Banking on a fairer financial future
Imagine the scenario. Essential development aid needs to be delivered to a country in crisis. A humanitarian organisation is ready to help.
Their project lead is waiting to deliver vital aid on the ground, but payments into the country are proving complex and expensive, holding them up. People working for that organisation and the people that rely on them need a fast, reliable way to fund projects and pay for vital services to get aid to where it’s needed.
In circumstances like these, moving funds to and within crisis-hit or non-OECD countries can be incredibly difficult. But with new tech, connecting people and making payments to hard-to-reach and underserved markets has become easier.
One of the institutions making this happen is Crown Agents Bank (CAB).
With ongoing development of its technological capabilities, in part made possible by its acquisition of fintech company Segovia, CAB provides a cross-border payments service with a fast, efficient and accessible way to move payments directly to people and situations where it is needed most.
Making the best use of technology to help create a more inclusive, fairer financial system is important to Deloitte, so we’re proud to have worked alongside CAB on a digital transformation. One that’s helped connect people all over the world and speed up payments to those who really need them.
Crossing borders, breaking down barriers
Crown Agents Bank (CAB) specialises in making cross-border payments, connecting institutions in some of the world’s hardest-to-reach regions with global financial systems.
Its history dates back almost two centuries and its geographical reach spans over 100 markets across Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
“As a global wholesale bank, regulated in the UK, we specialise in cross-border payments and foreign exchange for hard-to-reach markets,” explains Richo Strydom, CTO, Crown Agents Bank.
“Our market leading payment capabilities help those we work with to de-risk access to underserved geographies and to move money where it’s needed – no more so than in a humanitarian crisis. We can move money in the most demanding situations, to the most demanding markets, for organisations that demand the most.
“For an equitable and truly global market to flourish, organisations need to work with partners that understand the nuances of local markets to help mitigate risk, improve the flow of money, and create opportunities for individuals, businesses, and economies. It’s something we look to facilitate on a daily basis and in the best possible way.”
Working alongside some of the world’s largest aid organisations, as well as governments and central banks, CAB recognises the opportunities that digital payments present and has adopted market leading technology to achieve this. CAB acquired Segovia payment gateway, a US fintech with similar social ambitions, as part of this process.
Boost in payments
After it acquired Segovia, CAB was one step further towards achieving its ambition of growing its already extensive presence in hard-to-reach markets. But it still needed to bridge the gap between its new and old systems and integrate its new digital payments system with its existing core banking infrastructure and services.
So, together with a team from Deloitte, it embarked on a project that would kick-start the digital transformation that it needed to grow, re-shaping its technology strategy and re-thinking its processes.
By embedding new technology, including MuleSoft, a system that enabled CAB’s and Segovia’s old and new systems to connect and integrate with each other, CAB has significantly increased its capacity to process payments.
Providing growth through financial inclusion
Deloitte director Louise Nickson was part of the team that worked alongside CAB on the 18-month collaboration.
“This was an exciting project that allowed us to help get payments to those who really need them,” says Louise. “Right from the outset we worked closely with CAB to understand the bigger picture and what they wanted to achieve.”
This included supporting CAB in its aim of digitising key processes and introducing one of the industry’s first AI enabled workforces - to free up its people from routine tasks and enable them to work on more complex tasks, like creating new products and growing the business.
“Overall, the changes have enabled CAB to connect seamlessly with more customers and move money much faster,” explains Reza Hazemi, the Deloitte partner who led the project, “which is helping the organisations and people who are working with them, to improve lives all over the world.”
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