Namfisa reinvigorates its innovative technologies

Martin Endjala

The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA) and its co-sponsors, GIZ and Kenya Prembly on Wednesday launched its second Fintech Square Innovation, which will be hosted on 10-11 May 2023 at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort, aimed at engaging innovators, in particular, the youth, Regulated entities, fellow regulators, and the broader public.

This was announced by Namifisa’s Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Matomola who said that Fintech is a concept that became popular post the 2008 financial crisis, as this innovative technology was able to assist businesses to find innovative means to finance households and SMEs during the crisis period.

The CEO was quick to point out that during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the deployment of this technology became a necessity.

“As we all can remember, we had lockdowns across the world, and this led to a technological revolution as the business needed to be conducted from remote locations or from the comfort of our homes. Meetings now have changed from face-to-face to a virtual or hybrid environment. This has, thus, changed how business and financial services are conducted and offered respectively,”Matomola said.

Matomola added that it, offers an opportunity not only for existing Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) but smaller innovative businesses to provide solutions for how effective financial services can be offered to consumers.

“I am proud to say that the Non-Bank Financial Institutions’ sector was able to match this challenge by providing platforms to offer financial services to customers without face-to-face contact during the pandemic period”, Matomola said.

He has since called on the youth specializing in technology to use this opportunity by developing technology-driven solutions and be able to directly offer financial services or to work with existing entities to offer financial services in a better and cost-effective way.

It is his wish that Fintech Square 2023 will continue to inspire innovators to develop appropriate platforms and tools.

This publication is further informed that 30 applications from innovators across Namibia have been submitted to display their innovations. From these 30 applicants, 20 innovators were directly linked to the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Sector.

Moreover, there are so far ten innovators that will display exciting technological innovations at the event.

Regulated Entities, Schools, Universities and the broader public are encouraged to come to listen to the various information sessions and visit the stalls of innovators.

As entities showcase their products and services to the broader public. Furthermore, they have invited institutions that can provide support to innovators and conduct presentations throughout the day.

Additionally, NAMFISA will also launch the NAMFISA Regulatory Sandbox, which will serve as a platform for new innovators to test their innovative products and services in a live environment with actual clients.

This will assist the Regulator to learn about new technologies but limit the exposure of innovators to the broader market. With this initiative, NAMFISA wants to create an enabling regulatory environment that does not limit innovations within the NBFI sector.

The fintech square event will is also said to strike a balance between innovation and compliance with the regulatory framework.

It will further provide easy access to emerging financial technology systems to consumers and products and also help fence off the risk that may occur, hence the importance of the regulatory body to ensure that it keeps up with the latest technology to safeguard financial institutions.

Meanwhile, GIZ representative Ndapandula Auala said that Namfisa’s drive to innovation stems from its importance as a financial regulator in promoting social economic development.

The Fintech Square slated for next week Wednesday and Thursday, is believed to be an enabling tool for businesses, with increased financial inclusion to micro and medium small enterprises with innovative solutions.

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