Dave Woolnough is Executive: Digital and Mobile Retail at NedbankLimited. He will be joining a Regulatory Panel on nurturing innovation whilst maintaining regulation, part of the Mobile Money programme at AfricaCom. He shares his views ahead of the event.
AfricaCom: How does your company fit in the mobile money eco-system and what are its future ambitions?
Dave Woolnough: As a large Banking Institution, Nedbank utilises its own and other third party solutions. Mobile money is a key enabler in Nedbank’s strategy. Future ambitions are to enhance existing capabilities and partner smartly with leading market players.
A: What would you say are the main challenges that mobile financial services in Africa need to overcome in the short to mid-term?
DW: Interoperability across solutions: we can’t have ‘thousands’ of different applications with different capabilities and fulfilment processes. Short term need to drive up adoption from the consumers and the merchants, adoption is still very low in Africa. Need to solve for the lower end of the market. Mobile money solutions in South Africa are largely for Middle Market clients.
A: Has the talk of cashless societies been overhyped and how do you view the role of cash in society in the short to mid-term?
DW: No, I do believe a form of cashless society will be a reality in time. The financial institutions who embrace this and get high adoption will have a competitive edge.
A: How do you feel regulators should foster innovation in the mobile payment space? Is there too much flexibility or too much regulation at present?
DW: There is a lot of regulation, which I believe could be more practically applied to the various channels. The bigger problem is that the regulation is not consistently applied across all service providers.
A: What are the biggest challenges and opportunities to banks with the evolution of the mobile money revolution ?
DW: The bank who really gets this right and can service all segments of the market will have a significant strategic advantage.