financial inclusion
aicx

PaySwitch and Proto partner to provide conversational payment processing to Africa’s commercial banks

Accra, Ghana

Payswitch and Proto integrate to power pan-African payment processing with local language support – a first for the indigenous financial services industry.


With 90% of Ghanaian banks offered no choice but to process payments outside of Africa, one of the biggest challenges to growing the local financial service industry is a lack of credit – specifically due to customer purchasing history being stored overseas. Repatriating this data from Western providers is expensive and not guaranteed. Today, PaySwitch’s solution provides Ghana’s leading commercial banks with payment processing for both issuing, acquiring, and facilitating immediate access to key data for credit decisions.

Similarly, customer support automation in Africa was overwhelmingly reliant upon non-African solutions, with languages limited to English, French and Portuguese – excluding the majority of native-speaking financial consumers who form the backbone of many developing economies in Africa. The key limitation to localized support automation is also data – specifically machine-learning models for languages such as Twi, Yoruba, and Kinyarwanda. Recently, Proto’s solution scaled to power AI-enabled consumer engagement at central banks and financial service providers (FSPs) in multiple countries, with support from the African Development Bank.

To accelerate the inclusion and economic benefits of both solutions, PaySwitch and Proto are integrating their technologies to enable Africa’s commercial banks to troubleshoot and complete payments across the entire ecosystem of existing and unbanked consumers, who primarily speak local languages.

“Being proudly Ghanaian and African for that matter has always reflected in our drive to invest hugely into setting-up and running a world-class payment processing infrastructure here in Africa and Ghana,” said PaySwitch CEO Nathan Lee-Winans Annobi. “We have consistently strived to improve accessibility and inclusiveness with the growing variations in the solutions we offer, and the diversity of business types and sizes we support. PaySwitch has remained the most preferred digital partner here in Africa for most companies that share in our vision, hence the reason we are glad to be partnering with Proto on this ground-breaking solution.”

“PaySwitch and Proto are similar innovators, advancing financial service delivery in Ghana,” said Proto CEO Curtis Matlock. “As we both scale our technology across Africa, it is efficient for commercial banks to have an integrated offer that (a) keeps all system components in Africa and (b) enables payments – often the missing and most complex element – within conversational banking.”

PaySwitch’s payment processing technology will be integrated into Proto’s AI Customer Experience (AICX) software by the end of May 2021. This capability will be released to select commercial banks in Africa, in parallel to Proto’s deployment of its automated consumer protection solution with regulators in Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, and Cote d’Ivoire.


About Payswitch


PaySwitch provides alternative payment processing services to banks and non-banking financial institutions in Ghana. PaySwitch's state-of-the-art payments switch and data centre offer both issuing and acquiring services. It is a wholly-owned Ghanaian Payment Processing company with PCI DSS and ISO certifications, and also a Bank of Ghana Enhanced PSP licensed company. 


About Proto

Proto is the leader for inclusive AI Customer Experience (AICX) solutions for multilingual contact centres in emerging markets, with a vertically-integrated support automation product suite and proprietary natural language processing (NLP) engine for under-resourced and rare languages. Proto's deep-learning technology and regulatory partnerships maximize customer experience, protection, and lifetime value.

Veronica Britanico is a Technical Writer at Proto, and former Partnership Manager at the Central Bank of the Philippines where she contributed to the conversational design of Proto's consumer protection chatbot serving 40% of all public engagement. Veronica specializes in UX writing and content strategy for government and fintech.