Imagine living in a country with two different economies: one for business and the wealthy few, using cards and electronic payments; and one for everyone else, using cash. It’s a story defined by inequality. Now, imagine living in a community where most people don’t have a bank account, but nearly everyone has access to a mobile phone. This is already the picture for most of the 260 million people living in southern Africa. The rapid spread of mobile technologies offers a unique chance to make a real difference to economic development and financial inclusion – and as India is showing, payments infrastructure is key. At BankservAfrica, we want to be part of that change.
The potential of digital technology and data to end poverty and hunger at a time when new approaches are urgently needed. Today, the smart use of digital data and other related technologies should be made core to every major initiative and successful pilot initiatives should be scaled up to reach millions. At the same time, it is essential to have in place policy frameworks that protect individuals and support social good. Such approaches are rapidly transforming industry after industry around the world. But they have yet to be embraced in the fight against poverty, and that fight is at a pivotal moment. After 25 years of progress, which saw nearly one billion people exit extreme poverty, the global rate of poverty reduction has slowed from about one per cent a year to as low as 0.5 per cent. More alarming, poverty is rising in Africa and now stands at 41 per cent. Meanwhile, global hunger is near a ten-year high, with one out of every nine persons chronically hungry. Critical to helping is understanding. Yet we know surprisingly little about the needs and opportunities of those living in extreme poverty, 70 percent whom are smallholder farmers and their families. Digital data-flows – facilitated by mobile phones, smart programs and powerful partnerships – allow us to understand the individual circumstances, behaviors and motivations of the poor. Opportunities to accelerate the fight against poverty apply not only to agriculture, but also in health, citizen agency and many other key areas for the poor. These can be applied across the landscapes of aid, social investment, government service and humanitarian relief.
Prepaid has been classified as a niche product, adept at filling gaps in the current payments system. But it has emerged as a core capability for Paytech growth in Canada. The Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization, Northcard Research, Peoples Cards Services and Mastercard will present new research on the economic and social impact of prepaid cards. In this session participants will learn how prepaid can be used as a capability to build the next generation of disruptive Fintech services along with use cases where prepaid is driving change today.
Despite the technology advancement and payment industry advancements, the cross-border payment segment remains pretty much the same when considering costs, latency, transparency and efficiency. This is most apparent in countries with an underdeveloped financial infrastructure. As the world gets more and more connected, the need for simpler, faster and more cost-efficient money transfer continues to grow. This session demonstrates a working real-time payments solution addressing all the key challenges in the cross-border industry.
Most people need loans to make life’s biggest purchases – house, education, car and so much more. But not everyone has equal access to lending. Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sex and/or religion is a huge concern. On the other hand, AI can also be perceived as a threat within the lending market. Will it compromise security? Will it be ethical? Will it be just as biased as humans can be? This conference offers a 360-degree view of the potential and challenges of democratizing credit with AI.