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Middle East & Africa Regtech Trending

NOW Money Integrates ThetaRay to Monitor Local and International Money Movements

NOW Money, a GCC mobile banking solution focused on financial inclusion, and ThetaRay, a provider of AI-powered transaction monitoring technology, have collaborated to implement ThetaRay’s cloud-based AML solution. It will monitor cross-border payments and support in the prevention of financial crimes. Specifically, money laundering on the fintech’s payments platform.

NOW Money selected the ThetaRay advanced SONAR anti-money laundering solution with combined transaction monitoring and sanctions list screening to stay a step ahead of financial crime by uncovering both known and unknown money-laundering crimes, as well as preventing attempts to violate sanctions in real time.

The new partnership is essential as the number of overbroad money transfers continues to grow, with the value of remittances from the UAE being Dh2.88trillion ($780billion) in Q1 2022.

“Our mission is to create a world where everyone has instant and equal access to financial services they can, and want, to use.” – Noel Connolly

The agreement highlights ThetaRay’s expansion in GCC financial institutions, amid continued realisation of the Abraham Accords that were signed in September 2020 to normalise relations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.

Founded in 2016, NOW Money provides mobile banking services for workers of all income levels, who may have previously found themselves overlooked and underserved. Financial inclusion is at the heart of NOW Money in its aim to provide equal access to financial services.

Gaining trust

NOW Money gives all customers access to its mobile banking app. It provides low-cost financial services including local and international mobile top-up, use of contactless Visa card for online and card transactions and cross-border money transfers at the lowest exchange rates. As a result, customers can send money to their families back home.

Noel Connolly, CEO of NOW Money, said:

Noel Connolly, CEO of NOW Money
Noel Connolly, CEO of NOW Money

“There is a huge opportunity in the Gulf to provide mobile banking services and financial education to millions of people who are unbanked or underserved. Our mission is to create a world where everyone has instant and equal access to financial services they can, and want, to use.

“ThetaRay’s AI technology using advanced machine learning will enable NOW Money to process unlimited volumes of transactions. It will also further expand the business into high-risk areas, and gain the trust of financial partners and regulators worldwide.”

Pros and cons to cross border money movement

International money transfers are an important method of bringing money into low-income countries and unbanked communities. However, those countries can represent a high proportion of high-risk jurisdictions. As a result, remittances can be considered as a potential conduit for financial crime for illicit funds.

Mark Gazit, CEO of ThetaRay
Mark Gazit, CEO of ThetaRay

“We are honored to partner with GCC fintech leader NOW Money to create trust in the fast-changing digital financial world. Our goal is to make the world a better place by eliminating financial injustice against migrant workers,” said Mark Gazit, CEO of ThetaRay.

“A Gulf fintech choosing AI technology from ThetaRay marks another milestone in the Abraham Accords. We look forward to accelerating collaboration with additional financial institutions in the region.”

ThetaRay’s SONAR solution is based on a proprietary form of AI, artificial intelligence intuition. It replaces human bias, giving the system the power to recognise anomalies and find unknowns outside of normal behaviour. This includes completely new typologies.

It enables fintechs and banks to implement a risk-based approach to effectively identify truly suspicious activity. Additionally, it creates a full picture of customer identities, including across complex, cross-border transaction paths. This allows the rapid discovery of both known and unknown money laundering threats. Consequently, this leads to a 99 per cent reduction in false positives compared to rules-based solutions.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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