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Fintech aYo Holdings to transform technology back end and data approach as it gears up to access African markets

Group chief executive of aYo Holdings Marius Botha said last week that its vision was to grow into the largest financial services technology platform in Africa by enabling the distribution of a range of affordable and accessible micro financial services products. Photo: Facebook

Group chief executive of aYo Holdings Marius Botha said last week that its vision was to grow into the largest financial services technology platform in Africa by enabling the distribution of a range of affordable and accessible micro financial services products. Photo: Facebook

Published Nov 2, 2021

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AFRICAN fintech aYo Holdings is transforming its technology back end and data management approach as it gears up to drive greater scale, better customer experience and faster access to markets across Africa in the coming years.

The company said it already had more than 15 million customers using its microinsurance products across Uganda, Ghana, Zambia and Côte d'Ivoire.

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Group chief executive Marius Botha said last week that its vision was to grow into the largest financial services technology platform in Africa by enabling the distribution of a range of affordable and accessible micro financial services products.

aYo and its shareholder, MTN, are currently working on the final details of a partnership with a new insurance group for access to more underwriter licences in order to expand its product range and penetrate more markets.

Botha said the firm saw themselves as a technology company first and foremost, that happened to sell microinsurance now.

“As our customers transition to a world where financial services are easily accessible via mobile phone and transacted via apps and other channels, we need to respond with a platform business model that will allow us to scale rapidly and cost-effectively manage material volumes of nano transactions,” Botha said.

Part of this technology evolution has seen aYo transition to a cloud data warehousing approach using Snowflake as a solution as it sought to deal with growing volumes of customer data.

“Data is a key asset that we want to grow and leverage, as it will allow us to drive better outcomes and value for our customers. Moving into a new generation data warehousing capability gives us the ability to analyse usable data faster, and build automated models for particular use cases, like more granular target market segmentation, retention strategies and targeted customer propositions,” he said.

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The fintech said the choice of technology played a critical role in ensuring the affordability of micro financial services by driving ‘frictional costs’ out of the system, like the costings involved in using legacy tools and processes, or online physical hosting solutions. A solution like Snowflake had helped the company to scale up and down according to demand and makes it easier to build real-time reporting capabilities, which were key strategic aims.

Botha said the firm was excited to be experimenting with world-class technologies that helped accelerate their vision to enable first-time access to financial services for many African consumers and bring them into the economic mainstream.

“That’s where insurtechs are truly contributing to financial inclusion across the continent and making a positive difference to people’s lives,” said Botha.

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