Ecobank launches $500,000 FinTech challenge for African startups

Following the rise in the need for financial solutions in Africa, the Ecobank has challenged developers, programmers and FinTech Challenge / innovators all over Africa to join forces in combating the continent’s most pressing banking issues, and proffer lasting solutions that would transform Africa’s finance through technology and innovation.

Asides the chance to win up to $500,000 funding, the Ecobank FinTech Challenge affords applicants benefits such as partnership with the bank, full Pan-African visibility, multi-national exposure and the list goes on.

All African startups and technology innovators are eligible to apply for the challenge. They are to choose from different areas of interest as listed on the website and build a demo to serve as prototype — applicants without demo would be disqualified.

A total of 20 teams will be selected to pitch at the bank’s Innovation Fair, which will be held at the global headquarters of Ecobank in Lomé in May, 2017. FinTech Challenge

Before now, Ecobank Group has partnered Mastercard to launch Ecobank Masterpass QR, an enhancement to the Masterpass global digital payment service. The partnership aims to enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria to accept fast and secure digital payments from consumers, many for the first time.

This mobile-driven, Person–to-Merchant (P2M) payment solution is expected to address challenges with the acceptance of electronic payments within Nigeria’s MSME segment.

Users of Ecobank’s mobile banking platform will be able to safely pay for online and in-store purchases by scanning a Quick Response (QR) code displayed at checkout on their smartphones, or by entering a merchant identifier into their feature phones. Shoppers need not carry cash or their physical bank cards, instead payments can be made via their mobile banking app anywhere that Masterpass QR is accepted.

Using Masterpass QR, business owners can increase revenue through the acceptance of mobile and digital payments, while reducing their exposure to the risks and costs of managing cash. Payment is instantaneous and guaranteed, meaning that merchants no longer need to wait days for transactions to reflect in their accounts.

Interested participants can apply here. Applications close on April 14, 2017.