Fintech Galaxy’s Innovation Challenge Winners Further Central Bank of Egypt’s Drive Towards Financial Inclusion

Wednesday 19 June 2019
Cairo - MENA Herald:

Fintech Galaxy, the MENA region’s only fintech digital crowdsourcing platform, has announced “Dor-e”, “Token Inc” and “Quantafic Business Solutions”, as the winners of the latest series of Innovation Challenges for use cases defined by National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Emirates NBD S.A.E, and Commercial International Bank – Egypt respectively. The winning startups will work with the banks on implementing their solutions, with the possibility of a Proof of Concept (PoC) and a full-fledged implementation. The challenges reflect the growing efforts to support the Central Bank of Egypt’s innovation agenda which includes promoting financial inclusion in the country.

With a population of over 100 million, the World Bank estimates that the share of people aged 15 and over with an account at a financial institution rose from 13.7 per cent in 2014 to 33 per cent in 2017 – that compares with well above 90 per cent in advanced economies. However, with a mobile penetration rate of around 110 per cent and more than 30 million internet users, fintech provides tremendous opportunities for the unbanked, and progress is already underway.

In 2018, Egypt ranked fifth as a recipient of remittances with over USD29 billion. Additionally, the Egyptian bill payment market is expected to register high growth rates, with increasing penetration of cashless transaction methods primarily being driven by a stronger regulatory framework, increased mobile usage, and frequent collaboration between the government and financial institutions.

Quantafic Business Solutions, a banking and financial services focused analytic and software solutions company from India won the challenge with Commercial International Bank – Egypt, who sought a digital lending solution, integrated with I-Score, that enables credit assessment and underwriting through AI and machine learning of transaction behaviors and unconventional data that covers end-to-end process of onboarding, disbursement & collection of loans. The technology will help the bank meet the customers and merchants’ needs in their day-to-day activities and support their business growth plans, a step closer towards achieving financial inclusion.

National Bank of Egypt, NBE, sought AI-powered solutions that could be used to reinvent how it delivers customer experience. The solution needed to identify customer needs proactively with the ability to measure customer satisfaction at each touch point. Following which, through analysis, the solution would help identify pain points and recommended handling across the different touch points and channels – criteria which was exceeded by Dor-e from Egypt, an intelligent virtual queuing system that streamlines customer traffic and load balances workload while providing smart analytics and data. The winner will get an EGP 100,000 cash reward and the opportunity to work with NBE on a prototype for implementing AI in customer experience.

The Egyptian operation of UAE’s Emirates NBD sought an innovative solution that enables cross-border payments and wallet transactions to happen instantly increasing customer satisfaction, growth in number of transactions and volume of money transferred across different countries while overcoming the challenges of current operational systems limitations, slow processing of transactions, and compliance to regulations of data privacy. Through its innovative technology, Token Inc., a company from the United States of America that supplies software to banks and central banks to enables them to issue digital money, won the challenge and a cash reward of USD5,000.  

“Fintech Galaxy strongly believes in the Egyptian economy, and the potential of FinTech to drive its growth. We are proud to support the Central Bank’s initiatives to drive financial inclusion through our innovation challenges, and we look forward to supporting these young entrepreneurs through their journey, from inspiration to global growth.” commented Mirna Sleiman, Founder & CEO, Fintech Galaxy.  

“National Bank of Egypt gives great support to start-ups entrepreneurs as they are perceived as essential partners in light of the fast-paced technological transformation sweeping through the banking sector, supporting  banks to meet the dynamic needs and changing customers preferences, target an expanding customer base and new customer segments in an era where customer experience is of primary importance , which is the context of the solution NBE is supporting through this innovation challenge” commented Hesham Ahmed Okasha, Chairman, National Bank of Egypt

“National Bank of Egypt plays a major role in digital transformation and e-payments in the Egyptian market, as part of the Bank's strategy focuses on coping with global technological developments in the field of banking and Fintech services and supporting Egypt's strategic direction towards the financial inclusion initiatives. In this context, NBE inaugurated four electronic service branches for the first time in Egypt to encourage customers to use digital banking services via alternative channels without human assistance. The bank also launched the second phase of Al-Ahly Net services and witnessed a growing increase in e-commerce transactions overcoming all the obstacles that hinder extending the relevant services. Moreover, the Bank also developed new financial features available through Phone Cash wallets to reach a higher population of underbanked customers. ”

Mohammed Berro, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates NBD S.A.E. commented: “I’d like to offer my warmest congratulations to the winners of the Innovation Challenge and express the intent of Emirates NBD Egypt to continue supporting local start-ups to empower entrepreneurship in the community and redefine the future of e-banking. We are not only dedicated to achieving the objectives laid out by the Egyptian government, but the objectives we have set for ourselves regarding the implementation of innovation as a way to increase customer satisfaction and facilitate positive change in the banking landscape. Emirates NBD Egypt is currently invested in bolstering our wireless transaction services by optimizing the volume and speed in which international transfers are made in addition to assuring that all operations comply with the regulations regarding data privacy.”

Mohamed Farag, Chief Global Transaction & Digital Banking Officer, Commercial International Bank commented that “As part of CIB's strategy to drive financial inclusion throughout Egypt, we channel significant energy and investment into fintech innovation and, in turn, the transformation of the entirety of the banking sector from traditional brick-and-mortar channels to digital solutions. As such, we welcome the participation in these kinds of landmark milestones for the digital finance sphere to seek out exciting potential startups that complement our current value proposition and expand our reach to more and more unbanked segments to achieve financial inclusion.”

Fintech Galaxy works as an open innovation marketplace for organizations to post their innovation challenges, inviting a global network of startups to take a crack at solving them. The company advises startups on fundraising, operational growth and business development. The platform also brings to the market a virtual marketplace of on-demand fintech experts in areas like blockchain, artificial intelligence, mobile payments, robotics and data science.

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