Have you imagined a world where tomorrow is already here? Have you thought of the most simple, efficient and safer way of managing your finances, investing in cryptocurrency, paying your monthly bills or even supporting a social or cultural project?
Then let me introduce you to one country that is currently leading the way with an established and thriving ecosystem – Israel, the Start-up Nation. Israel is where the next big thing in the dynamic fintech world is being developed. Considered a world power due to their expertise and entrepreneurial spirit, the Israeli innovation in the world of fintech is being developed to make lives easier, more sophisticated and safer.
The high demand for digital financial services encourages investors to significantly increase their investments in Israeli fintech companies. Over 40 multinational financial companies such as Dutch Bank, Barclays, Citibank, HSBC, Paypal, Visa, among others have chosen Israel as their Research and Development centres. This is because the Israeli fintech ecosystem is created out of the desire to think outside the box. It also provides a compact ecosystem where everything is in close proximity – be it financial companies, banks, R&D centres, leading academic accelerators, investors and entrepreneurs. Additionally, Israel’s Ministry of Economy gives incentives to support the fintech ecosystem to compete in the global market.
Israel’s fintech portfolio has more than 750 start-ups and companies including over a dozen fintech unicorns in sectors such as payments, insurtech, lending, banking and more. In Findexable’s 2021 Global Fintech Rankings, Israel ranked in the top three countries for fintech, behind only the US and UK. Tel Aviv was no less impressive, ranking fifth in the fintech hub rankings. Among the cutting-edge fintech offerings coming out of Israel are solutions for payments, back-office operations, anti-fraud, insurtech, personal finance, lending and financing; trading and investing, international monetary transfer and currency exchange; personal finance management; lending and financing; anti-fraud, risk and compliance; enterprise solutions; payments; and trading and investing.
The fintech sector in Ghana is evolving at an admirable rate as well. Today, one can think of taking loans, making payments, crowd-sourcing and managing financial assets from a mobile phone. Among the reasons for this growth is a high mobile connection rate (130% in 2020), growing Internet penetration rate (48% in 2020) and above average numeracy skills.
It is also worthy to mention the critical role that telecommunication companies play in the fintech ecosystem in Ghana. In the last decade, they have served as the bedrock for most payments systems in the fintech space popularly known as mobile money. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile money transactions outstripped cheques by GH¢232billion. Focusing on digitalisation as a tool for growth, government, through the Bank of Ghana, has set up an office to oversee the growth of fintech and innovation in Ghana’s financial service delivery.
Despite the growth and success stories, Ghana’s fintech sector still battles generally with increasing fraudulent activities and cybercrimes. The issues of high interest rates and credit scoring remain a challenge. With Israel being a global leader in innovation and fintech and Ghana being a leader in mobile wallet usage as well as a regional fintech hub, collaboration between Israeli and Ghanaian fintechs holds much potential for further innovation, scale-up, creative solutions and broader market reach.
This is why the Israel Trade and Economic Mission to Ghana, in collaboration with IT Consortium and Zeepay, have teamed up to host the first Ghana-Israel Fintech Summit. The Ghana-Israel Fintech Summit will bring together key stakeholders in the Ghanaian fintech space to deliberate on positioning the sector as an engine of inclusive growth and development for all. It is envisioned that the summit will strengthen the relationship between Ghanaian and Israeli fintech ecosystem by creating a platform for participants to deliberate and engage the brightest minds in the fintech industry in Ghana and Israel.
The summit will include the participation of leading Israeli fintech and cyber companies, leading Ghanaian fintech and related companies, government stakeholders and regulators, and senior industry professionals.
The Ghana-Israel Fintech Summit will discuss topics in financial service delivery such as antifraud, risk and compliance technologies; lending and financing technologies; and trading and investment technologies. The summit will take place from 1st to 2nd June 2022 under the theme: ‘Innovation in Financial Services Delivery’. It will include panel conversations, workshops and business-to-business meetings.
The Israel Trade and Economic mission in Ghana promotes, enhances and facilitates trade, investment and industrial R&D between Ghana and Israel.
The Trade Mission’s work is divided into several segments, including Agricultural technology, cyber, fin-tech & insure-tech, health, high-tech telecommunications and water technologies, among others. The Trade and Economic mission works to develop strategic bilateral partnerships and valuable collaboration prospects between companies in both countries. For more information or to register to participate visit gifsummit.com or contact Maame Yaa Amoah: [email protected]
The writer is the Communication & Press Coordinator,
Embassy of Israel.