Interview with Ploys Hadjikyriacos

1) How can collaboration between governments, financial institutions, and the private sector be optimized to unlock the full potential of digital finance and credit for achieving financial inclusion?

Collaboration between governments, financial institutions, and the private sector can be optimized by establishing clear regulatory frameworks that encourage innovation while ensuring consumer protection. Governments can create policies that promote interoperability and standardization of digital finance platforms, making it easier for different entities to work together. Financial institutions can leverage their infrastructure, such as Open Banking and eKYC services, as well as their expertise to reach underserved populations. We have seen examples of both of these taking place during the COVID pandemic and post pandemic period, where governments utilised banks and financial institutions to serve their citizens.

2) What regulatory measures can policymakers implement to create an enabling environment that fosters innovation and competition in the realm of digital finance?

Policymakers can implement regulatory measures such as Open Banking environments, which allow fintech companies to introduce new products and services in a controlled environment. The policy makers of each country should regulate open banking frameworks, which mandate that banks share customer data with third-party providers with the customer’s consent, fostering competition and innovation.

3) In your opinion, how are traditional banks responding to the emergence of neobanks in Africa, and what does this mean for the future of banking in the region?

Traditional banks in Africa are responding to the emergence of neobanks by investing in digital transformation initiatives and partnering with fintech startups to enhance their digital capabilities. They are also exploring new business models and distribution channels to better serve tech-savvy customers. This trend indicates a shift towards more customer-centric banking models and increased competition in the region. In the future, we can expect to see a hybrid banking ecosystem where traditional banks and neobanks coexist, offering a wide range of innovative financial products and services to consumers. Traditional banks are moving more towards a hybrid approach utilizing their vast experience in banking and their market position combining operational efficiency with new digital offerings.

4) How does leveraging data contribute to providing better services for the unbanked and underbanked?

Leveraging data allows financial service providers to gain insights into the financial behaviors and needs of the unbanked and underbanked populations. By analyzing data providers can develop tailored financial products and services that meet the specific needs of these populations. Data-driven approaches also enable providers to assess creditworthiness and manage risk more effectively, allowing them to extend credit to underserved individuals who may have been excluded from traditional banking systems.

5) How would you think attendees will benefit by attending the 14th Africa Bank 4.0 Summit – Pan Africa?

Attendees of the 14th Africa Bank 4.0 Summit – Pan Africa will benefit from networking opportunities with industry experts, policymakers, and thought leaders in the field of digital banking. They will gain insights into the latest trends and innovations shaping the future of banking in Africa, as well as practical strategies for driving financial inclusion and digital transformation. The summit will also provide a platform for sharing best practices and lessons learned from successful case studies, empowering them to drive positive change within their organizations.