Setting business free in Africa with globally competitive transaction support

Some sectors have been badly affected by the 2020 Covid pandemic. Some others have come out on top. But one consequence will be shared by all: the growing reliance on digital exchanges and technology, may it be to manage virtual discussions, organise online trading or rely on FinTechs for payments and investments.

If online meetings and e-commerce are becoming universal, we can’t say the same for digital finance.

Whilst, individuals are enjoying a plethora of choices with a growing number of apps, neobanks and FinTech’s, allowing them to transition close to 100% of their financial activity towards digital solution.  Surprisingly, this is not the case for businesses, especially those engaged in cross-border exchanges. More specifically, when looking at cross-African transactions as well as in and out of Africa, the situation is even more constrained.

For intra-African exchanges, the poor level of existing infrastructures, lack of reliability on delays and the absence of homogenous standards have been, and are still a very serious hurdle to the development of any kind of business, but more so for mid-to large corporates with significant pan-African exposure.

This is worse when dealing with international cross-border transactions where there is an increasingly constraining level of compliance, hefty costs and the progressive withdrawal of most of the major western banks since 2008.

Opening a business account is already a challenge and can easily take up to 6-months. Hard to think of a bigger impediment to the growth of pan-African and International businesses or investments in such an ecosystem.

This is why we created ARIE Capital Banking Group in 2018, with our first fully licensed and regulated entity, ACBM (www.acbm.co) based in Mauritius launched early 2019.

ACBM is the first fully regulated business-focused digital banking platform in Africa, and also in the World. We have identified this growing gap and realised that traditional ways to solve these challenges have failed.

ACBM’s digital platform allows the automation and shortening of the KYC and onboarding process from a few months to only a few weeks.

Besides our full range of investment banking services and solutions (Investment Management, Advisory, Structured Finance, Corporate Finance, etc.), our platform also allows for easy, quick and seamless connectivity to a full range of corporate and international banking services (payments, FX, trade finance, etc.)..

Whilst fully compliant with acknowledged international regulations and standards, ACBM’s automation allows us to spend more time analysing the risk profile of our clients and finding solutions, as often as possible, rather than just saying “no”.

The simplicity, convenience and versatility of the platform is rivalled only by its endless customization possibilities: no matter how many group entities, currencies or jurisdictions a client has everything can be onboarded and managed via a series of customizable and powerful dashboards.

What’s more, remote access is possible 24/7 and if for any reason there is an issue, or a delay, you will have a choice of support including a real, qualified and experienced business relationship manager, similar to a traditional bank. We understand that for businesses, automation should not come as a trade-off for service and human relationships – our clients enjoy the benefits of each.

As well as regulatory scrutiny in 2019 our platform was extensively audited by our technology provider Google and was identified as “ahead of the curve”, not only in African terms, but worldwide.

We know that banking in Africa can have its challenges but are convinced that this powerful approach can enable more business in Africa to prosper by gaining more autonomy, cost-efficiency agility and reach.  In a competitive digitally integrated world, we are setting Africa free by ensuring compliant technological banking tools prevent businesses and investors from being constrained.

This is only the beginning as we increase our footprint with more licenses in, Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond so that we can support our clients wherever their business takes them.

 

By Simon Tobelem, ACBM Group CEO