Q&A with Bronwyn Pretorius, Head of Marketing at Mukuru

Bronwyn Pretorius, Head of Marketing at Mukuru, is a seasoned marketeer with over 14 years of experience. In her current position as HOD Marketing for one of the largest Remittance led FinTech's in Africa, she has entered into a new industry of Financial Services where she aims to bring a positive change with strategic planning, implementation and leveraging her innate interpersonal skills with the focus of delivery.

Understand your customer and their respective pain points, by understanding their needs and challenges, it is easy to offer them relevant products that would benefit their lives.



MEDIA7: Could you tell us something about your career journey so far, and what made you want this position at Mukuru?
BRONWYN PRETORIUS:
I have over 14 years' experience across Retail and Financial Services. I started my career working for one of the largest Retailers in Africa where I was able to learn valuable lessons about best marketing practices, strategy, team management as well as customer behaviour. After more than a decade in the retail industry, I wanted to work for a respected organization that makes it their priority and responsibility to make a difference in people’s daily lives. Mukuru is just that. The core of the organization is to help emerging African consumers on their journey towards financial inclusion.


M7: Could you give our readers a sense of the demographic of Mukuru and tell us a little about your culture?
BP:
At Mukuru we have a customer base who are from over 20 countries across Africa, UK and Asia. For this reason, our staff are also very diverse coming from various parts of the world. Mukuru is a melting pot of different cultures – an example of this relates to our Contact Centre where the staff who speak to our customers on a daily basis speak a total of 35 different languages. The culture is very progressive, dynamic and promotes high delivery with a sense of fun and family as key values that make our organization a fantastic place to work at.


COVID-19 has accelerated digitization around the world and created a very sharp incentive to speed up innovation and bring products to market.



M7: You have recently launched Mukuru Groceries, what are your best practices for creating an ideal customer experience?
BP:
Mukuru groceries actually launched in 2020, at the time of the Covid 19 pandemic launch. Prior to launch, the Mukuru customers had been asking us to launch a grocery service and as an organization that places the customer at the core of everything that we do, the decision was made to implement a grocery offering. The time of launch happened to be the early stages of the Covid 19 pandemic and a time where Zimbabweans were facing the uncertainty of whether certain goods would be available on the shelf as well as price fluctuations on commodity products. Mukuru then introduced a pre-packed basket of staples at a set price so that customers would rest assured that the products would be available and that the pricing as advertised would not be changed upon collection. Mukuru Groceries, especially at the time ensured that families would be provided for and given the best chance to remain healthy throughout the crisis period.

Recently, though the same concept was launched for Malawi, where customers who live and work in South Africa, are able to purchase a pre-pack basket of products for their families in Malawi. In terms of best practices when it comes to customer experience, there are two main ones that I live by:
 

  • Understand your customer and their respective pain points, by understanding their needs and challenges it is easy to offer them relevant products that would benefit their lives. I never try to force a product on a customer but rather look at the customer behaviour to determine which products and services are the best fit for that specific customer segment.

  • Capturing customer feedback – as with the Mukuru groceries example, our customers had been asking for a grocery service for some time and after evaluating the viability of the request realising the natural fit within our organisation it was an easy decision to make. The Mukuru business aims to innovate to help improve our customers' daily lives and the Mukuru groceries offering is just one example of how we do this.

M7: How has COVID-19 affected the FinTech industry? What was Mukuru’s strategy to recover from that?
BP:
Some customer segments were exceptionally hard hit during the lockdown, presumably because their ability to earn an income was acutely affected however there was a large core of transacting customers who turned out to be resilient; sending regular amounts throughout lockdowns and restrictions. We believe this is the result of the purpose underpinning remittance flows – the need to support families in the country of origin. COVID-19 has accelerated digitization around the world and created a very sharp incentive to speed up innovation and bring products to market. We developed new access points and we drove new partnerships and launched new products in an exceptionally productive period during the hard lockdown May-June 2020. For example, we launched Mukuru Groceries through a partnership with a grocery-focused retailer in Zimbabwe. We brought our skillset and expertise in terms of remittances and partnered with the retailer to create grocery packs. That addressed the friction points our customers were experiencing in terms of the availability and affordability of food staples in Zimbabwe at the time. It was an amazing example of innovation with a limited requirement for deep investment in new technology. We took modular “Lego blocks” or capabilities that we already had and began putting them together.

