AITEC Africa has announced that one of the keynote speakers at its forthcoming Banking & Payment Technologies Conference in Nairobi over 17-19 February will be Bjorn Soderberg, a researcher from Sweden who has recently published a comprehensive report on mobile banking in Africa, “Mobile banking - Financial services for the unbanked?” The report has been published by The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions.
Announcing Soderberg as a speaker, AITEC Chairman Sean Moroney said: “We are delighted to have Bjorn as a keynote speaker as he has been involved in business and development research in Africa for many years so has a wealth of knowledge which he has been able to apply to the recent explosion of mobile banking services in Africa. Based on his research across a range of African countries, he will be able to brief bankers on what works and what doesn’t and what is the best way forward for banks wanting to develop effective mobile banking and payment solutions.
”Mobile banking will be a major focus of the conference and other speakers on this topic include Pauline Vaughan, Head of Safaricom’s M-PESA service, and Girisch Nair, Founder and Chairman of Technology Associates who developed Equity Bank’s Eazzy 24/7 mobile banking service.
Over 40 international and local experts will be speaking at the three-day conference, which is being chaired by world-renowned banking analyst and visionary, Joe DiVanna, who heads a banking think-tank in the UK, Maris Strategies. Joe has published numerous books on banking, including “Redefining Financial Services”, “Understanding Islamic Banking”, “The Future of Retail Banking” and “Thinking beyond Technology”. DiVanna emphasises the need for the conference to focus on “The Bank of the Future” and one of the innovations he has introduced for the event is to invite banks to demonstrate their products and services in a “Banking Mall” in the exhibition. “We want banks to set up mini-branches in the exhibition and use it as an opportunity to connect and engage with their customers – making the customer the focal point of the exhibition and the conference – and the future of banking in the region. Too often we get carried away with technology while forgetting its main objective – to serve the customer.”
Another keynote speaker in the conference is Dr. Raghavan Kunigahalli, Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer of SBA Technologies in the USA, who will be speaking on “Branchless banking technology for risk-aware institutions”.