As Africa’s legacy banks undergo a rapid digital revolution, few companies are better equipped with the expertise and experience to enable this transition than Skaleet. The company’s Core Banking Platform affords financial service providers an opportunity to entirely transform their backend operations, explains CEO and founder Yves Eonnet, who has specialised in the field of digitalised banking systems for over 15 years.
“IT systems for banks were created 70 years ago, when CitiBank and IBM decided to develop a computerised approach to banking. Since then, the core of the system has not changed”, says Eonnet.
“We as a company have decided to start from scratch and design a new core banking platform comprising five major disruptive innovations: mobile, cloud, security, open architecture and real-time functions. Each of these completely transforms the way that banks operate.”
“The impact of technological changes on banks’ process, business model and industry cannot be understated. It is extremely important for every bank to understand this and take advice from banking tech experts like Skaleet. Since we have extensive experience in this field, banks contemplating a digital project should not hesitate to contact us.”
Already boasting 40 clients globally, ranging from African legacy and neo banks in 15 countries to well-established European institutions including France’s Société Générale, Skaleet is a respected leader in the Fintech sector.
Skaleet’s dynamic and cooperative approach to software development allows clients around the world not only to integrate its digital service offering, but also to modify its operative capabilities to suit their specific requirements.
“Our philosophy prioritises bringing expertise to our local customers so that they can conduct their own operations. They can develop additional services, they can use our application programming interfaces (APIs) and they can connect and integrate external services with our open application without having to speak to us.”
This dynamic business model enables Skaleet to constantly evolve by learning from clients without having to navigate burdensome regulations in target markets.
“The time when you needed to open offices in provincial capitals is gone,” Eonnet tells us, adding that the challenges of launching new partnerships during the pandemic demonstrated the importance of building local, autonomous and independent institutions.
“We went through that stage and found that it creates reliance from customers who would come to our team to develop their projects. We want to transfer expertise to local populations so that they can grow by themselves.”
Penetrating remote markets
The model also allows for penetration in even the most remote and underserved markets. In the midst of the pandemic, the Mauritanian Bank for International Trade (BCMI) launched its new digital bank, Masrvi, in partnership with Skaleet. It was, in Eonnet’s words, “quite an adventure”.
“We could not take planes or even leave home,” he says, “but after a month of Zoom interactions with them we signed a contract, and after three months began delivering the product. We have never been to Mauritania and they have never come to Paris. Our engineers were working very closely with BCMI to build a solution: we had to train them to adopt our product without ever meeting in person.
“The Masrvi team are extremely efficient and they have been capable of using our platform to the maximum. The growth and rate of adoption are unique and this is very inspiring for African countries like Mauritania, which have a large unbanked population.
“What we are proving in Mauritania is that with group competency and a platform like Skaleet’s, you can bring those financial services to people completely digitally wherever they are. This operation has proven that you can very efficiently launch a digital bank in Africa.”