By Olamide Onabanjo
MFS Africa, the largest digital payments hub in Africa, and ThetaRay, a leading provider of AI-powered transaction monitoring technology, have announced they will collaborate to protect MFS Africa’s growing network of services against financial crimes.
Through the agreement, ThetaRay will provide MFS Africa its SONAR SaaS solution, including AI-powered AML transaction monitoring and sanctions list screening, enabling it to stay a step ahead of complex and emerging financial crime typologies, and increase growth opportunities with a trusted and secure service.
MFS Africa has made significant acquisitions in the past year, acquiring Baxi, a leading super-agency network in Nigeria, and the US-based fintech GTP, a top processor of prepaid cards across the African continent.
“As MFS Africa continues to expand its business across Africa and focuses on enabling new use-cases, ThetaRay’s advanced platform assures the company an efficient and effective solution that can support our increasing payment volumes, while reducing exposure to risk from financial crimes,” said Patrick Gutmann, Managing Director of MFS Africa.
MFS Africa’s full-service digital payments network connects over 400 million mobile money wallets, over 200 million bank accounts and over 150,000 agents to enable cross-platform and cross-border payments for remittance companies, mobile network operators, banks, non-bank financial institutions, and global merchants.
“Moving from a rules-based solution to a sophisticated AI platform is a game-changer for compliance, thanks to its new breed of intelligence that drastically reduces false positives and enables us to detect unknown cases,” said Funmi Dele-Giwa, General Counsel and Head of Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) at MFS Africa. “We take our role in safeguarding the integrity of payments systems very seriously, and this partnership with ThetaRay exemplifies our approach to a strong governance and control environment.”
“MFS Africa is leading the fintech revolution in Africa by enabling digital payments that are accessible to connect all people to the financial world,” said Mark Gazit, CEO of ThetaRay. “ThetaRay is thrilled to partner with a forward-thinking company whose strategy is to provide new technology that helps open the financial ecosystem and promote financial and economic inclusion. ThetaRay’s advanced AI enables the trust needed by new financial players to be accepted into the system, helping grow business and revenues.”
SONAR is based on an advanced form of AI called “artificial intelligence intuition” that makes better decisions with no bias or thresholds, offering customers a risk-based approach to effectively identify truly suspicious cases and create a full picture of customer identities including across complex, cross-border transaction paths. This enables the rapid discovery of both known and unknown money laundering threats, with a peerless 95% detection rate and up to 99% reduction in false positives compared to rules-based solutions.