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13 November 2017

Nigerian FinTech Amplify launches social media banking solution

Nigerian online payments provider Amplify has partnered with banks in the West African nation to let clients conduct transactions via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other social messaging platforms through its innovative mTransfers solution. It will be launched before the end of 2017. Amplify helps businesses accept recurring payments online within minutes from customers in over 100 countries. It plans to bring banks closer to a new generation of social media-savvy clients and provide consumers with a more convenient way of banking. “Social and messaging apps are six of the 10 most popular mobile applications across platforms in Africa. We believe that vibrant and digitally savvy consumers want financial services to meet them where they are, in the channels and platforms they use,” said CEO Segun Adeyemi. “We have built mTransfers to empower banks and other financial institutions to blend their payment process into the everyday lives of their customers and provide an engaging user experience for them,” said Maxwell Obi, the startup’s chief technology officer.

10 November 2017

WATCH: ThisIsMe at Finance Indaba 2017

Fica specialist ThisIsMe stormed to victory at the first time of asking in the Innovative Banking category at the African FinTech Awards 2017, hosted at the Finance Indaba Africa at the Sandton Convention Centre in October. The FinTech firm, which has experienced exponential growth over the past year and has already surpassed the notable milestone of one million verifications, also claimed the overall title along with reigning champion Easy Equities.

08 November 2017

The CFO must be a leading voice, says Sihlalo Jordan, Deloitte's deputy CE

“Every CFO is now a strategic partner to the organisation and has to be,” says Mgcinisihlalo Jordan, partner and deputy Chief Executive for Deloitte Africa. Better known as Sihlalo, the former leader of the firm’s financial services practice in Africa has an astute understanding of what should be expected of modern finance leaders. CFOs should champion the rise of disruptive technologies within their organisations, he said during an exclusive interview with CFO South Africa, where he also spoke about finance leaders’ responsibility to promote an aligned strategy, future-focussed technology and shining integrity.

07 November 2017

Navigate your future: CFOs flock to 'super summit' on 16 November

There is a lot at stake right now and your career and your business require that you make smart choices if you want to effectively navigate your way into 2018. And smart choices start with good information. The final CFO Summit of the year features boasts peer-to-peer learning and debates, plus exclusive insights on South Africa’s economic and political future from leading economist Goolam Ballim (Standard Bank), ZAR X CEO Etienne Nel and Deloitte's deputy CEO Mgcinisihlalo Jordan.

06 November 2017

The future of Africa is trade, says Standard Bank's Group Head of Trade, Vinod Madhavan

The responsibility of Group Head of Trade is both humbling and exciting, says Vinod Madhavan, whose career has taken him across Africa and Asia (living and working in India, Singapore and South Africa). “It affords an opportunity to work in the intersection of my passion and desire to contribute to achieving Standard Bank’s social, economic and environmental (SEE) outcomes.” Vinod says his experience of engaging customers across 25 countries has afforded him the opportunity to learn from the experiences in offering trade and working capital financing solutions to clients in institutional, corporate, commercial and business banking client segments.

03 November 2017

Gates Foundation launches open-source financial inclusion software

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has released a new open-source software for creating payment platforms that will help unbanked people around the world access digital financial services. The software is designed to provide a reference model for payment interoperability between banks and other providers across a country’s economy. It is available now, free-of-cost, for software developers to adapt and banks, financial service providers and companies to implement. Information on the code can be found at

24 October 2017

I wanted to serve, says Ramasela Ganda, Public Sector CFO of the Year 2017

Earlier this year, Ramasela Ganda won the Public Sector CFO of the Year Award for her incredible accomplishments at Ekurhuleni Municipality. She dedicated the prize to “all public servants that serve us diligently and with honesty” and referred specifically to public sector CFOs who have “lost their lives because they said no to corruption”. Long eschewing a CFO role in the private sector, she left Ekurhuleni at the end of last year and started as CFO: rental and corporate service at Barloworld, which had been courting her for quite a while.

18 October 2017

The tech-savvy CFO holds the power

It is vitally important for today’s CFO to be tech-savvy, though they should resist the urge to purchase technology for technology’s sake and instead respond to the needs of the business. This was the advice of Christine Ramon, CFO of AngloGold Ashanti, and Wayne Koonin, CFO of Omnia Holdings and winner of the Finance & Technology Award at this year's CFO Awards, during last week’s Finance Indaba Africa 2017, held at the Sandton Convention Centre.

17 October 2017

Accounting with integrity, Dr Sarah Bux at #findaba17

With stories of corruption and mismanagement rife in South Africa, there is one thing that will keep us afloat in extraordinary times. “Technology is one of the biggest drivers of change,” said Dr Sarah Bux, associate director for South Africa – management accounting at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), speaking during last week’s Finance Indaba Africa 2017, held at the Sandton Convention Centre.

