It may seem strange for a FinTech company to be advocating regulation, but we like to break the mould here at mytalu. Traditionally, FinTechs and regulators have been portrayed as adversaries and constantly locked in a combative relationship whereby FinTechs pursue a growth-at-all-costs attitude and regulators put up as many barriers as possible to prevent that from happening, but this is an archaic view of the situation, and the relationship is decidedly more complex.
Taking a deep dive into the role that regulators take, one of their core aims is to protect the interests of everyday people. What is meant by this is that when a customer engages with a financial institution, they can have confidence that the funds they are depositing are protected and that the financial institution should be acting in the best interests of the customers. With a regulator keeping a keen eye on the operations of financial institutions, they can ensure that financial institutions are adopting best practices. Regulators, therefore, have a very important role in maintaining the legitimacy of financial institutions.
When we take this framework and analysis, we suddenly see that there is actually a strong overlap between the interests of Regulators and FinTechs. Regulators want to ensure the safety of customers’ funds. FinTechs want to provide excellent services to their end-users. One of the core components of excellent service is security and safety. We start to see an alignment taking shape. Similarly, another aim of regulators is to encourage innovation and improvements in the financial sector in a well-structured and well-defined manner so that the end-users benefit. Again, this suggests another alignment opportunity. FinTechs want to challenge the status quo and bring about new levels of innovation into the financial sector. FinTechs should therefore not see Regulators as an adversary but instead as organisations that have a wealth of experience that can help FinTechs adopt best practices and ensure that they are well-prepared to deal with the challenges that are associated with running a financial institution.
When we abstract away from FinTech vs regulator we see that there is only one stakeholder of importance and that is the end-user. Both regulators and FinTechs want to provide the best, most secure, and innovative services and that is what they must strive to do in tandem. We at mytalu take our regulatory obligations very seriously and very much appreciate the discourse and critique that comes with working with regulators to provide our innovative services.
If you are interested In learning more about the kind of regulation that governs FinTechs in Africa, feel free to reach out to us on our email address firstname.lastname@example.org