Two years into his tenure as the head of Digital Financial Service & Mobile Payments at KCB Bank, Eddie Ndichu has left the position and moved to Opera, the Norwegian mobile browser as the firm’s MD and Vice President for its Fintech in Africa.
At Opera, he will be responsible for providing group-wide strategic direction, guidance and leadership to the formulation and deployment of an integrated fintech strategy and business model. The role includes the development of micro lending, remmittances, payments and transaction capabilities using new-to-the-world technologies including mobile and the internet.
(TOP: Eddie Ndichu, Opera’s new MD and VP for Fintech in Africa. Photo: LinkedIn).
Speaking at his appointment, Ndichu outlined his plans for Opera in Africa thus: “For years Opera has been invested in bringing fast and affordable internet access for all. For this reason I am honored to be part of the team that seeks to grow together with the African internet ecosystem, thus we are seeking local partners to integrate value-added services, fintech products and data bundling into its browser platform”
Ndichu’s appointment is part of company’s plans to have a Kenyan office become the East African hub. The Oslo-listed firm said it plans to hire the 100 Africans over the next three years. They will be trained on web development to drive product penetration via an artificial intelligence engine for smartphones to ensure content discovery.
Opera recently announced plans to invest US $100 million over the next two years to facilitate the growth of African digital economy. The company will use the investment to speed up internet adoption in Africa and strengthen the internet ecosystem with local partners.
This will grant consumers access to quality content and services, giving them the ability to transact more easily on their mobile devices. The range of services to be added over the next 12 months will create a content and services hub that will provide African users with a truly unique experience.
“Africa is on its way to transform itself into digital continent with the rapid adoption of mobile internet. For the past five years, the Opera Mini browser has been a key facilitator in bringing more than half of Africa’s internet population online by featuring tools for lowering data costs,” Ndichu added.
Recently, the company celebrated 100 million monthly users in Africa and is now focusing on making the next generation of web browsers to cater the needs of African internet users.
In his career, Ndichu has developed mutiple channel applications and payments product offering on mobile and online channels (not alternative any more), built tellerless branches, a new mobile network for financial services and completely new platforms to offer banking services. He has also lead development of strategic partnerships and digital alliances to realize innovative collaborations so as to deliver to business (corporate) and retail financial services in an ever changing technological and highly adoptive environment of growing consumer expectation. He was subsequently previously to this been responsible for the same for standard chartered bank across 9 African markets.
Prior to joining KCB Group in January 2016, Ndichu served as the group head of Digital Services at Chase Bank (now in receivership) for almost 2 years till December 2015. Earlier on, he was the Business Development lead at Sema Mobile, a Kenya-based Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). From late 2011 to mid 2014, Ndichu led Standard Chartered Bank’s digital payments operation in the East African region.