Digital financial transactions service offering cheaper, more secure way of doing business

Wisely Phiri, group managing director and founder of Malawi’s information and communications and technology (ICT) company, SPARC Systems Limited,  says digital financial transactions service is offering cheaper and more secure way to do financial and research has shown that this block chain service can help financial institutions generate savings of up to $27 billion by year 2030.

Wisely Phiri delivering his lecture
The student participants

Phiri said this in his public lecture delivered at Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU-Africa) in Kigali, Rwanda on Thursday, October 28.

Under the theme, ‘Digital Disruption: Opportunities for Africa, Innovating Beyond Borders’, Phiri said digital innovations are disrupting people’s normal way of doing business.

“As SPARC, our main verticals has been the financial, telecommunication and the public sectors which have been disrupted with technology,” he said.

“Due to various regulations, the banking sector were normally slow to innovate but of late various innovations have forced the banks to rethink their strategies.

He said  the finance and technology (Fintech), has allowed the banking sector to offer 24/7 real-time transactions without the need of the customers to visit the banks.

“We have seen banks embracing Fintech. Mobile banking, wallets and payment apps have now been embraced by the banks.”

Phiri observed that with the distributed ledger system that blockchain is offering various possibilities such as fraud detection, interbank transfer, prevention of money laundering, among other advantages.

Phiri said the telecommunication companies are no longer voice companies like they used to be following the convergence of telecommunications and data/ICT.

“Companies like WhatsApp disrupted how we communicate changing the communication paradigm. Skype, Viber, WeChat have entered the market to pressure the prices down for text and voice thereby eating into the revenue of telecommunication companies.

“This in turn made telecom companies rethink how they do their billing. Now you are having social bundles and WhatsApp bundles for example.”

He observed that the huge volume of data being generated from the mobile money transactions are presenting another opportunity in big data analysis.

Phiri  told the students who would want to venture into the technology career that if they want to  innovate beyond borders, they have to think of the country classification and how they fit into the future of technology.

“The future is now and at Sparc, like our friends at CMU-Africa, we are envisioning an Africa where we lead change. Let’s be the change we need.”

He appraised his listeners that he founded Sparc, after a successful career with an international IT company in 2013, and it has grown very fast into a formidable force with a leading market share in the IT trade and five offices in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda.

As a leader, Wisely’s impact goes beyond SPARC as he has served the ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) as its president (2016-2018) and during his term, the number of paying members went from just 20 to 1,051.

He also supports numerous charitable causes including paying fees for students in various universities in Malawi.

To date he has raised funds for 105 financially challenged students at risk of being withdrawn from the University of Malawi. Furthermore, he mentors institutions, IT experts and up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

Academically, Wisely graduated from the University of Malawi in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with Distinction.

Recently, he was an Adjunct Lecturer at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).

From 2017 until 2018, he lectured in Business Innovations and Operating Systems which are some of his core expertise areas including database and storage systems, cloud services and data centers.

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