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  • Regtech, the new fintech, driven by complex financial regulations

    "There are three elements driving interest in regulatory technology (regtech) in South Africa and abroad," explains Dominique Collett, senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investment Holdings and head of AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs. "These include customer demand for an enhanced experience, cost reduction and the simplification of compliance due to burdensome regulation in the financial services industry," adds Collet (pictured above) Regtech is innovative technology developed to address regulatory challenges. Whilst regtech focuses on compliance, risk management, regulatory reporting and transactions monitoring, the focus in South Africa has been on identity management. Most financial services businesses including banks, wealth and asset...

  • ‘Engagement in startup initiatives vital if corporates are to develop in tech’

    It's vital that corporates engage in startup programmes if they want their firms to develop in the tech space. So says Regan Adams CEO of financial services provider RCS. Adams (pictured above) says with customers needing information faster than before, businesses need to become more customer-centric in order to retain their clientele, and cannot afford to fall behind in the latest technology that is available, both locally and globally. "As part of the global BNP Paribas group, we are constantly looking for innovative technologies to enhance the customer experience and to improve our systems and processes. He says it is important for...

  • AlphaCode head calls on SA to become a fintech centre of excellence

    Dominique Collet, senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investment Holdings and head of AlphaCode has called on the South African fintech scene to become "a centre of excellence". "Now that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has established a fintech programme to track and analyse developments, South Africa has all that is required to become a fintech centre of excellence," says Collett (pictured above). She believes the country has "an advanced banking and financial services system with a sound regulatory regime". "We have extremely competent regulators, top entrepreneurial talent and innovative businesses that are attracting considerable local and global investments. The missing puzzle piece...

  • Sureswipe POS LITE helps Impello provide services to small businesses, startups

    Impello Coworking Space provides startups and small businesses with office space, facilities, services, training, and access to fellow entrepreneurs, as well as experts in order for them to gear up for growth and success. "My vision was to create an ecosystem and stimulating environment in which startups and entrepreneurs could develop and have access to a network of like-minded individuals, mentors and services during their early years, which is a critical, make-or-break period for any new business," says Ondina Pires, founder and CEO of Impello Coworking Space. Based in Greenside, Johannesburg, today Impello Coworking Space has become just that. The co-working space has a...

  • Business, SA set to benefit from innovation and startup ecosystems

    Global accelerator programmes are vitally important in bringing new technologies into the insurance industry’s value chain, writes Stanley Gabriel, head of innovation at Old Mutual Personal Finance. By partnering with such initiatives, companies like Old Mutual continue to explore how to streamline, reorganise or redesign business models, legacy processes and systems to enhance customers’ experience. Entrepreneurship and small businesses are driving economic development in South Africa, with startups and small businesses contributing an estimated 50% to 60% to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It comes as no surprise then, that the 2017 Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor found that 39% of...

  • Why now is the best time to invest in battery technology metals

    For those who use online trading brokers to monitor global markets and make investments, finding the next profitable trade can prove to be challenging given the sheer amount of choice they are presented with. Precious metals like gold and silver are popular ‘safe haven’ assets, but are often less effective for making a decent profit. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in battery technology metals, which could be far more effective for turning a decent profit. Here are some of the reasons now might be a good time to invest in them. Electric cars Most investors should be well aware of...

  • Here’s what users of Street Parking Solutions’ Parkfind app think of it

    Available for free on both iOS and Android platforms, Street Parking Solutions Parkfind app enables users to search for, navigate to and pay for parking anywhere in the Cape Town central business district (CBD) in real time. However, the Android version of the app appears to be it's most popular with a 4.6 rating (out of five). The app supports devices running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and up, while on iOS it supports iPhones, iPads and iPod touch with iOS 9.0 and later. Here are what some of the app's users have said about Parkfind. "This is wonderful.. you guys are really on top...

  • Sureswipe’s new POS Lite is a game-changer for small retailers and startups

    For a small retailer or startup to be successful and move to the next level, it’s important that systems are in place to track inventory, recon and balance merchant batch closure, manage multiple store and staff sales and have immediate access to real-time data that helps make better management decisions. South Africa’s long-standing fintech player, Sureswipe has launched a new Point of Sale (POS) app and an online business management portal that will change the way small retailers, startups and pop-up shops process card payments from customers and manage their businesses. Sureswipe POS LITE comprises an app and online portal which...

  • Easy things to forget when expanding overseas

    One of the primary methods for any growing business to capitalise on the success it may be enjoying is to look at expanding into a new market. For those that are thriving in their domestic scene, expanding abroad will likely be the next step. There are many guides out there of how to best go about doing this, which include advice such as budgeting for expansion, making local contacts and more. There are other important aspects which, if forgotten about, can prove disastrous. Legal barriers Working in a foreign country means that your business will have to abide by its laws. These will probably...

