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Chance for greylisted countries to redeem themselves

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – THE recent greylisting of Africa’s leading economies by the Financial Action Task Force presents an opportunity for the public and private sectors in the respective countries to place greater emphasis on strengthening anti-money laundering regulations and initiatives.

This is according to executives after Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, and South Africa, its most advanced economy, were added to the list because of the deficit in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

Angola and Mozambique were on the list before the addition of the above pair.

“Being grey listed will subject companies to enhanced due diligence. But this also means more frequent assessments for anti-money laundering and terrorism financing,” Ravi Acharya, SAS Managing Director and Regional Head of Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, said.

He was speaking at the just-concluded Africa Bank 4.0 Summit in Kenya, where he was a keynote speaker at the start of the event examining the role of analytics in protecting and securing the financial services industry in Africa.

Acharya noted fraud and financial crime compliance had become burning issues in Africa.

It is not only security that needs to be reimagined for a data-driven environment but using analytics to gain fresh insights on customer behaviour and expectations will be crucial for banks and payment providers to differentiate their service offerings.

Stephan Wessels, SAS Head of Customer Advisory for South Africa, participate in a panel discussion that aimed to take a closer look at some of the strategies to consider that can help guide the future of Africa’s digital banking and payments industry.

“It must begin with fighting fraud and financial crime more effectively,” he said.

Wessels added that using analytics and optimising processes with Artificial Intelligence tools could result in identifying new opportunities to strengthen internal processes and systems when it comes to banking and payments using platforms like mobile devices and applications.

SAS is a market leader in analytics.

– CAJ News

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