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COFINA taps Oracle financial services to enhance digital capabilities for SMEs in Côte d’Ivoire

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Compagnie Financiere Africaine (COFINA), an Africa-based financial group in Côte d’Ivoire has tapped Oracle Financial Services to enhance its banking systems.

COFINA is focused on mesofinance, a relatively new concept that offers small loans starting from 1,000 Euros specifically for small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs).

With the Oracle Banking portfolio, COFINA will bring next-generation digital capabilities to the business it serves, including timely loans and a cohesive banking experience.

The implementation will start with the migration of Cofina Côte d’Ivoire, one of COFINA’s nine mesofinance subsidiaries.

We selected Oracle Financial Services to help transform our operations and services,” said Adiline Haykal, Group Director of strategic projects, COFINA.

Building a successful digital bank requires a platform that can run efficiently while evolving with changes in the market and alongside organizational needs,” she added.

As a first step, Oracle Banking solutions will provide Cofina Côte d’Ivoire the foundation needed to provide and adapt to consumers’ desired digital client experiences.”

COFINA will use Oracle Banking technologies including Oracle FLEXCUBE Universal Banking as its digital core, Oracle Banking Digital Experience, and Oracle Banking Payment Hub, among others.

The move comes at a time when there is a continuous rise in the number of SMEs in Côte d’Ivoire in response to post Covid- 19 pandemic.

The West African country’s SMEs / SMIs represent 98% of the formal businesses sector, around 60,000 formal SMEs, and nearly 150,000 informal businesses which are mainly located in major cities (80% of identified SMEs).

The rise has also attracted a number of challenges not only in acquiring funds to start and run a business but also through the lack of platforms that offers safe and secure payment system and general transaction.

Most SMEs are insufficiently formalized and structured, encountering difficulties obtaining funds from banks.

The lenders, in turn, argue that many SMEs have poor governance and that their financial statements are not reliable enough to qualify them for loans.

To address the lack of funds for SMEs, the government has introduced some legislative framework surrounding SMEs adopting a law guaranteeing that at least 20% of public procurement contracts be awarded to local SMEs.

With increased effort both by government and private partners to increase financing avenues for SMEs, the remaining challenge is to build a digital platform that focuses on safe, secure, and reliable ways to conduct cashless transactions.

COFINA through its partnership with Oracle aims to provide solutions to all entrepreneurs in the sector.

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