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AI to ‘fundamentally reshape’ fintech companies in Africa
The potential impact of Artificial Intelligence on financial technology companies in Africa cannot be overemphasised. According to Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group, AI will fundamentally reshape the financial services industry. He noted that it will transform the way businesses operate and how individuals live.
The deVere Group is an independent financial advisory, asset management, and fintech organisation.
Green pointed out that AI technology could help fintech companies offer personalised customer service, 24/7, through the use of chatbots and virtual assistants. Also, it can analyse vast amounts of data in real-time, which would aid financial institutions in identifying fraudulent activities and unusual behaviour trends.
This, in turn, would help them make better and faster decisions, analysing facts and figures to provide insights into potential opportunities or risks. Additionally, its algorithms can accurately assess market reports and predict future trends and patterns, enabling financial institutions to make more informed trading decisions.
The use of AI in fintech would also help companies adhere to regulatory and reporting requirements by automating compliance processes and identifying potential areas of non-compliance.
Despite the potential benefits, there are concerns about the ethical and social implications, such as privacy and bias. However, Green believes that AI has the potential to bring about considerable positive changes in areas such as healthcare, education, business, and public services.
AI technology is already being adopted in Africa’s fintech industry, with various companies exploring its potential. For instance, in 2021, Nigerian fintech start-up, Kuda Bank, launched a chatbot feature that enables customers to make transactions through messaging platforms. The chatbot also provides real-time updates on account balances, transaction history, and other services.
In South Africa, fintech company Zande Africa is using AI to offer microloans to small businesses, and AI-powered solutions have helped Kenyan fintech company, Lendable, to process loan applications within minutes.
However, the adoption of AI in Africa’s fintech industry is not without its challenges. A significant hurdle is the lack of access to data, as it requires large amounts of data to train algorithms effectively. Also, there is a shortage of skilled AI professionals on the continent.
While the adoption of AI in Africa’s fintech industry presents an opportunity to transform financial services and enhance customer experiences, companies must overcome the challenges associated with adopting AI and ensure that they consider the ethical and social implications.
As Green notes, “By pushing the boundaries, improving efficiency, reducing costs, and providing better services to their clients, I’m confident that AI will change the financial sector for the better in more ways than in most sectors.”
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