  • Goodbye online crooks: SA startup keeps money safe till buyers, sellers both agree

    As online fraud in South Africa escalates, buying and selling goods using online platforms places both buyers and sellers at risk. After Jethro O’Brien, CEO and co-founder of TradeSafe.co.za, was duped while trying to buy car parts that had been advertised online, his idea for TradeSafe was born. TradeSafe is a licensed, independent fintech company that safeguards a buyer's funds in trust (escrow) until the seller delivers what was promised. Only once the buyer is happy with the goods or services received, does TradeSafe release the funds. Explains O’Brien, “We act as a buffer between a buyer and a seller. The...

  • Advice for startups that ship large quantities of products

    If you are starting a new business that will be shipping lots of products either domestically or internationally then you need to make sure you have the capabilities and resources to be able to send your products to your customers.  Know the risks Over 50% of startups fail within the first year so you need to make sure you know the market you are going into, and that there is a demand for another competitor in this market. There are big risks when going it alone and starting a new business, but with that comes great reward if you can get it...

  • Investing in stock vs. CFD Trading

    These days it seems that more and more people are trading or investing, either as a secondary source of income or on a professional level. This might be something that interests you and if it is, it’s a good idea to understand the ins and outs of the investment world before you get involved. Specifically, it could be worth looking at two of the major forms of trading, contracts for difference (CFD) and stock investment. We’ll start by examining the more traditional form of investment. Investing in stock Stock investment is all about trading in shares, which are the basic unit of...

  • Boosting financial inclusion through fintech solutions

    While the opportunity for people in Africa to access formal financial services has improved in the last five years, thanks in large part to the prevalence of mobile based solutions, various barriers to access across the continent remain. The last World Bank Global Findex Data showed that 34 percent of adults on the continent had a bank account and only 16 percent had formal savings in place. South Africa fared better with 70 percent of adults owning a bank account but only a third of the nation had formal savings. Research published as part of the World Economic Forum on Africa...

  • The importance of auditors for businesses that are looking to grow

    Arguably, we've never lived in stranger or more conflicted times. On the one hand, it has never been easier to launch a new business venture or bring a product to market. This is reflected by small business statistics in the UK, with the number of active SMEs in the private sector having increased by 197 000 to a record 5.7-million at the beginning of last year. Despite this, an estimated 96% of all businesses still fail during their first 10 years of trading, as firms continue to do battle with a volatile and strained economic climate. Sure, this figure may be slightly...

  • Preparing your startup for international expansion

    While people often try to apply generic rules to all startup ventures, the fact remains that these entities are not created equal. So, although it's usually sound advice to suggest that entrepreneurs strive to establish their brand locally before expanding overseas, there are instances when this is arguably counterproductive. After all, it's not unknown for firms to offer products or services that have a more defined target audience overseas, while your startup may also benefit from first-hand knowledge of international expertise. If you are going to expand your business overseas, however, you'll need to ensure that you're fully prepared. Here are some...

  • How to build local brand awareness

    Local search engine optimisation (SEO) has become central to the success of startups in the modern age, as small and independent businesses look to reach a targeted, regional market. This is borne out by the fact 50% of customers who perform a local search on the smartphone visit a physical store within 24 hours, as the power of targeted, local marketing continues to resonate with businesses. With this in mind, it's crucial that your business looks to build brand awareness within the local area before looking to expand nationwide. Here are some steps that you can take to achieve this. Invest in...

  • Here are some simple ways to manage your finances within your startup

    The rate of small business failure remains alarmingly high, even in a digital age that supposedly empowers aspiring entrepreneurs. So despite the fact that it has never been easier to launch a startup venture in 2018, just 40% are still trading after five years of operations. Interestingly, the rate of small business survival after the first year is relatively high at 91%, but this begins to decline considerably as ventures progress and continue to age. Much of this to do with financial mismanagement, particularly in instances where firms try to expand quickly at a disproportionate rate to revenue. In this article, we'll...

  • Three things to consider when looking to save on the costs of transferring pensions

    Let’s face facts -- there’s scarcely been a worse time than now, to accumulate wealth. After all, not only has real wage growth stalled across multiple industries, but inflation peaked at a little under 3% during the latter stages of last years. This has sent household savings plunging to record lows, while there’s no indication as to when the economic climate will improve. With this in mind, it’s important that you strive to maximise your pension funds for the longer term. This will mean reducing the cost of managing your funds, particularly in instances where you want to transfer numerous plans into...

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