13 October 2017

Unified cloud computing can boost collaboration, says Oracle

In an age where cloud computing is fast becoming the standard approach to data management, many companies still work in silos, each division having their own ERP system or cloud platform to work from. This presents a risk as it can lead to having duplicated data, which is not only inefficient but can lead to bad decision-making, advised Sarah George, ERP strategy leader for Africa at Oracle and Ronnie Toerien, HR strategy leader for Africa at Oracle, during their session on 13 October 2017 at Finance Indaba Africa.

13 October 2017

To get into the C-Suite, be bold, informed and deliberate, say top CFOs

The road to the C-Suite might not be a straight line or predictable, but for both Illovo Sugar CFO Mohammed Abdool-Samad and Barloworld Equipment Rental CFO Ramasela Ganda, it was a path walked with clear intention. This pair of top CFOs shared their experiences of career progression during an insightful panel discussion themed “Breaking into the C-Suite”, held at Finance Indaba Africa on 13 October 2017.

13 October 2017

SBU: mentoring small businesses is crucial for growth

An initiative that was started to develop entrepreneurs, Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU), through its incubator programme, is at the forefront of mentoring black small business owners. Shanduka CFO Nyasha Dzumbunu, speaking on 13 October 2017 at the Finance Indaba Africa, told small business hopefuls that the idea behind the organisation’s three-year incubator programme caters for small businesses that have the potential for sustainability.

13 October 2017

Companies must adapt to the fast pace of change or die, says Yumna Tayob

How do you create a culture of innovation in your organisation, Yumna Tayob, a solutionist with Iconoclast, speaking at Finance Indaba Africa on 13 October 2017 asked the assembled finance professionals? “The first industrial revolution took just over a century, in less than a century the second and third had happened, and now we find ourselves in the fourth. This unprecedented pace of change is driving the fact that innovation is a journey and not a destination, and companies that do not adapt to this are going to die.”

13 October 2017

The robots are coming for your jobs, says Thandeka Zondi

As technology evolves, more and more businesses are digitising, meaning that jobs which were previously done by humans are now being done by machines. Speaking at Finance Indaba Africa on 13 October, Thandeka Zondi, director of strategy and business development at SekelaXabiso, said that because of growing innovation in the digital world, companies and individuals will have to redefine their purpose and decide whether certain jobs are still needed.

13 October 2017

Tim London: how to avoid becoming the next KPMG

"Up until about two months ago, KPMG was great. But now it's in the news and they're not great. By the time these kinds of things appear in the headlines, there was a whole system of things that had gone wrong," said Dr Timothy London, senior lecturer Allan Gray Centre for Values Based Leadership at GSB - UCT, at the Finance Indaba Africa on 13 October 2017. Tim gave an extremely engaging and entertaining talk on what companies can do to avoid public relations nightmares like the one currently unfolding at KPMG.

13 October 2017

Funding SA's future - Standard Bank's Feenix takes flight

In response to the highly charged ‘Fees must Fall’ protests that began in 2015, South Africa’s students were desperate to be heard, and Standard Bank opened their ears. Jayshree Naidoo, head of the Standard Bank Incubator and CEO of Feenix, spoke to the gathered crowd on 13 October 2017 at Finance Indaba Africa about student access to fees. In the aftermath of the aforementioned movement, the need has become even more pressing, she said.

13 October 2017

Work-life balance is about boundaries and trust - insights from top CFOs

Technology has made it easier for people to work flexible hours, which should, in theory, make a work-life balance more achievable. This is, however, not the case. Most people's experience is that they’re working harder because smartphones have created a culture where your work is always with you and people are, as a result, often overworked. 12 October at Finance Indaba Africa 2017 saw Paul Marten, finance director at Microsoft, and Zaf Mahomed, CFO at McDonald’s SA, share their insights into achieving this universally coveted but ever-elusive work-life balance.

12 October 2017

Poor leadership the cause of poor financial performance, says Kimi Makwetu

Many of the country's municipalities are often found wanting when it comes to the management of their finances, as well as the management of the disciplines that encourage transparency for there to be accountability to the country's citizens. So said Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu, speaking at Finance Indaba Africa on 12 October 2017. Citing some of the reasons behind the poor financial performance of municipalities, Kimi pegged corruption and a lack of skills as some of the major ones.

