Transactional Banking: innovative solutions for our African clients
Africa is a continent increasingly integrated into the global economy. Societe Generale, which is one of the leading international banks involved in the continent, reaffirms its conviction that the harmonious development of Africa is key for the world and has pride in putting its local teams and international expertise at the service of the continent's growth.
A corporate must be able to benefit from the same range and quality of transactional banking services regardless of the country in which it does business, particularly in Africa. On this continent, our clients can rely on Societe Generale's historical presence, with 17 subsidiaries that offer banking services to different types of clients: individuals, self-employed workers, SMEs, large corporates, associations, public authorities, etc.
We wish to capitalize on our dual singularity. Having been present in African territories for decades, we know the local context and players well. Our local teams are thus able to identify the needs of our corporate clients and offer them tailor-made solutions, perfectly adapted to their expectations, at each stage of their development. Having reaffirmed our desire to put our most sophisticated expertise to work for our African clients and to build bridges between the regions in which we operate, our local subsidiaries are supported by teams based in Paris and specialised in the various transaction banking business lines.
A better client experience
In the area of cash management, for example, the Group offers a full range of services for corporate treasurers: balance consultation, transfers, salary payments, invoice collection, etc.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation in Africa, as in the rest of the world. Sogecash Net is a set of services available on the Internet, from a computer, a tablet or a smartphone, which allows clients to manage and consult accounts. Our goal is to make our clients' life easier, allowing them to save time and money: we offer them a better client experience.
Financing Supply Chains
In factoring, the Group has developed real expertise in Europe. We were pioneers in some African countries (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal) thanks to the support provided by the specialised subsidiary Societe Generale Factoring. And we are now the leader in Africa in this market segment. This tool is increasingly used by major clients (distribution, mining companies, etc.), which offer their suppliers, particularly SMEs, the possibility of financing their receivables by using a factor, as in industrialised countries. This solution, known as reverse factoring, is an instrument for financing supply chains. It is particularly advantageous for the cash flow of African SMEs and promotes their long-term development.
This two-tier arrangement also allows African clients to benefit from Societe Generale's world-renowned expertise in international trade finance. We intervene to finance and secure operations mainly for imports, but also for exports. The Group offers a full range of solutions: notification, discounting and confirmation of documentary credit; issuance of international guarantees and stand-by letters of credit (SBLC), export credits guaranteed by public credit insurance agencies, etc. Africa is a continent that is increasingly integrated into the global economy. We wish to participate in this process which is an essential condition for the economic and social development of the continent.
Sustainable development: a strong ambition
This commitment to Africa was reaffirmed in Societe Generale's "Transform to Grow" strategic plan, made public at the end of 2017. African activities are one of the pillars of the Group's growth. We have set up the Grow With Africa initiative, which aims to contribute collectively to the sustainable development of Africa, in partnership with local territories and actors as well as international experts, by establishing dialogue, listening and sharing of innovative means and approaches.
We also support African governments' efforts to comply with the UN Sustainable Development Goals by providing innovative green solutions. The Group has thus participated in numerous projects, both with large international groups present in Africa and with local SMEs, making it possible to reduce the carbon footprint or improve the lives of thousands of people. In Senegal, for example, the Group's subsidiary issued a €3 million performance guarantee to build solar power plants for SEN'EAU, a Senegalese water supply company. While reducing SEN'EAU's carbon footprint, the project will enable the electrical operation of the drinking water supply stations in the deficit districts of Dakar.
In another example, Societe Generale Côte d'Ivoire financed the import of components needed for the manufacture of solar panels by the Ivorian subsidiary of the company ZECI. This equipment allows for the production of solar energy and access to off-grid electricity in rural areas.
This strong ambition is also reflected in our support for African companies wishing to develop a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. We plan to help them to establish their objectives, define performance indicators and set up an audit system.
Africa is integral to Societe Generale's strategy. Developing our global transaction banking expertise on the continent is at the heart of the needs of our corporate clients, who are creating growth and employment on the continent every day.
Alexandre Maymat, Head of Global Transaction & Payment Services at Societe Generale
Laura Berthout, Head of Global Transaction & Payment Services for Africa, Societe Generale