Nigeria depends heavily on imports for most products everything and technology are not excluded. As of 2021, it was recorded that Nigeria spends roughly $2.16 billion annually on foreign tech consulting, and only 23 per cent of the software used in Nigeria is indigenous.
This import dependency has made it difficult for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Financial Service Operators and Retailers as they contend with the scarcity of forex to carry out their business and service their clients. Financial institutions are especially feeling an added layer of pressure as it concerns the acquisition of financial software needed to automate and digitize their operations.
One of such pressures is the need to pay for treasury, trading, or core banking applications they need to carry out their transactions. Sadly, the acquisition of this foreign software comes at a high price. In addition to cost, foreign software is often accompanied by a retinue of challenges; such as the absence of local domain expertise, local product adaptation, and inadequate support just to mention a few. Foreign software, are ‘defaultly’ designed to conform to international standards, leaving little or no room for the peculiarities of the markets they serve.
Drawing from the success they had with the release of Kachasi Trade Finance Software and Optimus Corporate Portal, Egora is a Treasury Management Solution that allows banks do front to back-office processing and management of all their financial instruments in one place. It has been designed with the goal of assisting banks in centralizing and optimizing their treasury operations.
Although the product is still in its BETA site testing stage, when fully deployed, EGORA will be enabling a standardized and simplified treasury operating model with a “holistic” view of cash, securities, and risks across banking, trading, and investment accounts.
EGORA will manage all financial affairs of a business such as fundraising, currency management, cash flows, and various strategies and procedures of corporate finance, that have evolved with the increased adoption of technology. With EGORA, chief financial officers and treasurers will gain greater visibility into cash and liquidity while gaining control of bank accounts, maintaining compliance, and managing in-house banking and financial transactions.
A recent report puts the size of the combined treasury and risk market at $4.73 billion as of 2021 and projects that it is on course to hit $7.1 billion by 2028. The continued expansion in new markets for many companies places an extra burden on treasury managers to scale up and support rapid growth, hence the need to embrace new treasury management systems that offer the best solutions like EGORA.
In terms of deployment, the treasury and risk management market is bifurcated into cloud-based and on-premises. The cloud-based segment led the market with a larger market share in 2020. Based on end-user, the market is segmented into banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), IT, and telecom, retail and eCommerce, healthcare, manufacturing and automotive, and others.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in a 2022 Global Treasury Survey noted that technology has become the backbone of effective treasury management and treasury applications have become indispensable to most treasurers.
Another report by GTreasury finds that 50 percent of organisations are currently looking for a treasury management system because they do not currently have one.
What makes EGORA special is that not only do banks no longer have to worry about conforming their transactions to the standards set by foreign solution providers, but the software also makes it possible to log into one application, and in one click generate the reports required to meet CBN’s requirement and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). For instance, users can easily separate their financial instruments according to fair value through profit and loss.
“In traditional foreign treasury applications, you will normally have the front office, middle office and back office all sitting in silos as different systems. Egora is an integrated front-to-end treasury management system where the front, middle and back offices are in one system, making reporting, reconciliation and getting timely and accurate information from the dashboard easy. The ability to configure EGORA to meet the unique regulatory requirements peculiar to a particular region puts it ahead of others” said Emmanuel Kalu, GM of Operations for Union Systems
EGORA, is a local word that means community funds or “our money”, and offers corporate and retail customers a lot of flexibility in configuring their treasury products according to their local business requirements.
This article was first published in BusinessDay