Innotribe names South African Start-up Challenge finalists

The Innotribe Start-up Challenge attendees selected the five finalists from the African leg of the Start-up Challenge to compete at Sibos Singapore in October. The showcase was held yesterday alongside Swift’s African Regional Conference.

Payments innovation: lessons from emerging markets

Africa and Asia are the centres of innovation in payments, with the developed markets of the US and Western Europe lagging behind, but the trend is towards domestic offerings rather than regional or international ones, says the latest Payments Innovation Jury Report.

West African integration initiatives drive rapid changes in capital markets

West Africa’s capital markets are changing fast as regional integration and local stock exchange initiatives combineto transform its infrastructure. Increasing adoption of FIX and a promising demographic profile help too, according to speakers at the FIX Trading Community conference in London this week.

The death of the branch? Or is mobile over-hyped?

Do banks still need branches, or does the smartphone make a physical presence obsolete? Panellists disagreed during a spirited debate hosted by ATM maker Wincor Nixdorf in Istanbul last week.

New pan-African Stock Exchange prepares for launch

A new exchange focusing on sub-Saharan Africa is preparing to target international investors through a partnership with Germany’s Deutsche Börse. The African Stock Exchange, based on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, plans to bring together blue chip dollar-denominated African stocks and other products such as government bonds.

Africa the next growth story

The rise of an emerging middle class in Africa is transforming the continent as a group of 11 African nations power past the $1 trillion GDP mark. With tens of millions expected to rise out of poverty in the next decade, it is also providing compelling new opportunities for banks, according to Standard Bank of South Africa.

Faisal Bank gets to grips with Islamic risks

As demand for Islamic banking services continues to rise, Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt has overhauled its risk management to better handle the unique needs of ethical banking.

Unlocking the potential of Africa

From Senegal to the Seychelles, and Botswana to Uganda, new demands and new opportunities are emerging in Africa, but there are still challenges

SIA and Swish launch m-commerce push

Italian financial infrastructure company SIA has inked a deal with mobile commerce provider Swish Payments to support mobile payments in Africa and Europe. The two firms claim the deal will help to bring more efficient forms of payment to both regions.

Johannesburg Exchange revamps clearing and derivatives trading

South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange has begun a massive overhaul of its clearing and trading systems, which will see its siloed clearing platforms replaced by a single engine from vendor Cinnober and its derivatives market shifted onto the London Stock Exchange’s MilleniumExchange platform.

Africa’s mobile revolution stands in the balance

Why are different parts of Africa experiencing widely different levels of success with mobile banking, despite years of experience in Kenya? Panellists at the IPS conference in London offered a range of explanations

Carriers sink Asia-Middle East-Africa-Europe cable

Hong Kong-based carrier services firm PCCW Global has banded together with 16 other high profile international network operators, including China Unicom, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat and Ooredoo, to construct a high capacity submarine cable system between Asia, Africa and Europe.

Ghanaian institutions modernise to capitalise on economic boom

Ghana. The word means ‘warrior king’, but it also describes a booming country of 24 million people living on the coast of West Africa. It is here that three African financial institutions – City Investments Company, NDK Financial Services and The Royal Bank – are turning to new technology to realise their plans.

Standard Bank launches West Africa expansion drive via Côte d’Ivoire

Standard Bank of South Africa has launched a major expansion drive in West Africa, starting with the opening of a new representative office in the Côte d’Ivoire. The bank plans to use the Abidjan office to become familiar with the region and identify further opportunities within it.

MasterCard allies with EMP to sponsor Egyptian card issuers

MasterCard has formed a deal with electronic payments processing company Emerging Markets Payments to sponsor issuers in Egypt and other African markets, in a move intended to help small issuers reach the region’s unbanked population.

Crane Bank of Uganda adopts Temenos banking system

Uganda’s Crane Bank has chosen a core banking system from Temenos, together with various add-on systems, to support the bank’s Uganda head office as well as its expansion into neighbouring Rwanda.

Euroclear and South Africa’s CSD plot fund platform

South African central securities depository Strate and Belgium’s Euroclear are planning a new collaboration to make South Africa’s mutual fund transactions more electronic –including the creation of a centrally hosted mutual fund settlement and custody platform.

Orange sets out Botswana mobile payments deal with Visa

Telecoms firm Orange is planning to launch a set of mobile payment services in Botswana and other countries in Africa and the Middle East, which it says will easy access to funds around the clock and bring new point of sale, online and ATM transaction options to customers.

Western Union debuts Nigerian mobile money transfer

Western Union has launched a mobile money service in Nigeria, which it says will help boost financial inclusion and provide new methods of money transfer for people sending and receiving money to Africa.

Barclays under fire for “outrageous” remittance closures

At a passionate debate in Westminster this week MPs, led by Rushanara Ali, member for Bethnal Green & Bow, called for government action in the wake of Barclay’s recent decision to close accounts for a large number of small payments businesses in the remittances sector.

Casablanca Finance installs Avaloq banking system

Moroccan investment bank Casablanca Finance Group has installed a new banking system from Swiss technology company Avaloq, as the Moroccan financial services industry spreads its wings across Africa.

East Africa Exchange opens in Rwanda

The newly created East Africa Exchange, which is currently taking its first steps in Rwanda, is part of a regional integration project between Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda that aims to boost liquidity and provide a commodities market for 130 million people across the region.

The African banking evolution: High-Street banking on your doorstep

Mobile phones may have revolutionised the way of life of the African population, but when it comes to mobile banking there are a variety of technologies circulating which each provide precise services and levels of connectivity and functionality, writes Simon Pont, chief executive of ECR Retail Systems.

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