Our partner did the same and together we were able to create transformative value for our customers. Another example is our partnership with global remittance businesses such as WorldRemit, an online money transfer business with a large global customer base across North America, the United Kingdom, and beyond. Together we’ve forged a connection that leverages their “first mile” — the front of the funnel in terms of engaging with the sender — and matched it with our infrastructure, reach, and customer service capabilities in key African territories (our “last mile”). This partnership unlocked massive opportunities for our customers and allowed remittances to flow at a time when people really needed them. Leveraging our last mile has also seen us become payout partners for large international aid organizations and NGOs looking to distribute much-needed aid across Africa to those impacted by COVID-19 and for ongoing distribution aid cash transfers. Furthermore, we now offer the ability for customers to sign up via WhatsApp. You can send your documents to us electronically, and we verify them and onboard you onto the platform. This means you no longer have to wait on one of our agents to come to you. You can sign up from the comfort of your own home using a standard, ubiquitously available technology.


M7: What else does Mukuru do or provide that clients or potential clients may not know about?
BP:
The foundation of our business was built by providing the continent’s migrant diaspora with safe, convenient international money transfers. From this base we have grown a wide range of products and services that take their cue from our customers’ needs and aspirations for greater financial security and a better life. To this end, we continue to build a highly robust and resilient physical and digital financial payments infrastructure across Africa that unlocks new value-added services for our loyal customers. This includes cash transfers, Mukuru Funeral Cover, and the Mukuru Card which have over 500 000 registered customers.


The very core of the Mukuru business is to help our emerging African consumers to ultimately remove barriers to achieving betterment.



M7: Being one of the largest money transfer providers in Africa, how do you approach branding your company, its products and services?
BP:
The approach that I take is to first and foremost build a connection with my customer. To understand the customer needs, cultural diversity, important dates on their calendars and really remaining as approachable and authentic as possible. The very core of the Mukuru business is to help our emerging African consumers to ultimately remove barriers to achieving betterment. Mukuru is a brand that offers limitless possibilities for our customers by taking away barriers that would normally hold them back from achieving financial freedom.
Mukuru is an African business by Africans, for Africans.


M7: What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
BP:
Blocking out periods each day in my diary to focus on getting tasks completed and off my list. This helps me eliminate one of the biggest distractions – meetings, meetings and more meetings.


ABOUT MUKURU

Mukuru is one of the largest money transfer providers in Africa and a leading Next Gen Financial Services Platform that offers affordable and reliable financial services to the emerging consumer. The foundation of the business was built by providing the continent’s migrant diaspora with safe, convenient international money transfers. From this base, they have grown a wide range of products and services that take their cue from their customers’ needs and aspirations for greater financial security and a better life. To this end, they continue to build a highly robust and resilient physical and digital financial payments infrastructure across Africa that unlocks new value-added services for their loyal customers. This includes cash transfers, Mukuru Funeral Cover, and the Mukuru Card. As a fintech provider, Mukuru has underpinned its successful customer engagement strategy with the ability to ‘speak the language’ of its users and gain grassroots understanding of the unique pain points that customers face in each market. Their engagement platforms include WhatsApp, free USSD, the Mukuru App, and the website. Customers are always able to speak to Mukuru about any challenges or difficulties with the platform, whether it’s a Mukuru agent in a physical booth, at a branch, over the telephone, or via a virtual live chat function in a language of the customer’s choosing, and often in their mother tongue.

More THOUGHT LEADERS

'Fintech industry faces similar challenges as the tech industry in terms of security hygiene,' says Tim Theuri

Media 7 | August 1, 2023

Tim Theuri is a cybersecurity and risk expert with extensive experience in the financial and telecommunications sectors. The combination of his cybersecurity expertise and his in-depth knowledge of risk management enables him to develop robust strategies that mitigate potential threats. Read on to discover his extensive experience in fintech and learn ways to stay apprised of the most recent technological developments in the industry. ...

Read More

Kraken's Head of Banking and Payments, Maximilian Marenbach discusses their platform and the future of cryptocurrencies

Media 7 | October 27, 2021

Maximilian Marenbach, Head of Banking and Payments/Business Development at Kraken Digital Asset Exchange, takes us through his professional journey with Kraken - one of the largest and oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Read on as he talks about the Kraken Bank,  the significance of digital currencies and their impact on our financial system....

