The push for Financial Inclusion

Imagine not waiting in line for a teller during lunch, but doing what you must at a self-service kiosk at a time of your choosing? Imagine centralising your teller staff into a virtual call centre, improving service levels and cross selling opportunities?

The future of banking and financial services will likely be unrecognisable in 5 years. Standing in line at the bank, post office or municipality during business hours to wait for the next available teller is about as appealing to most people as getting a driver’s license or passport. But that is all about to change.

Through the Africawide Virtual Teller Machine (AVTM), Africawide has led the charge to develop and adopt new virtual conferencing technology and banking kiosks that will transform the way transactions take place on the continent.

Ms Kefiloe Magano-Sebati, the Director of Africawide Fintech, highlights the Africawide Virtual Teller Machine (AVTM) as a physical manifestation of how the organisation strives to bridge Africa’s predominantly cash trade with a desire for electronic and mobile currency. AVTM’s do so in a way that is not constrained by agents and their comings and goings and that is cheaper than rolling out infrastructure Africa does not have the money for.

The AVTM can bank clients and issue Africawide Money cards that then allow for USSD, mobile and web-based transactions minimising future AVTM visits. The bio-metric, bar-code and pin identification methods enable the system to identify and remember individuals, making future transaction times shorter.

AVTMs are a cost-effective alternative to opening a branch that provide the convenience of self-service, while maintaining a personal touch with customers.

AVTMs are a cutting edge technology that allow customers in emerging markets to gain easy access to a majority of needed financial services without having to register for the said services or travel a long distance to a branch office.

AVTMs allow for 24-hour access and human tellers. Clients will never have to wait in line at one branch only to hear a coworker was in and out at another branch across town.

The AVTMs are an enabler for the continent to adopt digital banking, providing customer on-boarding, bill payment, loan processing, remote video assistance, fund transfer, single or bulk cash acceptance, card issuance, coin deposits and withdrawals.

AVTMs bring innovative benefits by providing real time, video conferencing capability, speaking to specialist customer support, be they in banking, municipalities, travel agents, or any other hosted service providers with a call centre.

Africawide is a diversified consulting, technology and fin-tech company whose core objective is the participation in and contribution to solutions for various industries and sectors in Africa by combining its consulting skills with smart technologies. Africawide boldly harnesses future thinking and technology in all its offerings.

Africawide Group CEO, Raymond Chiimba, told the Business Times that “Africa’s late arrival to the digital economy comes with certain competitive advantages. It benefits from mistakes and advances already made by Silicon Valley. Its population is younger than any other continent. Its market place amounts to a new frontier.”

Africawide is driven by a passion to help entire industries, governments and companies better understand disruption and what that means for their future. According to Chiimba, “when it comes to innovation, the challenge is no longer merely one of product and service innovation but rather the need to innovate entire ecosystems”. He cited the Transform Africa Summit in Rwanda as an example of the progressive platforms that are key in the socio-economic development of the region.

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