gap between mobile initiatives launched by telecommunication companies and the financial industry regulations. It is therefore vital that regulatory bodies across the region act on this issue. There is no doubt that mobile technology is transforming Africa’s image. It’s still uncertain how far it can go. Business and government leaders are meeting again in 2014, this time in Nigeria. It will be interesting to see their progress.

Bright Simons, President, Mpedigree Network, Ghana at World Economic Forum on Africa 2013, Copyright by World Economic Forum/Benedikt von Loebel

There is a general view that retail banking still has a long way to go to address the inclusion of the low income but huge consumer market. . | 29


What: Cards & Payments Australasia 2013 When: 13 - 14 May 2013 Where: Melbourne, Australia Website:

What: Cards and Payments Middle East When: 14 - 15 May 2013 Where: Dubai, UAE Website:

What: Africa Banking and Finance Conference When: 14 - 15 May 2013 Where: Nairobi, Kenya Website:

What: APAC SME Banking Conference 2013 When: 15 - 16 May 2013 Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Website:

What: Future Banking Technology and Strategy When: 15 - 16 May 2013 Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands Website:

What: Annual Payment China 2013 When: 16 - 17 May 2013 Where: Beijing, China Website:

What: The Future of Mobile Payments When: 21 May 2013 Where: London, UK Website:

What: Mobile Money Africa Conference & Expo 2013 When: 27 - 29 May 2013 Where: Johannesburg, South Africa Website:

30 | Technology Banker May / June 2013


What: Contactless Cards When: 3 - 4 June 2013 Where: London, UK Website: contactless-cards-and-payments

What: European ATMs 2013 When: 5 - 6 June 2013 Where: London, UK Website:

What: Asia Islamic Banking Conference When: 10 - 11 June 2013 Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Website:

What: EAST (European ATM Security Team) Financial Crime & Security Forum When: 13 - 14 June 2013 Where: The Hague, Netherlands Website:

What: PayExpo 2013 When: 18 – 19 June 2013 Where: London, UK Website:

What: Mobile Wallet and Retail Innovation When: 18 – 19 June 2013 Where: London, UK Website:

What: Banking on Innovation When: 20 – 21 June 2013 Where: Barcelona, Spain Website: overview/EN/2/513/1-RKFUF

What: 5th Annual Retail Banking Africa 2013 When: 25 – 26 June 2013 Where: Johannesburg, South Africa Website: | 31


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Mailbox: Which African Country Will Lead the African Technology Revolution? In March this year, Technology Banker posed this question to banking and IT experts on Linkedin: Which African Country Do You Think Will Lead the African Technology Revolution?


18 (43%)

Nigeria Africa

16 (39%) 6 (14%)


1 (2%)


0 (0%)


fter three months, we finally counted the replies. And the result is not unexpected. 43% of experts who answered our question believed that Kenya will lead African technology revolution. This view is likely influenced by the fact that Kenya introduced mobile money in the continent, and so far, it is the only country that manages to succeed. Despite being the most populous country with the highest mobile phone penetration, only 39% of respondents think that Nigeria can lead Africa in the technology revolution. In his response to the question, Oladipo Fasoro, Managing Partner at MacGrenor from Nigeria, explained: ‘Though I am a Nigerian, I didn’t vote for Nigeria but Kenya. This is not a Popularity Contest. And when we are talking about ‘Leading the African Technology Revolution’, we are not talking about consumption of technology. Nigeria being the biggest black nation definitely lends itself to consumption but the large population does not singularly lend itself to any revolution potential except some strategic moves are made. Kenya for example led the way with Mobile Money, they

Uganda ‘copied’ the idea into Nigeria and after waves of failures after another, politicizing, and all manner of shenanigans, we

34 | Technology Banker May / June 2013

don’t know where that is going now. All Nigeria has presently is potential and nothing more, so I have stopped bothering about the behemoth entity called Nigeria and starting to focus on individuals doing things. I believe if the individuals who doing great things can collaborate across national lines, wherever they are, Nigeria, Kenya or Ghana, we will be able to solve our own problems innovatively, and then market to the whole world.’ On his comment, Taiwo Otukoya, Head Projects and Implementations at Goals Solution Technologies, Nigeria, believes that either Kenya or Ghana will lead the continent due to their stable economy. Only 20% of respondents believe that Ghana can lead Africa’s technology revolution, despite MasterCard’s latest survey that the country has the highest growth potential. However, it is interesting to see that only 14% of respondents see South Africa as a potential leader in technology, despite it being the most advanced in the continent when it comes to ICT. Still, Femi Okondo, Head of IT at Bethel Marketing and Services Ltd from Nigeria, believes that South Africa still has potential. ‘The South African economy is open to foreign investment by creating an economic ambience conducive to development, and encouraging indigenous involvement in some of these technology-based developments. And I believe this only possible because of the system of government in place.’ Okondo also expressed his doubts on Nigeria’s potential. ‘I really don’t see Nigeria leading this revolution anytime soon but of course that does not foreclose its possibility provided other important factors are in place.’ Judging by the comments posted by respondents, politics is a major cloud on Nigeria’s potential.



Keep Pace with the Accelerating Commercial Opportunities in Mobile Money Introduction to Mobile Money Africa 2013 The 5th annual Mobile Money Africa offers an unbeatable forum for mobile money professionals wanting to succeed in Africa. No other event brings so many industry thought leaders together or such dedicated coverage of mobile money developments from across the whole of Africa. The Mobile Money Africa conference and co-located exhibition brings over 250 mobile money professionals together under one roof for an intensive discussion on driving growth for all industry segments. Over 65 operator representatives attended in 2012 to share their experience of commercial mobile money services, and 17 global solution providers presented their innovative mobile money offerings. Now is the time to secure your place amongst the leaders of the mobile money movement in Africa.

Top Speakers: Betty Mwangi-Thuo, General Manager, Financial Services, Safaricom

New for 2013 - Speed Networking more facilitated 1-to-1 meetings with operators - Mobile Money Awards Africa categories to be announced soon

Hot topics for 2013: • Keeping Pace with a Changing Mobile Payments Industry

Habil Olaka, CEO, Kenya Bankers Association

• Business Models for Mobile Payments in Competitive Markets

Albert Matongela, Leader - Southern Africa Development Community Bankers Association Payment Project (SADC BA Payment Project), FNB Namibia

• Successfully Monetise New Services & Next Generation Technology

Ngoni Simelane, Head: Technology & Innovation; Beyond Payments, Standard Bank

• Reducing Risk & Focusing on Security

Vanesha Palani, Head: Channel Management; Nedbank Digital, Nedbank

Brian Richardson, Founding Director & CEO, WIZZIT, South Africa Lowell Campbell, Branchless/Agent Banking, Standard Bank Africa

• Mobile Money Case Studies • Plotting the roadmap for NFC payment implementations • Crystal Ball Session: What will be the ‘game-changer’ services going forward?

Current Sponsors Include:


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Technology Banker The May - June Issue  

With over 59 million phones shipped to Africa and the Middle East last year, it is no wonder manufacturers are scrambling to get a piece of...

Technology Banker The May - June Issue  

With over 59 million phones shipped to Africa and the Middle East last year, it is no wonder manufacturers are scrambling to get a piece of...