Rethinking banking and microfinance

Decade of the Cloud

Mambu is working at the intersection of two rather overloaded words: microfinance and cloud computing. From online, to conferences around, there are many debates as to what constitutes microfinance, the direction it’s going and the rapidly blurring lines between microfinance and other financial services. There’s little doubt that three billion people lack financial services, and that new technology will rapidly increase access to financial inclusion. And what roles is ‘the cloud’ – online technology to play in this future? In a world where most of Africa will soon have smartphones cloud computing and mobile will be game changers in the financial services industry.

“The transformative power of the cloud is driving innovation virtually everywhere.”

A recent article in Forbes makes a strong case for this decade being the ‘Decade of the Cloud’. At the core of financial services is information and “at the core of the information revolution is the cloud. At the core of the cloud is shared data and it changes everything. It creates transparency across and between users and developers. Extending the shared data concept to the business world will allow businesses to grow faster. It improves collaboration with their employees, their accountants, their customers and their suppliers, all in real time and accessible from anywhere.”

“Cloud computing, and the Software-as-a-Service model, will prove the single most impactful technical advancement driving business growth today and for the foreseeable future”

From the traditional mega-vendors like Temenos and SAP to new entrants like us and MFIFlex we can see the Decade of the Cloud beginning to take shape in the financial services space.

“The cloud will be the only long term, sustainable way to deliver IT.”

Financial institutions themselves need to adapt to these changes and will do so at their own paces for their own markets. Factors such as vendor-lock in, internet access in remote branches, and the ability to transform their own business will drive how quickly these institutions transition to the cloud. Those that navigate the transition successfully will find themselves well ahead of the competition in terms of business agility, real-time analytics, lower operational costs and the ability to scale faster and cheaper. Those that don’t, will likely find themselves in an acceleratingly handicapped position against their competitors and struggling to meet the rapidly changing demands of the next three billion people coming online and seeking financial services.