Read More

Q&A with Anna Pavlovska, Executive Vice-president at VIALET

Media 7 | September 20, 2021

Anna Pavlovska, Executive Vice-president at VIALET,  has combined FinTech, commercial and central banking experience. She is experienced in European Banking, FinTech, Payments and Digital Platforms industries, with particular expertise in the area of innovative payment solutions, digitally enabled payment financial products, acquired in the Business Development, Innovation, Strategy, M&A, Relationship Management, Change Management, International Development, Sales-related roles....

Read More

'Fintech industry faces similar challenges as the tech industry in terms of security hygiene,' says Tim Theuri

Media 7 | August 1, 2023

Tim Theuri is a cybersecurity and risk expert with extensive experience in the financial and telecommunications sectors. The combination of his cybersecurity expertise and his in-depth knowledge of risk management enables him to develop robust strategies that mitigate potential threats. Read on to discover his extensive experience in fintech and learn ways to stay apprised of the most recent technological developments in the industry. ...

Read More

Kraken's Head of Banking and Payments, Maximilian Marenbach discusses their platform and the future of cryptocurrencies

Media 7 | October 27, 2021

Maximilian Marenbach, Head of Banking and Payments/Business Development at Kraken Digital Asset Exchange, takes us through his professional journey with Kraken - one of the largest and oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Read on as he talks about the Kraken Bank,  the significance of digital currencies and their impact on our financial system....

Read More

Q&A with Anna Pavlovska, Executive Vice-president at VIALET

Media 7 | September 20, 2021

Anna Pavlovska, Executive Vice-president at VIALET,  has combined FinTech, commercial and central banking experience. She is experienced in European Banking, FinTech, Payments and Digital Platforms industries, with particular expertise in the area of innovative payment solutions, digitally enabled payment financial products, acquired in the Business Development, Innovation, Strategy, M&A, Relationship Management, Change Management, International Development, Sales-related roles....

Read More

Related News

Core Banking

Backbase Enters Into an Agreement With Danske Bank to Enhance Its Digital Customer Experience

Backbase | January 12, 2024

Backbase, the global leader in Engagement Banking, has made an agreement with Danske Bank, a leading Nordic bank based in Copenhagen, Denmark. This agreement provides Danske Bank with access to Backbase's Engagement Banking Platform, which will progressively be implemented across our digital channels in the coming years. This will enable Danske Bank to offer its customers a continuously improved digital customer experience, as the enhanced flexibility allows it to tailor its business operations around customer journeys. Frans Woelders, Chief Operating Officer at Danske Bank, highlights: “This engagement is a testament to our customer focus and our commitment to ensuring the best digital banking experience for the future. A new platform that works across the web, mobile apps, and our adviser tools is one of the ambitions in Danske Bank’s Forward ’28 strategy, and the agreement with Backbase is the next step towards achieving that ambition.” Our Engagement Banking Platform plays a pivotal role in achieving Modernization and simplification of the existing IT landscape by reducing the number of silo-ed channel applications. Mobile-first engagement model, establishing a customer-centric approach, seamlessly guiding customers between automated and expert advice. Unified platform, consolidating data, business logic, and workflows into a single, customer-centric platform for efficient journey orchestration, benefiting both customers and bank employees. Agility and freedom, enhancing flexibility to swiftly implement business capabilities and adapt to evolving market dynamics. Christian Bornfeld, Head of Personal Customers and Financial Crime Risk and Prevention at Danske Bank, says: “This platform will allow us to take our interaction with customers through our digital solutions to the next level and to introduce enhancements at greater speed than ever before. It will thus enable us to provide market-leading convenience and personalization for our customers with great insights, increased proactivity, and easy access to assistance and advice.” Jouk Pleiter, Founder and CEO of Backbase, shares, “We are thrilled to announce the engagement with Danske Bank, a visionary collaboration set to redefine the future of banking. Together, we will execute a bank-wide, digital transformation program and elevate Danske Bank's customer experience to new heights.” About Backbase Backbase is on a mission to re-architect banking around the customer. Backbase created the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform – a unified platform with the customer at the center, empowering banks to accelerate their digital transformation. From customer onboarding to servicing, loyalty, and loan origination, our single platform — open and frictionless, with ready-to-go apps — improves every aspect of the customer experience. Built from the ground up with the customer at the heart, our Engagement Banking Platform easily plugs into existing core banking systems and comes pre-integrated with the latest fintechs so financial institutions can innovate at scale. Industry analysts Forrester, Gartner, Celent, Omdia, and IDC continuously recognize Backbase’s category leadership. Over 120 financials around the world have embraced the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform - including AIB, Banorte, Barclays, BIAT, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO, Banque Saudi Fransi, BRD, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Discovery Bank, First National Bank, HDFC, Ila Bank, KeyBank, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest, Navy Federal Credit Union, OTP Group, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, RBC, Standard Bank, Saudi National Bank, Société Générale, Truist, and TPBank.

