In an industry perpetually shaped by the currents of change, the integration of technology has risen to a pivotal status – not a mere luxury, but an absolute essential, putting the dialogue around these transformational shifts at the centre stage at Seamless Saudi Arabia 2023.
As the financial world gathers in Riyadh for the second edition of the annual event, Proxym Group stands ready to exemplify how it can assist companies in achieving their digital ambitions by addressing the challenges of a more efficient and sustainable financial industry.
Founded in 2006, the digital transformation group has helped customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa deliver their digital ambitions. Ahead of the start of Seamless KSA, The Fintech Times chatted to Wassel Berrayana, founder and CEO of Proxym Group, about the nuances of fostering innovation across diverse markets and a future defined by technology and customer-centricity.
Let’s start with an introduction to Proxym Group
At Proxym, we are committed to providing innovative digital solutions to help businesses grow and thrive in the financial sector. The group, headquartered in Paris, has operated in the Gulf region since 2013 and we are proud of the dozens of satisfied customers we have in the region.
Proxym also develops and deploys a digital banking engagement platform – Bankerise® – an innovative digital platform that empowers financial institutions to speed up their time-to-market while leveraging local innovation ecosystems and keeping control on managing and adapting their business processes to better react to market and legal requirements.
It helps streamline the financing process, from application to credit scoring to disbursement, and provides customers with real-time access to finance. Furthermore, if offers valuable insights into customer behaviour, which helps our partners refine and improve their product offerings even more.
Could you provide us with insights into your recent successes within the Middle Eastern financial sector?
Certainly, let me shed light on our recent collaboration with a new fintech player, TAKKA, based in Egypt. Our accomplishment lies in the successful deployment of a fully digital, Sharia-compliant consumer finance app through our innovative digital engagement platform, Bankerise®. This endeavour has propelled our customer to attain a competitive edge, unequivocally setting the benchmark for Sharia-compliant consumer finance applications within the country.
TAKKA, affiliated with ADI Consumer Finance – a spin-off from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt – stands as a powerful testament to the way established banks are leveraging digital innovations to broaden their horizons and tap into new market segments.
This milestone is not only about creating Egypt’s first Sharia-Compliant consumer finance platform but also about strategic agility. During the deployment of TAKKA, our utilization of Bankerise®’s Digital Engagement openness capabilities facilitated the integration of four local ecosystems’ players, enabling an end-to-end finance application and approval process in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, we streamlined caching-out and payment collections, ensuring a seamless digital experience for end customers while safeguarding transactions for the bank. It’s worth noting that platforms like Bankerise®, with their Digital Engagement prowess, are pivotal in fostering an open API economy, expediting innovation, and securing long-term investments.
Beyond this, it’s been our privilege to contribute significantly to the financial landscape. Our technology and services have played an instrumental role in propelling a bank in Qatar to be recognised as the best corporate banking institution in 2021. Moreover, our efforts facilitated Kuwait’s largest financial institution, PIFSS, to clinch the prestigious Digital Award in Kuwait during the same year.
Could you elaborate on Proxym’s interest in the Middle East?
Absolutely, while our initial focus was on the French market, Proxym has proactively invested in establishing digital delivery centres in Tunisia, Egypt, and the UAE, particularly Dubai, where we’ve assembled a talent pool of over 200 proficient Arabic-speaking digital consultants. Our foothold extends across the entire Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, where we’ve forged partnerships with clients in all six member countries.
The Gulf region has emerged as a trailblazer in digital investments, orchestrating a transformative economic shift through technology over the past decade. Our collaboration with this region has seen us pioneer numerous public and financial business cases that are yet to be implemented in Europe. The pervasive spirit of growth and innovation in this region is truly inspiring.
Interestingly, a linguistic connection reinforces our affinity for calculated risks. The Arabic origin of the Latin word ‘risk’ lies in ‘rizq’ which translates to ‘bread earning’. This simply means that entrepreneurship and taking measured risks is the best way to create value!
Our dual presence in Egypt – a dynamic and scalable market – and the Gulf region – a hub of digitally engaged, customer-centric markets – bestows upon Proxym a unique vantage point. This positioning equips us to deliver dependable, scalable solutions with an accelerated time-to-market, ensuring an unparalleled customer experience.
With established legal entities and dedicated teams in Dubai and Doha, our vision stretches even further. As we set our sights on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we are excited by the ambitious growth and abundant opportunities that await us there.
What are the challenges faced by banks, according to your perspective, and how can Proxym Group assist them?
Certainly, the challenges are multifaceted. Firstly, there’s the technical hurdle of liberating banks from the grip of core banking vendors, enabling innovation while preserving system security and transaction reliability. This is where the Bankerise® Digital Banking Engagement Platform steps in, pioneering the Bi-Modal IT approach. By facilitating the coexistence of robust traditional banking systems with agile digital applications tailored to specific market verticals or customer segments, Bankerise® becomes the driving force. Its ‘less-code’ capabilities significantly enhance banking operations and heighten adaptability, aligning banks to better embrace changes on the horizon.
For the organisational challenges, a recurring problem is whether banks should buy or build, or opt for outsourcing versus internal development. We help our customers regarding these challenges by offering a single-point-of-engagement of delivering turnkey solutions (product and integrating project) while providing contractually the possibility to help bank internal digital factory teams or existing IT partners to gain autonomy on operating and developing on top of Bankerise®. Improving the DX, developers experience, of our partners and customers is a strategic initiative we are actively working on.
On the business side, financial inclusion emerges as a paramount concern, particularly in Africa and Asia. Financial institutions have to innovate and dare to launch tailored products and offering for under-banked people including the youth. Bankerise® is data-driven technology and we are helping customers, in an-open-innovation approach, build smarter credit scoring, more reliable and faster onboarding and truly more rich customers profiling.
Any final thoughts?
Proxym, thanks to our digital products and services, helps customers in the EMEA region deliver their digital ambitions. More precisely, we help established banks and financial institutions innovate on par with fintech disruptors.
Meet Proxym Group at Seamless Saudi Arabia on 4 and 5 September 2023