Antonia, who has a keen interest and wide knowledge base in payments, has been part of the team since April 2016. Her main areas of research in payments include instant and inclusive retail payment systems, remittances regulation and infrastructure, national and regional payment systems setup and regulation, central bank digital currencies, as well as regulation for innovation. She is particularly interested in financial inclusion challenges in remittances and in exploring related avenues for improvement. She is co-leading Cenfri’s two-year Remittance Access Initiative with IFAD. As part of this initiative, we are providing customer due diligence and KYC process technical assistance to 13 remittance service providers across seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Antonia has also been involved in in-depth research around insurtech and country-level financial sector diagnostics for the ECOWAS countries and Mauritania, Eswatini, Rwanda, Senegal, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Madagascar and the DRC. Antonia is a regular on the speaking circuit for digital payments and digital economy conferences such as the Global Digital Development Forum, the SWIFT African Regional Conference and the Global Money Transfer Summit
Her background is in credit, in particular micro-loans. Before Cenfri, Antonia worked in Tzaneen, Limpopo, as a project manager for South Africa’s largest pro-poor microfinance organisation, the Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF). Operating in rural and poor areas of the country, she oversaw SEF’s financial education programme. She also led a pilot on the potential transformation from joint to individual liability and designed a Financial Diaries project together with the University of Johannesburg and Bankable Frontier Associates to better understand the impact of credit on a client’s life.