Ten global innovators reach AFI FinTech showcase finale
AFI is pleased to announce the 10 financial technology (FinTech) innovators that have been selected as finalists in the network’s first-ever FinTech showcase. Representatives from each firm will attend the upcoming 2019 AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF) in Kigali, Rwanda, where they aim to impress with innovations that are helping build a more financially inclusive world.
Showcase finalists will exhibit their products and take part in discussions with regulators throughout the GPF. In a special plenary session on September 12, the finalists will also have the opportunity to highlight how their product is helping to achieve financial inclusion. A panel of judges comprising AFI members and partners, together with a popular vote from GPF participants using the GPF mobile app, will determine the overall showcase winners, to be announced at the AFI Awards on September 13.
Selected from among a high number of applications by assessors from AFI’s member institutions, staff and external experts, the finalists represent the best in technological innovations by demonstrating the greatest potential to shape the future of financial inclusion.
Operating across a combined 28 countries, these pioneering FinTech companies use groundbreaking technology, such as iris scans, satellite imagery and digital micro-pensions, to bring financial services to unserved populations in developing and emerging economies. In line with AFI’s dynamic workstreams, the products cover a variety of thematic areas, from gender and youth to forcibly displaced persons and regulatory technology.
“AFI is delighted with the response we have received from innovators across the globe to this first FinTech Showcase at the GPF,” said AFI Head of Policy Analysis Robin Newnham. “The ten finalists will share with AFI members how innovators are using a wide range of technologies to create new frontiers for financial inclusion and highlight the key policy and regulatory issues arising from such innovations”.
Outside the main hall, a dedicated exhibition space will see AFI GPF participants meet the FinTech innovators to learn more about their products.
Below is a list of the 10 finalists (in alphabetical order):
Gestell is a Mexico-based company that uses artificial intelligence and automated processes to increase the efficiency of financial institutions. It operates platforms using application programming interfaces, cloud computing, machine learning, blockchain, data mining and robotic process automation to verify customers, analyze and monitor transactions and identify outliers and patterns to provide solutions to challenges, such as money laundering.
Founded in 2001, IrisGuard is a UK-based electronic payment solutions company that uses end-to-end iris recognition technology to provide financial services to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. IrisGuard technology has been used to enroll over 2.3 million Syrian refugees, allowing them to make cardless cash withdrawals at selected ATMs, blockchain transfers, remittances and food voucher replacements in supermarkets.
JUMO uses data science and machine learning to create to financial tools that help unbanked and underbanked entrepreneurs -- particularly women --, access loans and savings products through cellphones. It builds and operates several services for millions of customers in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda and Pakistan, including savings products that bear interest and short-term, structured credit products. It also provides credit that can be configured to fit the needs of individuals, as well as insurance products to safeguard incomes, families, assets and businesses.
KlickEx provides a network of non-bank clearing infrastructure in the Pacific Islands. First launched in 2009, the payments infrastructure company maintains remittance flows in a severely de-risked ecosystem and provides, builds and operates a variety of clearing systems, mobile money operations, national payment infrastructure, know your customer and anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism platforms, bio-metric identity systems and production blockchain systems.
OKO provides crop insurance to smallholder farmers in Mali using satellite imagery and weather forecasting to simplify and automate claim management. It connects to mobile payment platforms, weather information providers and distribution tools, allowing farmers to be compensated instantly when specific thresholds are reached, such as insufficient rainfall or extreme temperatures.
People's Pension Trust
People's Pension Trust provides pension products to people working in the formal and informal sector with the aim of reducing old-age poverty in Ghana and Rwanda. Its products allow clients to save daily, weekly or monthly through mobile payments, using direct debit or community-based groups and associations. A subsidiary of the Netherlands-based People’s Pension Holding, its goal is to provide affordable pension products to four million people in the informal sector by 2027.
pinBox, short for “pension-in-a-box”, is a Singapore-based technology firm that supports digital micro-pension inclusion across Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps countries, financial inclusion stakeholders and large pension funds to design, build and deploy inclusive micro-pension programs that enable young, low-income people working in the informal sector to save for their old age.
Sinitic uses artificial intelligence (AI) to run multilingual contact centers that bridge cultural and linguistic gaps, enabling higher deflection rates and increased customer value. Launched in 2017 at National Taiwan University, its mission is to deliver the cutting-edge multilingual AI to global enterprise, including through a chatbot that is accessible to people living in rural areas with access to SMS-feature phones and popular messaging apps.
Smart Solutions works with customers in Nepal and Zambia using data flow, online safety and security, data management and data protection to develop customized digital and automated processes that improve efficiency among its clients. It has worked with central banks to automate their reporting processes and provide analytics for policymaking.
Yego operates a Rwanda-based ride-hailing platform that standardizes motorcycle taxi fares and allows drivers to accept cashless payments that are deposited directly into their mobile money or bank accounts. Drivers also receive detailed credit scores, helping them secure finance from banks. It is also assisting in the design and facilitation of personal accident insurance for drivers and passengers.