Read More

Financial Management, Payments

Orange Finances Money Mali and TerraPay Forge Strategic Partnership for Seamless Cross-border Payments

TerraPay | January 09, 2024

Orange Finances Money Mali, a leading Electronic Money Establishment and subsidiary of Orange Mali, is proud to announce a groundbreaking partnership with TerraPay, a global cross-border payments network with an extensive reach. This partnership marks a significant milestone in the digital financial landscape for Mali, connecting over 12 Million Malians to the vast diaspora residing across the globe, including other African countries. Bringing together Orange Finances Money Mali's commitment to promoting financial inclusion and TerraPay's proven expertise in facilitating secure cross-border payments, this partnership is set to empower Malians with innovative and seamless financial services. Financial inclusion continues to be one of the biggest challenges across West Africa and Orange Finances Money Mali has been dedicated to bridging this gap by striving to boost accessibility and inclusion through their services. One of the key highlights of this alliance is the ease with which Orange Money Mali customers can either cash out the funds received in their wallets or directly use them for everyday needs, including bill payments, supermarket purchases, and person-to-person transfers. Orange Finances Money is dedicated to issuing, managing, and distributing electronic money under the Orange Money brand in Mali. Djeneba Tandjigora, Chief of Transfer Services and Core Business at Orange Finances Money Mali, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, "Orange Money Mali customers can now receive money transfers from several countries using TerraPay's global network. This strategic collaboration simplifies transactions making them quick and secure, enhances the customer experience for Orange Money users and strengthens financial inclusion in Mali." Amel Kane, Regional Sales Manager Francophone West Africa at TerraPay, views this collaboration as an opportunity to enhance the quality of service and customer satisfaction. "With a direct connection to Orange Finances Money Mali, TerraPay can ensure a seamless cross-border payment experience, reducing operational issues and providing prompt assistance to our partner's clients. This collaboration reinforces our commitment to expanding our direct rails and continually improving our service offerings," stated Amel. Combining Orange Finances Money Mali's rapidly growing client database and TerraPay's wide network spanning 120+ receive countries, 210+ send countries, 7.5Bn+ bank accounts, and 2.1Bn+ mobile wallets – this partnership is poised to make a significant impact on the region's digital and financial services landscape. Partnering with Mali's biggest mobile money operator enables TerraPay to stay true to its commitment to quality and provide the best cross-border payment services in the region. Orange Finances Money Mali and TerraPay's strategic partnership not only strengthens connectivity between Mali and the global financial network but also positions both entities for accelerated growth in the digital payments landscape. The convenience and accessibility offered by this collaboration will undoubtedly benefit industry players, the public, customers, and merchants alike. About TerraPay TerraPay simplifies the movement of money everywhere – providing a single connection to the most expansive cross-border payments network regulated in 29 global markets and enabling payments to 120+ receive countries, 210+ send countries, 7.5Bn+ bank accounts and 2.1Bn+ mobile wallets. TerraPay is on a mission to connect a borderless financial world, making moving money everywhere instant, reliable, transparent and fully compliant. TerraPay pushes the boundaries for global businesses – ranging from banks, fintechs and money-transfer operators to travel businesses, creator economy platforms and e-commerce marketplaces – while driving financial inclusion in even the most inaccessible markets. Founded in 2014, TerraPay is headquartered in London, with global offices in Bangalore, Dubai, Miami, Bogota, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Hague, Dakar, Joburg, Nairobi, Milan, Singapore and is expanding rapidly, having received funding from leading investors, including the IFC (the World Bank), Prime Ventures, Partech Africa and Visa. About Orange Finances Money Mali Orange Finances Money Mali is an Electronic Money Establishment, subsidiary of Orange Mali and approved by the Central Bank of West African States. Created in 2015, the company guarantees the issuance, management, and distribution of electronic money under the Orange Money brand in Mali.

