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Coronavirus-triggered social distancing, self-isolation and lockdowns have driven up the use of financial technology , as the world struggles to deal with the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, some experts said this week.
In Europe alone, the use of fintech apps has surged by 72% in a week, according to the deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.
Despite the lack of figures to measure these trends in Africa, a source who was not authorized to speak to the media said fintech use in his network was increasing at a fast pace, to the level never seen before.
“Mobile money use is currently in its class of its own. We are witnessing a real tech revolution being created by the virus,” the source told Biztechafrica.
“With nowhere to go for fear of being contaminated by the virus, consumers have turned to tech to help them out in all aspects. And all of this is putting a terrible pressure on the broadband.”
Fintech is fast-becoming the new normal, James Green, deVere Group’s Divisional Manager of Europe, noted.
“The world has changed in the last few weeks. The measures we’re now all taking to help the fight back against coronavirus are affecting the way we interact, live, work, and take care of our finances,” he said.
“A new era has already begun, with digitalisation and new technologies driving the shift. This can be seen by demand soaring for video-calling platforms such as Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime and Zoom among others, as more people from ever work remotely,” Green pointed out.
“In broad terms, this means immediate, on-the-go, 24/7 access to use and management of their money. It means personalised, on-demand services. It means lower costs,” he explained.
Since the 2008-2009 financial crash, fintech has been filling the void left between what traditional financial services companies are offering and what clients are now expecting, especially in terms of customer experience, Green said.
It can be expected that due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the steps being taken to combat it, this move towards fintech will be significantly accelerated, he concluded.