London, UK – December 2019.
Innocent Kawooya, a Ugandan financial inclusion expert , also CEO of HiPipo (U) LTD was among the key speakers at the 2019 FinTech Connect Conference held at ExCeL London on 2nd and 3rd December.
FinTech Connect Conference is UK’s largest FinTech symposium and expo. The 2019 edition brought together more than 6,000 financial and tech leaders from across the full FinTech ecosystem, its largest audience to date.
It allowed FinTech communities to share best practice, showcase new products and solutions and shape financial services of the future. It was sub-divided into 5 conference streams over the two days so as to give critical insight into the future of financial services: DX Connect, RegTech & Security Connect, PayTech Connect, Blockchain Connect and the FinTech Founders Forum.
Innocent Kawooya spoke during a panel discussion themed “Welcome to the age of interoperability: collaboration as the key to inclusive growth.” This panel was moderated by Kosta Peric, Deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Other speakers were Dan Kleinbaum of DFS Lab and Chijioke Dozie from Carbon in Nigeria.
Mr Kawooya gave strong cases for Financial Inclusion for the Poor with practical examples from Uganda & Africa.
“Technology matters because it helps in accelerating the availability of financial services to the world’s poorest people. Furthermore, it helps meet the needs of the nearly 2 billion people around the world who lack access to basic financial services, such as bank accounts and tools to make transfers, send and receive payments digitally” Kawooya noted.
He added: “The future of payments is already underway in Africa. Explore how Mojaloop and other inclusive open source innovations are making interoperability a reality.”
Reacting to his presentation, Prof Maggie Kigozi, a renowned Ugandan business leader tweeted; “Keep walking Kawooya Innocent – CEO of HiPipo. We are proud of the fight for financial inclusion you are undertaking.”
Meanwhile, Gates Foundation’s Kosta Peric advised FinTech stakeholders to explore how open source solutions such as Mojaloop are expanding economic opportunity across the African continent.
“In countries and regions throughout Africa, interoperability between digital financial services has surged from a worthy goal to an active reality, leapfrogging traditional banking infrastructures in the process. These digital financial services have brought financial inclusion to a tipping point. To connect services for low-cost, seamless, real-time payments mean deliberate and collaborative action across sectors. Interoperability also makes it easier for new providers to enter the market.” Kosta noted.
Mojaloop is open-source software for financial services companies, government regulators, and others taking on the challenges of interoperability and financial inclusion.
In West Africa; MTN and Orange Group are using it for a joint mobile money wallet product code-named MOWALI while Tanzania at the start of this year rolled out the Tanzania Instant Payments System (TIPS) fully supported by the same software. HiPipo is leading its entry in to Uganda.
Include EveryOne Program.
Innocent Kawooya’s invitation to present at the 2019 FinTech Connect Conference came at the back of the successful Include EveryOne Program summit hosted by HiPipo on 20th September in Kampala to discuss digital and financial inclusion. The event held at Mestil Hotel Kampala was attended by over 300 digital and financial executives from across Africa.
Include Everyone program is a collection of related financial inclusion outreach projects including hackathon, expo, summit, awards and research. The projects are managed in a synchronized way to obtain maximum benefits of ensuring impactful engagement of financial inclusion stakeholders to effectively promote approaches that will enable financial inclusion for everyone.
“We believe that an economy that includes everyone benefits everyone. As such, the program sensitizes operators and service providers to bring financial services to the poor through the use of innovative business models, and mobile technology. We also believe that successful and impactful financial inclusion efforts must be well researched, modeled, positioned, promoted, marketed, distributed, and critiqued as well as celebrated and awarded where possible,” Kawooya explained.