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uKheshe, MindBridge win SA leg of global fintech competition

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The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) this morning announced that uKheshe and MindBridge Analytics are the 2019 Global Fintech Hackcelerator @ Southern Africa competition winners.

This acceleration programme creates a platform for fintech firms to showcase solutions that are innovative, sustainable and address real-world financial services challenges.

In August, the SARB partnered with KPMG Matchi to run the Global Fintech Hackcelerator @ Southern Africa. 

The regional hackcelerator received 95 entries from interested fintech firms located across the globe, in response to problem statements constructed by the SARB in collaboration with other local and international industry experts.

All responding firms were validated by KPMG Matchi and scored by a team of 24 executives from the following Absa, Capitec, Discovery, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), First Rand Group, Investec, Liberty Group, National Treasury, Nedbank, SARB, Standard Bank and the Technology Innovation Agency.

The top 12 finalists were announced in early October and today (29 October) they showcased their solutions. A panel of judges from the SARB, FSCA, KPMG Singapore as well as local financial industry experts selected the two winning solutions. 

uKheshe and MindBridge Analytics will attend the 2019 Singapore Fintech Festival, from 11 to 13 November, where they'll compete for up to $200 000 to develop a contextualised proof of concept as well support in breaking into the Asian fintech market. 

The Winners


uKheshe is a local, real-time digital payments app that aims to empower informal traders and the country’s unbanked by letting them accept digi-payments.

Co-founder Jason Penton says the win plays into their continental expansion plans.

“This is affirmation that what we’re doing is being recognised by the banks and the regulators," he says. "Allowing people below the breadline to accept digital payments is an important step in financial inclusion.”

uKheshe has partnered with Masterpass to accept payments across various platforms, including banking apps. 

Founded last November, the platform was also awarded Stuff Magazine’s 2018 Do Good App of the Year. 

MindBridge Analytics

Canada-based MindBridge Analytics is an auditor platform that uses AI, machine learning and natural language processing to analyse data and detect fraudulent transactions.

The platform has been recognised as the world’s first AI platform that has caught a person committing financial statement fraud. MindBridge also counts the Bank of Canada as one of its clients.

Its founder, Solon Angel, says he entered the hackcelerator for the growth opportunities it presented.

“Because of the economic divide, the constraints in the South African market are very different from the rest of the world. It makes it very interesting to compete here because the competition was fierce. I was nervous to the very end.”

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