Standard Chartered Bank has moved to tap into the growing popularity of financial technology services (fintech) by unveiling a Ksh10 billion warchest to finance viable ideas as it seeks a slice of the booming business.
The lender is dangling Ksh50 million upto Ksh500 million for the next M-Pesa or Pay Pal, from anyone with a business-worthy idea as the tier one bank seeks to embrace disruptors as a way of aligning its business with current trends in the market.
According to sc Ventures chief executive Kennedy Mubita, the tier one lender is interested in a fresh idea brimming with potential in any sector ranging from banking to health .
The idea will then be vetted and its viability scrutinised within one month, a process that Mubita says will be efficient and will only allow the best ideas access to capital.
“What we’ve realised is that there is always a payment gap somewhere and that is what we are looking to address. We are now looking to partner with fintechs to allow them in turn to ensure financial inclusion across the country,” said Mubita on Monday during the launch of eXellerator lab, an innovation hub that will serve as a platform to collaborate with fintechs in Kenya.
Kenya is the first African country to launch the eXellerator lab, further cementing the country’s status as the continent’s innovation hub.
Stan Chart’s decision to partner with fintechs could prove to be a masterstroke in a few years.
A number of fintech solutions launched in the country over the past decade have gone on to become profit generators as illustrated by the sucess of Jampo Pay and M-Pesa.
Digital loans applications have gained massive popularity in the last three years.
A survey conducted by Genghis Capital last year revealed that more than 6 million Kenyans have been sucked into the digital loans frenzy.
Conversely, Kenyans borrowed Sh6.2 billion from Fuliza, M-Pesa’s overdraft facility in less than one month after its launch.