Rwandan FinTech Companies Invited to Compete for Euro100, 000

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By Daniel Sabiiti

CEO OF MERGIMS, ANTOINE MUHIRE

A month after one Rwandan company nominated as a rising star and another company winning the Innotribe Startup Challenge for Africa, SWIFT has set another bounty of Euro100, 000 for FinTech companies in Africa.

FinTech communities, including Rwanda will have to collaborate with banks in developing new overlay services (managing large pools of capital) that leverage its global payments innovation (gpi) platform.

The two winning finalists of the gpi Challenge will receive up to Euro100, 000 each in funding to further develop their concept over a three month period.

They will also get invitations to attend Sibos in Toronto, Canada, in October 2017,

VugaPay- a Rwandan company that provides a mobile payment platform, across Africa, Europe and USA, won the first SWIFT Innotribe’s 2017 Startup Challenge for Africa held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on 17 May 2017.

Also in May, 2017, Mergims, a Rwandan FinTech Startup was nominated among the top rising start-ups (Starts) coming in the fourth position globally. The ranking, conducted by a UK firm under its “Pathfinder Ranking edition of 2016/2017.

“There are many companies out there with good ideas. SWIFT gpi is a great innovation in itself; with this industry challenge we want to foster additional collaborative innovation, drawing the best talents and thinking to our table,” said Wim Raymaekers, Head of Banking Market and SWIFT gpi Programme Manager.

Also in the competition, five FinTech companies will be invited to a gpi Industry Challenge workshop in Singapore on 13-14 September 2017, where they will receive coaching from financial experts and support from 30 gpi member banks.

The SWIFT gpi initiative engages the global banking industry and solves core problems related to speed, transparency and traceability of payments.

Since its launch in January 2017, gpi has dramatically improved the cross-border payments experience for corporate treasurers in over 85 country corridors.

Key features of the gpi service include enhanced business rules and a secure tracking database in the cloud accessible via APIs, resulting in faster “same day credits” to end beneficiaries, transparency of fees, and end-to-end tracking of payments in real-time.

Competiting FinTech companies will have to build additional innovative overlay services leveraging the gpi platform, solving incremental challenges faced by corporate treasurers.

African FinTech startup community and the gpi Industry Challenge could also provide African FinTechs with the opportunity to profile their expertise on the global stage.

Rwanda hosted the second edition of the Dot Finance Africa fintech conference in Kigali city on May 17-18, bringing together participants from more than 300 African financial institutions.

The event made its debut in Nairobi, Kenya, last year, and moved to Kigali for 2017 as it aims to bring together the global fintech community.

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