By adopting ThetaRay’s SONAR AI solution, Zone is seeking to improve its efforts to detect and prevent the earliest signs of complex anti-money laundering (AML) efforts.

The agreement between the two will help Zone comply with regulatory AML requirements and boost its growth in Nigeria. For ThetaRay, it is an opportunity to expand in Nigeria’s fintech payments market.

“We are thrilled with our partnership with ThetaRay, a collaboration that represents a significant step forward in our vision to become one global network to pay anyone, through any means, in any currency, in the most efficient and secure means possible”, said Elendu Uche, co-founder and chief operating officer of Zone.

Zone is Africa’s first regulated layer-1 blockchain network for payments, which includes a peer-to-peer network, a token ledger with transaction rules and a mutually agreed algorithm for extending the ledger.

Nigeria’s fintech market and opportunities

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and fintech market, hosting over 200 fintech companies. The Nigerian youth is the main driver of innovation in the fintech sector due to their tech-savviness and increased reliance on digital payments.

However, 40% of the Nigerian population remains unbanked, according to a GlobalData analyst briefing. Overall, the country remains behind many others when it comes to digitalisation and its citizens’ digital education.

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In that sense, the federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy signed a memorandum of understanding with the US-based Microsoft to upskill 5 million Nigerians with digital skills, GlobalData’s macroeconomic outlook report on Nigeria says.

ThetaRay’s CEO, Mark Gazit, welcomed the new partnership.

“Zone is leading Nigerian fintech innovation with a platform capable of revolutionising the financial system through inclusive services that positively impact people’s lives”, Ganzit said following the collaboration announcement.

“By developing sophisticated AI technology to monitor and screen payments, Zone will embed the trust into its services, enabling it to grow volume, revenues and ecosystem partners”, he continued.

ThetaRay is an Israeli-based company offering big data analytics solutions that help companies monitor, identify, and mitigate cyber-attacks.

In March 2022, it gave Noda, an open-banking fintech, access to its AI-powered SaaS SONAR solution to combat anti-money laundering. The system can detect known and unknown financial crime threats and the earliest indications of fraud schemes.

In May, ThetaRay will host a customer event called “AI in Preventing Financial Crime: A New Normality” in Lagos, Nigeria.