During their participation in “Seamless North Africa 2023” exhibition, WAVZ, a Digital Transformation and Managed Services company, in collaboration with Tietoevry, one of the leaders in Payments Solutions, presented how Open Banking systems and Finance solutions will change business models and how banks’ current business model is being challenged. It is expected that API Banking will change the Banks; business model to enable a wide range of companies and organizations to offer their own financial products and services without having to invest in a full-fledged banking infrastructure. According to Accenture, Banking marketplaces could generate up to $500 billion in new revenue for banks globally by 2030.
In an Interview With Andres Olofsson
Andres Olofsson, Head of PaaS at Tietoevry Banking, presented many valuable insights highlighting the importance of adopting open banking systems and introducing embedded third-party offerings that would enhance banks’ portfolio of products, saying:
Tietoevry has been supporting banks and financial institutions – through our expertise in the field of digital banking services and the financial ecosystem – for more than 50 years. Our products and services have enabled more than 400 institutions in more than 50 countries around the world. We achieved sales of €500 million in 2021 through the services we provide. Studies indicate that the volume of financial transactions in the United States is expected to reach $7 trillion by 2026”. According to Allied Market Research, the global Banking-as-a-Service market was valued at $2.41 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $11.34 billion in 2030 at a growth rate of 17.1%.Andres Olofsson, Head of PaaS at Tietoevry Banking
We are pleased to partner with WAVZ. It’s the kind of partnership that will expand our reach in the Middle East and Africa region through their well-trained Egyptian experts who are capable of providing the latest advanced services according to international standards. We also aim to help banking institutions reach new segments of customers in the Middle East and Africa by providing the latest global applications and services in the field of Open Banking Systems and Digital Payments.Andres Olofsson, Head of PaaS at Tietoevry Banking
From his part, Amr Esmat, Managing Director and CEO of WAVZ said:
Through our cooperation with Tietoevry, we aim to enable Financial Institutions to adopt the latest innovative Banking Services, especially Open Banking Systems, Electronic Payments, and Digital Services, which would help them reach new segments of customers while maintaining complete confidentiality of customer data.Amr Esmat, Managing Director and CEO of WAVZ
It is worth mentioning that WAVZ for Digital Transformation and Managed Services is participating as a gold sponsor in the Seamless North Africa 2023 summit, in partnership with Tietoevry, one of the world’s leading companies in Electronic Payments and Card Management. The summit is held under the title “The Road to Financial Technology in North Africa and the Middle East,” and sponsored by the Central Bank of Egypt in cooperation with the Arab League and the Arab Union for Digital Economy, and with the participation of more than 4,000 people from company heads, institutions, and entrepreneurs in the Middle East and Africa region.
WAVZ is a company based in Egypt for 15 years, and we’re actually very proud today to be in Seamless North Africa presenting solutions that are implemented in other places in the world successfully. Global expertise, global experience, implemented successfully in Egypt and being supported in Egypt by local resource which proves that Egyptians, when trained and developed in a proper manner, they can provide the same quality of service that we’re getting from international expertise. We’re currently expanding in Saudi Arabia, Jordan & Africa through successful projects in these places. Our presence in Seamless with our strategic partner Tietoevry demonstrates the significance of our partnership and how they consider us their arm in the region.Amr Esmat, Managing Director and CEO of WAVZ
Open Banking Systems – A Successful Business Model
Open Banking is a great business model. The introduction of the InstaPay platform in Egypt is considered the first cornerstone that will enable Open Banking systems to work smoothly because, without instant payment, Open Banking systems would be missing a cornerstone. Now, with the – hopefully soon – regulations coming from FRA and the Central Bank of Egypt, this would present an opportunity for FinTech’s services to grow because they are dependent on getting access to customer data and getting access to the payment infrastructure. We are now in a pivoting time where new financial services could be introduced to the Egyptian population, which is a huge mass market and this will also attract regional FinTech Companies to introduce their services in Egypt, whether that would be from North Africa or even Europe coming into this region purely because of the size and the promising potential of the Egyptian Retail Market.
From his part, Andres Olofsson, Head of PaaS at Tietoevry Banking explained that Banks now need Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to help them expand their services rapidly to new segments by introducing new services that meet these market segments’ needs. Open Banking systems would play the role of the facilitator between Banks and SMEs by providing them access to information that they might need without jeopardizing the security and confidentiality of Customer Information. It helps both Banks and SMEs unleash potential opportunities in the market and serve these segments of the market in a convenient manner.
I believe the Egyptian Financial Market has developed significantly lately. Such development has been supported by highly developed human resources that are highly educated and trained, which has resulted in significant growth of the pool of talents across different disciplines. This is why we chose WAVZ to be our strategic partner in the region. With their skilled resources, they can serve the evolving domestic market, and moreover, with their growing capability, serve the Middle East and Africa region. Especially, with the scarcity of talent across the globe.Andres Olofsson, Head of PaaS at Tietoevry Banking
About Tietoevry & WAVZ Open Banking Expansion Plans
Tietoevry is working across the entire Africa, like South Africa and Mauritius for example. We deliver the infrastructure to the Mauritius Central Bank to do instant transfers like Instapay. We’re also working in Nigeria and other regions where there are huge opportunities, but talents may not be as developed as we aspire. So, Egypt is a good springboard for a rapid connection in terms of access to the wider market and the proximity to the rest of Africa. One of our challenges in the region as a European company is that the decision-making process is always different than what we are used to. Hence, the need to be aligned with a local partner who can liaise with decision-makers, and who understands the local procurement process.
After the Middle East, we see Nigeria, and Kenya, as potential markets for expanding in the African market together with South Africa and Egypt. We believe Egypt is probably the most prominent market in North Africa with huge potential. Even with the risk that the Egyptian currency might get further depreciated, which presents a commercial risk, we still believe it’s a promising market. This is also why we need strategic local partners, with a local cost base. It helps hedge a bit of the currency risk.
Regarding our participation on Seamless Egypt, I find it very successful because you got so many young talents doing FinTech coming together. I’ve attended seamless in Riyadh, and in Dubai. And what excites me is the youth and all the ideas they generate. If you go to the FinTech sessions, there’s a lot of brilliant ideas, they come up with good and cool use cases.Andres Olofsson, Head of PaaS at Tietoevry Banking
I think Vibrance is probably a good word to describe that everybody is super curious, super knowledgeable. You get the sense that nothing is impossible. It’s more that those people don’t see the limitations, they see the new bright ideas. It makes me only wish that the banks were as open as the FinTech. Having said that, I think that banks are sometimes sand bagged by regulations, limitations, and security.
There was a good session yesterday about how slow the banks are moving, because simply they take care of our money, whereas FinTech Companiescan come up with all crazy ideas, try, make, or break, and then drop it and come up with a new one. Banks don’t have this luxury, and this is why, both business models need each other,and this is where Open Banking systems can facilitate the cooperation model between Banks and FinTech Companies.
I think that what excites me the most is exploring what these young talents have in mind, and the brilliant ideas they have, and that is why it’s great to be here.
Regarding our partnership with WAVZ, they are a reputable and capable Services Provider, we are merely a software vendor, which makes a perfect match, where we support them with our global experience because that is something that the region is hungry for, we come in also with an international perspective, lessons learned from other markets, while WAVZ comes in with their wealth of local market knowledge and a rich pool of resources. They have around 1000 people on board. Together, we provide leading technology that is proven and successful globally, and in the region, with local expertise and support. It’s a partnership that makes sense and is meaningful and relevant to the Middle East and African markets.