12 October 2017

"The offering" - Standard Bank's solution co-created with accountants and entrepreneurs

If you could design a banking solution for your startup, would it look like a traditional bank offering? Standard Bank is betting on no, gathering a tech and customer-focused team and giving them major leeway to experiment with the entrepreneur banking model. According to Standard Bank’s Angé Baard, Paton Raman, and Gugu Sithole, who presented the idea to intrigued accountants and entrepreneurs at Finance Indaba Africa on 12 October 2017, it is built on the concept of co-creation. The team is so focused on flipping the usual path of product development that they haven’t even named this service yet, calling themselves simply “the offering” or “the proposition”.

12 October 2017

Glass ceiling - what glass ceiling? Powerful women at #findaba17

More women are finding success in the boardroom these days. Does this mean that the glass ceiling has finally been broken, or was it only ever in the imagination to begin with? Nonkululeko Gobodo, CEO of Nkululeko Leadership Consulting, 2017 CFO Awards winner Debbie Ransby, financial director at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Mary Vilakazi, deputy CEO of MMI Holdings, unpacked the topic during a well-attended session at Finance Indaba Africa on 12 October 2017.

12 October 2017

Dream big, change your life, says Sihle Ndzimbomvu

The support of small black-owned accounting firms made it possible for a young woman from rural KwaZulu-Natal to achieve her dream of becoming a CA. “This is the story of changing your life by having a desire to achieve big,” said Sihle Ndzimbomvu, audit manager at Ngubane & Co, speaking at Finance Indaba Africa 2017. “It is not only the story of my childhood but also the story of a black woman who is breaking barriers. Women or men can relate to this story because, although we come from different places, we have faced similar challenges.”

12 October 2017

To change the future, we must confront the past, says Vusi Thembekwayo

What do we mean by transformation? This was investor Vusi Thembekwayo’s burning question at Finance Indaba Africa on 12 October 2017. The entrepreneur made it clear that transformation was not about ticking boxes and counting how many black people, black women and transgender individuals are employed in corporate South Africa but rather, about ensuring the oppressed are no longer oppressed and the poor no longer poor.

12 October 2017

`A roller-coaster!` Why should you work in the public sector?

Corruption, slow turnaround times and lack of ethics are considered part and parcel of a career in the public sector, but if you stick it out, the personal rewards are worth it, say those who work in government. “It’s a roller-coaster!” Nichola Dewar, CFO of the SA Post Office, admitted to the rapt audience at Finance Indaba Africa on 12 October 2017. When the laughter died down, Nichola went on to say that she found it disconcerting writing a memo for a new laptop – a utility she could easily get in the private sector.

12 October 2017

Learn faster to survive the digital age, says Martijn Aslander

“You have to read other books. If you are just in business for business you will be out of business,” said Martijn Aslander, stand-up philosopher and co-author of the bestseller, 'Permanent Beta', on 12 October 2017 at Finance Indaba Africa. “I want to focus on this because most people don’t focus on how to learn faster,” the highly regarded Martijn told a room packed with finance professionals. “You have to learn as fast as you can without being in a hurry; it’s really about learning how to learn.”

11 October 2017

Machines will augment our jobs, not steal them, argues Oracle's Derek Bose

“The marketplace expects CFOs to be certified accountants but organisations are pulling in CFOs who are able to marry their trade of accounting with the technological capabilities and all the benefits that come with that. CFOs previously used technology to drive standardisation through the organisation to gain control, but are now using it to adapt their organisations to a changing environment and to react more quickly to these changes,” says Derek Bose, Oracle’s senior manager for Southern Africa. Derek believes that technology will augment human capability in future and, he says, the role of the CFO is one of the first in line.

11 October 2017

All I Need to Know About Corporate Innovation I learnt at Kindergarten*: Finance Indaba sneak peek 32

From the very first days of nursery school, children are taught simple rules like: share, clean up your own mess, take a nap every afternoon, don’t take things that aren’t yours, flush!, etc. Well, as it turns out, these are a proxy for many hard-won, field-tested, corporate innovation principles and practices. Join I am Jack Frost CEO Paul Steenkamp as he explores some of the best practices for future-proofing your organisation. The title of this Finance Indaba Africa session was inspired by the brilliant Robert Fulghum book.

11 October 2017

How automation within the office of finance can be a reality: Finance Indaba sneak peek 31

The finance department is under increased pressure to provide business, regulators, shareholders and other stakeholders with the necessary information to enable strategic decision-making and governed corporate performance processes. Often seen as increased workloads due to manual production of reports, budgets, consolidations and other spreadsheet processes, the finance office of the future is automated, efficient and strategic, alleviating and mitigating the risks and challenges being faced today. Join the Karabina team at this Finance Indaba Africa session to understand how utilising the right technology enabled the finance team of a JSE-listed company to achieve these results. Create a more productive environment that requires less, and do it successfully!

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