Read More

Financial Management

BlackRock Agrees to Acquire Global Infrastructure Partners (“GIP”), Creating a World Leading Infrastructure Private Markets Investment Platform

BlackRock, Inc. | January 15, 2024

BlackRock, Inc. and Global Infrastructure Partners a leading independent infrastructure fund manager, jointly announce that they have entered into an agreement for BlackRock to acquire GIP for total consideration of $3 billion of cash and approximately 12 million shares of BlackRock common stock. A $1 trillion market today, infrastructure is forecast to be one of the fastest growing segments of private markets in the years ahead. A number of long-term structural trends support an acceleration in infrastructure investment. These include increasing global demand for upgraded digital infrastructure like fiber broadband, cell towers and data centers; renewed investment in logistical hubs such as airports, railroads and shipping ports as supply chains are rewired; and a movement toward decarbonization and energy security in many parts of the world. Further, large government deficits mean that the mobilization of capital through public-private partnerships will be critical for funding important infrastructure. Finally, as capital has become more scarce in a higher interest rate environment, companies are exploring partnership opportunities for their embedded infrastructure assets to improve their returns on invested capital or to raise capital to reinvest in their core businesses. BlackRock has a broad network of global corporate relationships as a long-term investor in both their debt and equity. These relationships will help us lead critical investments in infrastructure to improve outcomes for communities around the globe and generate long-term investment benefits for clients. The combination of GIP with BlackRock’s highly complementary infrastructure offerings creates a comprehensive global infrastructure franchise with differentiated origination and asset management capabilities. The over $150 billion combined business will seek to deliver clients market-leading, holistic infrastructure expertise across equity, debt and solutions at substantial scale. Marrying the proprietary origination and business improvement capabilities of GIP and BlackRock’s global corporate and sovereign relationships provides a platform for diversified, large-scale sourcing to support deal flow and co-investment opportunities for clients. We believe bringing GIP and BlackRock together will deliver to clients the benefits of broader origination and business improvement capabilities. Founded in 2006, world leading independent infrastructure investor GIP manages over $100 billion in client assets across infrastructure equity and debt, with a focus on energy, transport, water and waste, and digital sectors. GIP’s performance has been driven by proprietary origination, operational improvements, and timely exits. They have successfully scaled their global equity flagship series, with the most recent fully invested flagship fund in 2019 surpassing $22 billion. BlackRock’s over $50 billion of infrastructure client AUM is comprised of infrastructure equity, debt and solutions, and has grown both organically and inorganically since inception in 2011. Top investment talent at BlackRock lead franchises that include Diversified Infrastructure, Infra Debt, Infra Solutions, Climate Infrastructure and Decarbonization Partners. The GIP management team, led by Bayo Ogunlesi and four of its founding partners, will lead the combined infrastructure platform. They will bring with them talented investment, and operationally focused business improvement teams with a strong track-record of building and running high-performing private markets businesses. GIP’s founders and teams remain highly committed to clients, and we expect the integration with BlackRock’s broader platform will generate even greater opportunities. Subject to completion of customary onboarding procedures, BlackRock has also agreed to appoint Bayo Ogunlesi, GIP Founding Partner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, to the Board at the next regularly scheduled board meeting following the closing of the transaction. “Infrastructure is one of the most exciting long-term investment opportunities, as a number of structural shifts re-shape the global economy. We believe the expansion of both physical and digital infrastructure will continue to accelerate, as governments prioritize self-sufficiency and security through increased domestic industrial capacity, energy independence, and onshoring or near-shoring of critical sectors. Policymakers are only just beginning to implement once-in-a-generation financial incentives for new infrastructure technologies and projects,” said Laurence D. Fink, BlackRock Chairman and CEO. “I’m delighted for the opportunity to welcome Bayo and the GIP team to BlackRock, and happy to announce our plans to have Bayo join our Board of Directors post-closing. We founded BlackRock 35 years ago based on a unique understanding of investment risk and the factors and forces driving investment returns. GIP’s deep understanding of the factors and forces driving operational efficiency for long-term value creation have made them a global leader in infrastructure investing. Bringing these two firms together will create the infrastructure platform to deliver best-in-class investment opportunities for clients globally, and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead of us.” “I’m excited about the power of this combination and the prospect of working with Larry and his talented team. We share with BlackRock a culture of collaboration, client focus, investment partnership, and commitment to excellence. Investors have adopted private infrastructure investing for its ability to provide stable cashflows, less correlated returns, and a hedge against inflation. Global corporates have turned to private infrastructure as a fast innovator and a more commercially agile owner of infrastructure assets that aren't core to their commercial businesses. This platform is set to be the preeminent, one-stop infrastructure solutions provider for global corporates and the public sector, mobilizing long-term private capital through long-standing firm relationships,” said Bayo Ogunlesi, GIP Founding Partner, Chairman, and CEO. “We are convinced that together we can create the world’s premier infrastructure investment firm.” About BlackRock BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, we help millions of people build savings that serve them throughout their lives by making investing easier and more affordable.

