Citi announced on Sunday the winners of the MENA Fintech Challenge, including Fawry and PaySky from Egypt. The other winners included Octet from Turkey and Wipro/Tradestream from United Kingdom.
The Citi MENA Fintech Challenge offered the region’s Fintech community the opportunity to put their ideas into practice and come up with innovative solutions around four identified problem statements: digitising cash collections; assured payments, Business to business to consumer (B2B2C) enablement, and digitising trade processes.
“This challenge was an important milestone for Citi. We were very impressed with the quality of the applications and proposed solutions around the problem statements. It gives me great pleasure to see the innovation and fast paced development in the Fintech space in the MENA countries and how their ecosystems evolve to further support them”, said Mohamed Abdel Kader, Citi Egypt Country Officer.
He added, “Egypt remains an important market for Citi and we are proud to have two Egyptian homegrown FinTech companies amongst the winners. We hope to contribute to the development and growth of FinTech companies in the Egypt.’’
In the lead up to the MENA FinTech Day, Citi reached out to over 1,000 FinTechs in the region, calling for solutions that could address one or more of the four identified problem statements. An initial shortlist of 60 applicants were invited to pitch to Citi panellists in workshops held across the region in five cities: Dubai, UAE, Karachi, Pakistan, Cairo, Egypt, Amman, Jordan, and Istanbul, Turkey before the final eight teams were chosen (two per problem statement). Each team was paired with a Citi mentor to fine-tune their pitch and solutions before the MENA FinTech Day. As part of MENA FinTech Day, each team presented a pitch and solution demo before a Citi judging panel. Citi will work with the four winners on a proof of concept and use cases. Two out of 60 were from Egypt, Fawry and PaySky.
“It is a great pleasure to work with Citi Bank in Egypt. This is another step in our journey to come up with more innovative business solution in the fintech industry”, said Mohamed Okasha, managing director, Fawry.
From another side, Tamer el Hussainy, Vice President Commercial at Paysky Egypt said “Working with Citi Bank will allow us to offer turn-key payment solutions to Citibank’s consumer in Egypt, streamlining their revenue collections both domestically and cross-border”.
Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) enables clients’ success by providing an integrated suite of innovative and tailored cash management and trade finance services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organisations across the globe. Based on the foundation of the industry’s largest proprietary network with banking licenses in over 98 countries and globally integrated technology platforms, TTS continues to lead the way in offering the industry’s most comprehensive range of digitally enabled treasury, trade, and liquidity management solutions.