5th Annual ASSAf Science-Business Leadership Forum titled “Unmasking the Enigma called FinTech”

The concept of ‘money’ and the world of financial services and products have undergone a remarkable transformative evolution since the Global Financial Crisis, propelled by technological advancements and the global shift towards the digital economy. These financial technology (FinTech) developments range from rapid payment systems, mobile money, digital banking (including central bank digital currencies, CBDCs), cryptocurrencies, blockchains etc. FinTech promises to not only shape the future of transactions but also redefine the fundamental tenets of monetary value and exchange. Between 2010 and 2019, the global FinTech sector witnessed a significant surge in investments, totalling over US$165.5 billion. According to a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group, annual FinTech revenues are projected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2030. While promising transformative solutions, FinTech industry is not without its challenges, ranging from regulatory and policy hurdles; security concerns; customer trust; data protection, inclusion of and the impact on previously overlooked demographics. Understanding the broader FinTech environment can help shed light and shape FinTech today and in the decades to come, particularly in Africa. In light of this, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) hosted the 5th Annual ASSAf Science-Business Leadership Forum on the 3 November 2023 titled “Unmasking the Enigma called FinTech” on 3 November 2023, 09h00 SAT, Virtually. The aim of this dialogues was to stimulate conversations on what FinTech is; its adoption on the African Continent; the regulatory conundrum associated with FinTech; while exploring the use of technology such as AI in addressing money laundering, fraud, identity theft, combatting financing of terrorism and proliferation financing and delving into questions of whether South Africa should introduce a "digital Rand", i.e. a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC); the benefits and risks of such a currency. Panellists included: Prof Vivienne Lawack (DVC: Academic, University of the Western Cape); Prof Co-Pierre Georg (SARChI Chair: Blockchain Technology, University of Cape Town) and Prof Louis de Koker (Professor of Law, La Trobe University, Australia). The full recording is accessible on ASSAf_YouTube. The forum is hosted annually by the Academy and moderated by ASSAf’s President, Prof Jonathan Jansen and the focus is to engage prominent scientists/scholars and leading experts from the business community to deliberate on matters of shared significance.
MP4 Video; Size: 419MB; Duration: 1:09
Contributor ORCIDs
Jansen, Jonathan ; Lawack, Vivienne ; de Koker, Louis ; Georg, Co-Pierre
Peer review status
Non-Peer Reviewed