Citi announces winners of Mena fintech challenge

Source: Citi

Citi today announced the winners of the Citi MENA Fintech Challenge.

The joint solution presented by UK based Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company and Traydstream, a rapidly growing fintech with multi-cloud-enabled trade automation platform, were among the winners for Trade Finance Automation in the Citi MENA Fintech Challenge. Other winners included PaySky and Fawry, from Egypt and Octet from Turkey.

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: Digitizing Cash Collections; Assured Payments; B2B2C Enablement and Digitizing Trade Processes.

Wipro and Traydstream’s joint proposal combines Traydstream’s innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered platform for Digital Trade Finance with Wipro’s engineering, integration and global delivery capabilities to deliver an end-to-end solution at scale for Citi with a faster time-to-market. The multi-cloud-enabled platform redefines the Global Trade Finance business, through process automation, centralized rules and compliance engine, wiki-based governance of rules library, complete alignment with global regulatory agencies, smart processing of Trade contracts, and an efficient paper document digitization, recognition and analysis. It leverages innovative techniques from the disciplines of Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Computer Vision.

“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 Emre Karter, Treasury and Trade Solutions Head, MENAPT, Citi. “By offering the FinTech community the opportunity to showcase their ideas, we hope to contribute to the development and growth of FinTech companies in the region.’’

Mahesh Chandra, Managing Partner, Wipro Limited said, “We along with Traydstream are thrilled to receive this award from Citi. This win validates the value proposition that we deliver to our clients. Over the years, we have strategically collaborated with leading global fintech players to develop innovative solutions that focus on accelerated digital transformation for our customers. The partnership with Traydstream bears testimony to it. We are committed and will continue to invest in these partnerships, and harness the power of our domain and consulting capabilities, emerging technologies and innovative solutions to help Citibank and other global clients adapt to the digital world.”

A 24 year Citi veteran, Achille D’Antoni, Board Member & Chief Risk Officer (CRO) of Traydstream added “Citi and Wipro are two global giants who by their exacting standards have constantly raised the bar on client delivery and innovation. We are grateful and honored to be working with such world class organizations, in embedding our unique product proposition. We excitedly look forward to the next few years that promise to usher in a new world of trade processing - that’s faster, safer, less riskier, substantially more economical, and with a reduced reliance on paper, making it a dramatically more eco-friendly industry.

In the lead up to the MENA FinTech Day, Citi reached out to over 1000 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 panelists 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.

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