Read More

Core Banking

Backbase Enters Into an Agreement With Danske Bank to Enhance Its Digital Customer Experience

Backbase | January 12, 2024

Backbase, the global leader in Engagement Banking, has made an agreement with Danske Bank, a leading Nordic bank based in Copenhagen, Denmark. This agreement provides Danske Bank with access to Backbase's Engagement Banking Platform, which will progressively be implemented across our digital channels in the coming years. This will enable Danske Bank to offer its customers a continuously improved digital customer experience, as the enhanced flexibility allows it to tailor its business operations around customer journeys. Frans Woelders, Chief Operating Officer at Danske Bank, highlights: “This engagement is a testament to our customer focus and our commitment to ensuring the best digital banking experience for the future. A new platform that works across the web, mobile apps, and our adviser tools is one of the ambitions in Danske Bank’s Forward ’28 strategy, and the agreement with Backbase is the next step towards achieving that ambition.” Our Engagement Banking Platform plays a pivotal role in achieving Modernization and simplification of the existing IT landscape by reducing the number of silo-ed channel applications. Mobile-first engagement model, establishing a customer-centric approach, seamlessly guiding customers between automated and expert advice. Unified platform, consolidating data, business logic, and workflows into a single, customer-centric platform for efficient journey orchestration, benefiting both customers and bank employees. Agility and freedom, enhancing flexibility to swiftly implement business capabilities and adapt to evolving market dynamics. Christian Bornfeld, Head of Personal Customers and Financial Crime Risk and Prevention at Danske Bank, says: “This platform will allow us to take our interaction with customers through our digital solutions to the next level and to introduce enhancements at greater speed than ever before. It will thus enable us to provide market-leading convenience and personalization for our customers with great insights, increased proactivity, and easy access to assistance and advice.” Jouk Pleiter, Founder and CEO of Backbase, shares, “We are thrilled to announce the engagement with Danske Bank, a visionary collaboration set to redefine the future of banking. Together, we will execute a bank-wide, digital transformation program and elevate Danske Bank's customer experience to new heights.” About Backbase Backbase is on a mission to re-architect banking around the customer. Backbase created the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform – a unified platform with the customer at the center, empowering banks to accelerate their digital transformation. From customer onboarding to servicing, loyalty, and loan origination, our single platform — open and frictionless, with ready-to-go apps — improves every aspect of the customer experience. Built from the ground up with the customer at the heart, our Engagement Banking Platform easily plugs into existing core banking systems and comes pre-integrated with the latest fintechs so financial institutions can innovate at scale. Industry analysts Forrester, Gartner, Celent, Omdia, and IDC continuously recognize Backbase’s category leadership. Over 120 financials around the world have embraced the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform - including AIB, Banorte, Barclays, BIAT, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO, Banque Saudi Fransi, BRD, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Discovery Bank, First National Bank, HDFC, Ila Bank, KeyBank, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest, Navy Federal Credit Union, OTP Group, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, RBC, Standard Bank, Saudi National Bank, Société Générale, Truist, and TPBank.

