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Cooperative Bank of Oromia in Ethiopia partners Mastercard for prepaid cards and Community Pass

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Ethiopia’s Cooperative Bank of Oromia has signed a new five-year strategic agreement with Mastercard as it looks to boost digital and financial inclusion across the country.

Through the partnership, the bank has launched its Coopbank Prepaid Mastercard offering designed specifically to enable international travellers from Ethiopia to complete global purchases online through e-commerce sites and digital platforms.

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Card transactions will be supported by a dedicated mobile app that will offer “efficient card management capabilities”, Mastercard says.

Additionally, the Addis Ababa-based bank will also deploy Mastercard’s Community Pass technology, which functions as an “interoperable digital platform facilitating service delivery for marginalised individuals and communities”, according to Mastercard’s website.

More specifically, the bank will leverage the Farm Pass digital service contained within the platform to provide the country’s farmers and agricultural cooperatives with an agriculture marketplace and additional financial services that function even in offline environments.

Cooperative Bank of Oromia says it has already extended the Farm Pass to over 11,000 farmers in Ethiopia, including 16 farmer primary cooperatives and four cooperative unions, and has so far used the service to facilitate over 9,200 transactions between smallholder farmers and primary cooperatives with a total transaction volume of $1.4 million.

The bank adds through a statement that it plans to scale the service within the value chains of coffee, barley, wheat and poultry.

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Deribie Asfaw, CEO of Cooperative Bank of Oromia, says the agreement with Mastercard seeks to “address the unique needs of our customers from farmers to consumers and businesses, empowering them to thrive and contribute to the economy”.

He adds that this agreement will deliver “secure and adaptable financial tools” to end consumers.

As part of its digital transformation efforts, the bank also launched CoopApp and CoopApp Alhuda through Temenos in March. Temenos’ T24 core banking engine has been powering the bank since 2017.

Source: fintechfutures.com

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InScope secures $4.3m to revolutionise financial reporting and auditing

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InScope, a newly launched FinTech company, has successfully raised $4.3 million to expand its innovative financial reporting and auditing platform.

According to PYMNTS, the funding round included significant contributions from prominent investors such as Lightspeed and Better Tomorrow Ventures.

InScope is focused on transforming the traditional processes of financial reporting and auditing for private companies. The company leverages advanced technologies, including generative AI and large language models, to automate and streamline the compilation of financial statements—tasks that have historically been prone to errors and required extensive manual effort.

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The new capital will be used to enhance InScope’s platform capabilities. The company aims to shift accountants’ focus from laborious manual tasks to more strategic initiatives, thereby empowering finance professionals with tools to complete reporting and auditing tasks quickly and efficiently.

InScope’s system compiles data from a company’s core systems, such as ERP, along with publicly available information, and transforms these inputs into GAAP-compliant financial and audit documents.

InScope CEO and co-founder Mary Antony stated, “Our technology dramatically reduces the time and effort required for financial reporting and auditing, eliminating the need for outdated manual processes.” Her co-founder and COO, Kelsey Gootnick, also emphasized the transformative potential of InScope, which they conceived out of their own frustrations with existing financial processes.

The company has already begun collaborating with a select group of companies to refine and enhance their financial reporting capabilities. JC Bahr-de Stefano, a venture capital investor at Better Tomorrow Ventures, commented on this partnership: “InScope is already working with a handful of companies to help streamline their financial reporting needs and enable accountants to complete their reporting tasks in minutes instead of months.”

Source: fintech.global

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Citi extends USD Clearing service to Middle East in partnership with Emirates NBD

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Citi has partnered with Dubai-based banking group Emirates NBD to launch its USD Clearing service in the Middle East.

Through this collaboration, Emirates NBD will offer the USD Clearing service, along with its commercial and treasury payment execution capabilities, to corporate and retail clients via its branch networks in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This service will enable clients to make cross-border USD payments with continuous availability, addressing current payment flow challenges posed by varying transaction cut-off times in the UAE.

“The introduction of 24/7 USD Clearing will support the growth ambitions of our clients by giving them the ability to seamlessly transfer funds in a timely manner without having to worry about cutoffs and holidays,” said Ahmed Al Qassim, group head of wholesale banking at Emirates NBD.

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Following the initial launch, the service will be extended to all Emirates NBD branches in the Middle East and globally, including partnerships with third-party institutions.

According to its website, Emirates NBD currently operates 853 branches in the UAE, Egypt, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UK, Austria, Germany, Russia, and Bahrain.

Shahmir Khaliq, Citi’s head of services, described the collaboration as “an important step in our journey to creating a multibank solution that is designed to deliver an end-to-end, ‘always on’ experience for participant banks and their customers.”

“Our 24/7 USD Clearing service is a clear differentiator in the market,” Khaliq continued. “It demonstrates the full value of our globally leading cross-border payments and clearing capabilities, which enable our clients to make payments faster and in a more efficient and transparent manner.”

Source: fintechfutures.com

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New partnership between BIS and MAS targets climate risks in finance

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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have recently collaborated on an innovative initiative.

The BIS, an institution dedicated to fostering international monetary and financial cooperation, and the MAS, Singapore’s central bank responsible for monetary policy, financial regulation, and supervision, have teamed up to tackle a pressing global challenge.

Their partnership aims to develop a blueprint for a climate risk platform designed to integrate regulatory and climate data. This platform will enable financial authorities worldwide to better identify, monitor, and manage climate-related risks within the financial system.

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The BIS, through its Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore, is addressing financial stability concerns posed by climate change. The MAS adds its regulatory expertise and focus on sustainable finance to the effort. Both institutions recognize the complex challenges posed by climate change, including significant data gaps and the difficulty of assessing associated risks.

Project Viridis, led by the BIS Innovation Hub, outlines the essential features and metrics of the proposed climate risk platform. This platform is designed to provide comprehensive data on financed emissions, exposure to physical risks, and forward-looking assessments under various climate scenarios. As the impact of climate change on global financial markets escalates, adaptive and innovative responses are necessary.

The partnership also leverages advanced technologies such as natural language processing to extract and analyze climate-related data from corporate disclosures. This enables a deeper understanding of financial institutions’ climate-related risks and identifies potential areas requiring more intensive risk assessment.

Maha El Dimachki, head of the BIS Innovation Hub Singapore Centre, stated, “Project Viridis demonstrates how regulatory data can be integrated with climate data, extracted from corporate disclosure documents using natural language processing techniques. This provides authorities with insights into climate-related financial risks, helping them form an initial view of financial institutions’ risk exposures and identify areas that may require deeper risk assessment.”

Source: fintech.global

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