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Why Are Young South Africans flocking to the fintech industry for a career?

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Across South Africa, the fintech landscape is experiencing growth at an unprecedented rate, driven by regulatory shifts, technological progress, and increased competition. The nation’s fintech industry, which includes a broad range of services spanning from online banking to online personal loans has accounted for a whopping 40% of the whole continent’s total fintech revenue, according to a 2023 report by ‘Research and Markets’.

Such a rapid expansion will inevitably attract young and ambitious crowd looking for job security and exciting opportunities. Today we’re chatting to two employees of the South African fintech ‘Wonga Online’. The short term lender was founded in 2011 and has largely revolutionised the way people access credit. With dedicated leadership from Brett Van Aswegen focused on a steadfast commitment to responsible lending and financial inclusion, Wonga champions the use of bleeding-edge technology to provide rapid, transparent, and adaptable financial solutions tailored to customers’ diverse needs.

 

An industry aiming to address a spectrum of socioeconomic issues

Tinashe Manyanya (Tina for short) is proud of Wonga’s significant strides in improving financial education and literacy among the South African youth through initiatives like the Money Academy and informative blog. By providing resources focused on enhancing financial IQ and fostering healthy financial habits, Wonga empowers individuals to take control of their financial futures from a young age.

This proactive approach encourages young people to learn about personal finance early on, rather than waiting until they have a consistent income. Wonga’s commitment to data-driven decision-making extends beyond business operations to personal choices as well, promoting mindfulness and supporting healthier mental health habits.

Challenges faced by young women in fintech, such as imposter syndrome, are addressed through supportive environments and mentorship opportunities. Wonga’s value of being “in the mess together” fosters a culture of unity and mutual support, contributing to overall success for each member of the team.

Major projects undertaken at Wonga include market research initiatives like the annual ‘summer spending survey campaign’ which provide valuable insights into consumer behaviours. For young women aspiring to pursue a career in digital marketing for Fintech, Tina recommend embracing educational opportunities through platforms like Google Skills for Africa and reputable institutions like Red & Yellow and UCT is key. Internships also offer practical experience to launch careers in this dynamic field, with endless possibilities for growth and advancement. Wonga frequently provides regular internship opportunities.

 

Unparalleled career opportunities in a secure environment that prioritise personal-growth.

Siviwe’s Henda, a senior QA analyst at Wonga tells us their decision to join Wonga was driven by the huge opportunity it presented in the South African market. Transitioning from a prior role in health informatics with a limited client base, Wonga’s extensive reach offered a chance for substantial career growth and exposure to a dynamic environment serving diverse clients.

Over the last five years at Wonga, pivotal moments for Siviwe included transitioning away from UK integrations to developing proprietary platforms, implementing Cloud 9 technology, and transitioning from FICO to GDS decision-making systems.

Wonga’s supportive culture played a crucial role in career progression, with frequent encouragement from seniors to ask questions and learn from mistakes. The company’s commitment to personal and professional growth feels evident at every opportunity. Wonga’s inclusive and supportive environment has always fostered growth and security.

Witnessing Wonga’s evolution through a myriad of challenges from massive financial industry reforms to nationwide lockdowns has been rewarding, with exciting promise for future advancements and growth. Siviwe’s future career aspirations include transitioning into a more technically oriented role within QA or even potentially exploring the path of a joint product owner, with the ambition to continue making a positive impact within Wonga’s fintech ecosystem.

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