Read More

Financial Management, Payments

Orange Finances Money Mali and TerraPay Forge Strategic Partnership for Seamless Cross-border Payments

TerraPay | January 09, 2024

Orange Finances Money Mali, a leading Electronic Money Establishment and subsidiary of Orange Mali, is proud to announce a groundbreaking partnership with TerraPay, a global cross-border payments network with an extensive reach. This partnership marks a significant milestone in the digital financial landscape for Mali, connecting over 12 Million Malians to the vast diaspora residing across the globe, including other African countries. Bringing together Orange Finances Money Mali's commitment to promoting financial inclusion and TerraPay's proven expertise in facilitating secure cross-border payments, this partnership is set to empower Malians with innovative and seamless financial services. Financial inclusion continues to be one of the biggest challenges across West Africa and Orange Finances Money Mali has been dedicated to bridging this gap by striving to boost accessibility and inclusion through their services. One of the key highlights of this alliance is the ease with which Orange Money Mali customers can either cash out the funds received in their wallets or directly use them for everyday needs, including bill payments, supermarket purchases, and person-to-person transfers. Orange Finances Money is dedicated to issuing, managing, and distributing electronic money under the Orange Money brand in Mali. Djeneba Tandjigora, Chief of Transfer Services and Core Business at Orange Finances Money Mali, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, "Orange Money Mali customers can now receive money transfers from several countries using TerraPay's global network. This strategic collaboration simplifies transactions making them quick and secure, enhances the customer experience for Orange Money users and strengthens financial inclusion in Mali." Amel Kane, Regional Sales Manager Francophone West Africa at TerraPay, views this collaboration as an opportunity to enhance the quality of service and customer satisfaction. "With a direct connection to Orange Finances Money Mali, TerraPay can ensure a seamless cross-border payment experience, reducing operational issues and providing prompt assistance to our partner's clients. This collaboration reinforces our commitment to expanding our direct rails and continually improving our service offerings," stated Amel. Combining Orange Finances Money Mali's rapidly growing client database and TerraPay's wide network spanning 120+ receive countries, 210+ send countries, 7.5Bn+ bank accounts, and 2.1Bn+ mobile wallets – this partnership is poised to make a significant impact on the region's digital and financial services landscape. Partnering with Mali's biggest mobile money operator enables TerraPay to stay true to its commitment to quality and provide the best cross-border payment services in the region. Orange Finances Money Mali and TerraPay's strategic partnership not only strengthens connectivity between Mali and the global financial network but also positions both entities for accelerated growth in the digital payments landscape. The convenience and accessibility offered by this collaboration will undoubtedly benefit industry players, the public, customers, and merchants alike. About TerraPay TerraPay simplifies the movement of money everywhere – providing a single connection to the most expansive cross-border payments network regulated in 29 global markets and enabling payments to 120+ receive countries, 210+ send countries, 7.5Bn+ bank accounts and 2.1Bn+ mobile wallets. TerraPay is on a mission to connect a borderless financial world, making moving money everywhere instant, reliable, transparent and fully compliant. TerraPay pushes the boundaries for global businesses – ranging from banks, fintechs and money-transfer operators to travel businesses, creator economy platforms and e-commerce marketplaces – while driving financial inclusion in even the most inaccessible markets. Founded in 2014, TerraPay is headquartered in London, with global offices in Bangalore, Dubai, Miami, Bogota, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Hague, Dakar, Joburg, Nairobi, Milan, Singapore and is expanding rapidly, having received funding from leading investors, including the IFC (the World Bank), Prime Ventures, Partech Africa and Visa. About Orange Finances Money Mali Orange Finances Money Mali is an Electronic Money Establishment, subsidiary of Orange Mali and approved by the Central Bank of West African States. Created in 2015, the company guarantees the issuance, management, and distribution of electronic money under the Orange Money brand in Mali.

Read More

Financial Management

BlackRock Agrees to Acquire Global Infrastructure Partners (“GIP”), Creating a World Leading Infrastructure Private Markets Investment Platform

