A Financial Technology Solution to Solving the Challenges in the Burial Society Informal Industry in South Africa
P Oba, A Magama, M Moorosi, T Mosehlane, T Mutandagayi, E Pillay

Technology is changing many aspects of consumers lifestyles,especially in the way interactions occur between consumers, groups of consumers and businesses. The diffusion of informationthrough the use of technology is reducing the gap between low and high-income consumers and changing cultural norms (Cascio & Montealegre, 2016). From anorganisation perspective, digital technology is providing opportunities for businesses to target a wider consumer set and increase their reach by targetingglobal markets. In this paper, the authors have developed a business model to solve a significant challenge in the South African economy, specifically in the banking sector. Financial Inclusion plays a critical role in assisting a countrywith escaping poverty (Burns, 2018). There is a portion of the population in South Africa that is unbanked,but even more so there is a substantial amount of consumers who do not transact because of the high cost of banking products and services (Mthanti, 2019). The informal sector plays a vital role in the economy of South Africa, and there have been unsuccessful attempts to formalise this sector. One of the significant informal sectors that contributes R49bn to the economy is the Stokvelsociety (NASASA, 2019). It is an informal savings mechanism that bypasses the formal sector (specifically the traditional banking sector) and caters for consumers sociological, physical and financial needs that cannot be met by the formal sector.It consists of different forms, some of the more popular ones are Burial Societies, Savings Stokvels, Investment Stokvels, High-Budget Stokvels and Food Stokvels. The authors have chosen to take a focussed approach by solving the significant challenges experienced by Burial Societies. The challenges identified arefraud, theft, inconvenience inthe sourcing of products and inferior savings rates. The social impact that creates a sense of community withinStokvels and which is apart of African culture will not bedisturbeddue to it being inherent and core to the successful functioning of the system.The strategic approach that will be taken is to earn the trust of the Burial Society by providing value-added services such as convenience and preferential savings rates. The business modelproposed is primarily a payments platform and will integrate into the current Burial Society ecosystem. It will also link into the back end systems of apreferred banking partner. The potential for the payments platform to provide scale and benefit from networks effects will allow it to obtain preferential savings rates. The secondary benefit will be to leverage the payments platform and create an aggregated market place that links suppliers of funeral products to Burial Societies. In the future state, a Peer to Peer (P2P) lending platform can be implemented that caters for Burial Societies to lendmoney to each other for emergencies and make a margin on it. The proposed business model needs to be adopted by the Burial Society for it to be successful.Therefore, it is critical that an accurate understanding of the factors that promote adoptionis analysed and understood. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and Technology Adoption Model (TAM) will be evaluated, modified and implementedvia an interview process to understand the key factors that need to be considered forsuccessful implementation of the solution. Finally, the Financial Technology (Fintech) ecosystem and its stakeholders are essentialelements that need to be leveraged to ensure that the business model has the best opportunity to succeed. It includes Fintech start-ups, government, traditional financial institutions, financial customers and technology developers. The model will be adapted to include educational institutions, international accelerators, influencers, financial news, data feeds and technology infrastructure. The process described provides a methodological approach to ensuring thatcritical factors that affect the implementation and success of the proposed Fintechbusiness model are considered andappropriate plans are in place to navigate this complex environment successfully.

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