Presented by Zone (formerly Appzone Group), this article features the company's Banking-as-a-Service platform called Qore that is implementing the blueprint for Africa’s digital banking future.
In the last five years, Africa’s financial sector has aggressively adopted digital banking, with more individuals and organisations bypassing physical structures, paper trails and physical cash in favour of self-service offerings on digital devices.
Currently, challenger and traditional banks in Africa are limited to using foreign technology solutions tailored for Western markets, and many of these solutions are hindered by prohibitive pricing, poor market fit and a lack of local tech support.
That's why Appzone Group (now Zone), a Pan African fintech software provider, which has grown to become a payment infrastructure company carved out its Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform from the existing business into a new business entity named Qore, to better digitize banks across Africa, and facilitate the emergence of a fully automated and connected financial ecosystem.
Formerly, a collection of four distinct business divisions, the company is driving exponential growth of fully digital offerings for the continent’s financial institutions – with some of the leading commercial banks, fintechs and neobanks able to leverage its platform for delivery of innovative niche products.
With operations in Nigeria and Kenya, and clients across the continent including Ghana, Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania, and Senegal, Qore is supporting the digital transformation efforts of traditional banks, many of which are still stuck with legacy systems that limit their ability to compete effectively.
Qore processes over $11.9 billion worth of transactions annually in 21.6 million annual transactions serving 18 commercial banks and over 450 microfinance institutions. Its platforms issue 12 million cards and disburse over $1.7 billion in loans annually while managing $200 million in deposits across 20 million hosted accounts.
According to Emeka Emetarom, Qore's Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, the company will continue to empower financial institutions in Africa to become the best performing and most innovative in the world.
In his own words:
“As a revolutionary banking innovator, Qore is enabling significant progress for a new era of fully digital Banks in Africa. Over the last decade, we have played a remarkable and active role in driving the digitization of Nigeria and Africa’s financial services ecosystem. We are excited about what the future holds for us and for digital banking in Africa, especially since we will now operate as a BaaS focused business entity going forward. Qore’s unique advantages are market fit and cost-effectiveness which allow financial institutions to deliver highly relevant products at a fraction of cost. We are also leveraging the platform’s numerous integrations with mainstream payment systems to achieve instant interoperability with other industry players at no extra cost."
The company's vision is to be the digital banking platform that will dominate the new era of fully digital banks in Africa, and to achieve this vision, Qore is now delivering value for the diverse scale of financial institutions in Africa. Mudiaga Umukoro, the company's Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer believes that Qore has built the only truly African cloud-native core banking and integrated channel solution, tailored specifically to the African market.
“We understand the realities of the African financial ecosystem, alongside the limitations that are preventing financial products in Africa from reaching their full potential and solving once and for all, the age-old Financial Inclusion challenge. This is why Qore is refocusing its efforts towards powering effortless and limitless banking across the continent. Having completely digitized and automated the operations and products of almost 500 Financial Institutions on the continent, we are ready to take on the rest of Africa," Mudiaga said.
Qore also powers an omni-channel self-service platform, USSD interfaces, payment ecosystem integrations, merchant services capabilities, and instant card issuance. In addition, the platform provides clients with modules that enable end-to-end lending automation, direct debit collections from multiple accounts, and Agent Banking. These functionalities are available to fintechs like digital lenders and neobanks, as well as traditional banks like Commercial Banks, MFIs, Mortgage Banks, and Consumer Lenders.
The platform also leverages ease of customization and availability of local support to seamlessly plug into the needs of African Banks and Fintechs.
Last year, Appzone raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by CardinalStone Capital Advisers, a Lagos-based investment firm.
“Since investing in Appzone, it has been remarkable to witness the business growth and transformation that has now led to the emergence of Qore. We are even more excited to have a front seat at the table as Qore sets the course for redefining the future of digital banking across Africa. We are confident in the team's ability to deliver on its audacious vision of setting the pathway for delivering effortless, limitless banking for all across Africa," said Yomi Jemibewon, Partner and Managing Director, of CardinalStone Capital Advisers Limited in a statement.
Over the last decade, Qore’s remarkable impact on the Nigerian and African financial services ecosystem, has earned the company a recognition as the de facto provider of banking technology in the OFI segment, and the first and only African Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) Platform..
Other milestone achievements for the company include, building the first African cloud-based Digital Core Banking and omni-channel software, launching Africa’s first self-service platform for instant debit card issuance and building the first and only Correspondent Banking automation platform with all Nigerian commercial banks integrated.