BlackRock, Inc. | January 15, 2024

BlackRock, Inc. and Global Infrastructure Partners a leading independent infrastructure fund manager, jointly announce that they have entered into an agreement for BlackRock to acquire GIP for total consideration of $3 billion of cash and approximately 12 million shares of BlackRock common stock. A $1 trillion market today, infrastructure is forecast to be one of the fastest growing segments of private markets in the years ahead. A number of long-term structural trends support an acceleration in infrastructure investment. These include increasing global demand for upgraded digital infrastructure like fiber broadband, cell towers and data centers; renewed investment in logistical hubs such as airports, railroads and shipping ports as supply chains are rewired; and a movement toward decarbonization and energy security in many parts of the world. Further, large government deficits mean that the mobilization of capital through public-private partnerships will be critical for funding important infrastructure. Finally, as capital has become more scarce in a higher interest rate environment, companies are exploring partnership opportunities for their embedded infrastructure assets to improve their returns on invested capital or to raise capital to reinvest in their core businesses. BlackRock has a broad network of global corporate relationships as a long-term investor in both their debt and equity. These relationships will help us lead critical investments in infrastructure to improve outcomes for communities around the globe and generate long-term investment benefits for clients. The combination of GIP with BlackRock’s highly complementary infrastructure offerings creates a comprehensive global infrastructure franchise with differentiated origination and asset management capabilities. The over $150 billion combined business will seek to deliver clients market-leading, holistic infrastructure expertise across equity, debt and solutions at substantial scale. Marrying the proprietary origination and business improvement capabilities of GIP and BlackRock’s global corporate and sovereign relationships provides a platform for diversified, large-scale sourcing to support deal flow and co-investment opportunities for clients. We believe bringing GIP and BlackRock together will deliver to clients the benefits of broader origination and business improvement capabilities. Founded in 2006, world leading independent infrastructure investor GIP manages over $100 billion in client assets across infrastructure equity and debt, with a focus on energy, transport, water and waste, and digital sectors. GIP’s performance has been driven by proprietary origination, operational improvements, and timely exits. They have successfully scaled their global equity flagship series, with the most recent fully invested flagship fund in 2019 surpassing $22 billion. BlackRock’s over $50 billion of infrastructure client AUM is comprised of infrastructure equity, debt and solutions, and has grown both organically and inorganically since inception in 2011. Top investment talent at BlackRock lead franchises that include Diversified Infrastructure, Infra Debt, Infra Solutions, Climate Infrastructure and Decarbonization Partners. The GIP management team, led by Bayo Ogunlesi and four of its founding partners, will lead the combined infrastructure platform. They will bring with them talented investment, and operationally focused business improvement teams with a strong track-record of building and running high-performing private markets businesses. GIP’s founders and teams remain highly committed to clients, and we expect the integration with BlackRock’s broader platform will generate even greater opportunities. Subject to completion of customary onboarding procedures, BlackRock has also agreed to appoint Bayo Ogunlesi, GIP Founding Partner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, to the Board at the next regularly scheduled board meeting following the closing of the transaction. “Infrastructure is one of the most exciting long-term investment opportunities, as a number of structural shifts re-shape the global economy. We believe the expansion of both physical and digital infrastructure will continue to accelerate, as governments prioritize self-sufficiency and security through increased domestic industrial capacity, energy independence, and onshoring or near-shoring of critical sectors. Policymakers are only just beginning to implement once-in-a-generation financial incentives for new infrastructure technologies and projects,” said Laurence D. Fink, BlackRock Chairman and CEO. “I’m delighted for the opportunity to welcome Bayo and the GIP team to BlackRock, and happy to announce our plans to have Bayo join our Board of Directors post-closing. We founded BlackRock 35 years ago based on a unique understanding of investment risk and the factors and forces driving investment returns. GIP’s deep understanding of the factors and forces driving operational efficiency for long-term value creation have made them a global leader in infrastructure investing. Bringing these two firms together will create the infrastructure platform to deliver best-in-class investment opportunities for clients globally, and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead of us.” “I’m excited about the power of this combination and the prospect of working with Larry and his talented team. We share with BlackRock a culture of collaboration, client focus, investment partnership, and commitment to excellence. Investors have adopted private infrastructure investing for its ability to provide stable cashflows, less correlated returns, and a hedge against inflation. Global corporates have turned to private infrastructure as a fast innovator and a more commercially agile owner of infrastructure assets that aren't core to their commercial businesses. This platform is set to be the preeminent, one-stop infrastructure solutions provider for global corporates and the public sector, mobilizing long-term private capital through long-standing firm relationships,” said Bayo Ogunlesi, GIP Founding Partner, Chairman, and CEO. “We are convinced that together we can create the world’s premier infrastructure investment firm.” About BlackRock BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, we help millions of people build savings that serve them throughout their lives by making investing easier and more affordable.

Read More

Spotlight

Mukuru

Mukuru is one of the largest money transfer providers in Africa and a leading Next Gen Financial Services Platform that offers affordable and reliable financial services to the emerging consumer. The foundation of our business was built by providing the continent’s migrant diaspora with safe, conve...

Events

Resources

Events