Local software developers in the financial sector are in high demand as they capitalise on expertise from operating in one of the most sophisticated banking and advanced mobile tech environments.
South African software developers that service the financial sector are in high demand locally and internationally as they capitalise on expertise gleaned from operating in one of the most sophisticated banking and advanced mobile tech environments in the world.
The country’s highly progressive banking system, good technical skills, mobile know-how and competitive pricing are making it an important destination for international fintech software development.
The mobile space particularly is growing increasingly important as consumers around the world perform more financial transactions from their mobile devices.
Local financial services organisations are leading the way in demonstrating how these mobile apps can be functional, transactional and secure.
“South Africa has a developed banking system, and our mobile technology is equally modern. Put that together with innovative software developers, and you have a combination that’s ready to take on the world,” says Martin Dippenaar, CEO of Cape Town software developers, Global Kinetic.
“We spend a lot of time abroad, building products, which gives us a good perspective on the state of banking in other regions too,” adds Dippenaar.
South Africa has a relatively small banking community of just 13 banks, made up of the big five, and then second tier operators. By comparison, says Dippenaar, there are around 12,000 banks and credit unions in the US, each with separate licences, and operating autonomously.
“We can effect change here in South Africa a lot faster than is possible in such a disparate environment,” he says.
“The US banking system as a whole is also not particularly advanced. For example, around a quarter of all payments in that country happen by cheque. There are few organisations in South Africa still using such a dated process.”
While banking in the US is market-driven, in Europe the impetus behind innovation is spurred by regulation.
“More innovative mobile banking products are likely to come out of Europe in time, as progressive legislation starts to make deployment of mobile banking technology a lot easier there,” says Dippenaar.
In 2018, Europe will introduce the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) protocol. The objective of PSD2 is to standardise the sector and make payments safer, increase consumer protection, and stimulate innovation and competition.
Although all banking apps need to allow users to do similar things like check balances and perform transactions, the real challenge for developers lies in consolidating and standardising the underlying technologies that allow these transactions to be carried out across multiple systems.
Schalk Nolte, CEO of mobile security specialists, Entersekt, based in Stellenbosch, says developing fintech apps requires an understanding of a wide range of issues and disciplines.
“These include regulatory compliance, privacy, accuracy, and protection of personal information. Development needs to be highly secure, super accurate, and involves intensive testing, especially for banking platforms.
“There are huge opportunities for tech companies designing new ways of delivering financial services to end-users,” he says.
“South Africa stands out as an attractive destination for fintech software development not least because development costs here are in rands. Our rates are highly competitive, with a higher quality of service and expertise than at other development sites around the world, including those in Eastern Europe, India and the Philippines,” concludes Dippenaar.
Nolte adds: “Banks, insurance companies, and many other financial services organisations are turning to South African specialist software developers because they are likely to have already encountered and dealt with the challenges of bringing secure banking and mobile technology together.”
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
Use the page links below to read about Tan’s vision of Soldiers and Health in 2099.
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com
This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.
Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.
What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.
However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.
As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.
It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.
The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.
To enter the competition follow the steps below:
Competition entry details:
3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.
4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.
5. The competition is only open to South African residents.