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All posts by Ian Merrington

Ian Merrington
Ian Merrington is CEO of The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative and The Bandwidth Barn and is responsible for the development and execution of organisational strategy and operations and for leading both organisations. The Bandwidth Barn is Africa's oldest incubator and is to-day regarded as one of the leading ICT business incubators in the world. Ian also sits on the advisory boards of the University of Cape Town’s Information Systems department and also the Computer Sciences department. Ian is passionate about the role of innovation in solving the challenges faced by modern societies. He believes that FinTech and the block chain have enormous transformative potential in Africa and that inclusive innovation can improve lives across the continent. He has just returned from Copenhagen where he has been participating in Money2020 Europe’s biggest FinTech conference. In his current role as CEO of CiTi, he has a focus on supporting and incubating inclusive tech enabled innovation, creating job ready candidates for the ICT sector and also accelerating tech entrepreneurs.
  • Time to reimagine education system to tackle SA’s Industry 4.0 challenges

    Unemployment in SA is at a 14-year high with youth unemployment (15-34 years) reaching 38.6% in the first quarter of this year. Most concerning is that unemployment among the youth is disproportionately high even among those with tertiary education. Coupled with this South Africa is one of the few countries in the world in a technical recession. In addition we are seeing a skills shortage in critical areas of the economy, particularly for those positions which support new growth areas of the economy, such as technology and innovation. South Africa currently spends a higher proportion of its budget on education than the US,...

  • Identifying and managing regulatory risks in fintech innovation [Sponsored]

    Facebook-owned WhatsApp's recent move into digital payments in India reinforces the view of many, that the biggest competition to existing legacy banks could well come from the so-called GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple). It is undeniable that the pace of disruption to legacy banking and financial services models will continue to accelerate. In addition, the pressure from challenger banks and fintech disrupters will drive the speed and the timeline of exiting financial services business model evolution. This is unlikely to be a comfortable time for the incumbent players. Adding to the pressure and complexity for the executive team of...

  • The fintech revolution is here and disrupting banking, Bitcoin not so much…

    I have just returned from Money2020 in Copenhagen, effectively Disneyland for anyone interested in the fintech space. Themed "The Centre of the Revolution", the conference brought together the leading lights of the financial service industry, VC funds and also technological innovators. Just under 4 000 delegates from 70 Countries heard from 422 speakers including leading lights such as Sir Michael Morris, Chairman of Sequoia Capital, Carlos Torres Villa CEO, BBVA, Nicolas Huss, CEO Visa Europe, Blythe Masters CEO Digital Asset holdings as well as the head of Mastercard, the VP of Amazon payments, the CEO of Visa, The COO of...