Ghanaian tech company wins Ecobank ‘Fintech Challenge’
Ecobank Group has announced the winners of its Ecobank Fintech Challenge after an exciting virtual event streamed live in Accra. ‘Nokwary Technologies’, edged out the rest of the finalists to emerge winner of the competition.
The first and second runner up spots were taken by Ukheshe Payment, and Solutions Growth Factor Technologies respectively. The first to third place winners would receive cash prizes worth US$10,0000, $7,000 and US$5,000 respectively.
Nokwary, from Ghana, is a fintech that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to promote financial inclusion. Its AI Powered banking solution offers an opportunity for users to carry out transactions in a language to which they are familiar with through popular social media channels like Whatsapp.
South Africa based Ukheshe, which came second, provides a bridge between the card and the cash economy. It has created the world’s first card acceptance platform that allows unbanked merchants and traders to accept and make digital payments.
In third place, Growth Factor is a fintech company that provides trade financing solutions designed for Micro-Small and Medium Entities in order to encourage financial inclusion and growth.
Its ‘Nvoicia’ solution solves cash flow issues caused by delayed payments for SMEs, by enabling them to get paid in 24hrs when dealing with credit clients.
Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO, congratulated the winners on their innovation and welcomed all the 2020 Fellows.
“The quality of the products and pitches we saw in the final this year were amazing. Clearly it is evident that Banking in Africa is moving onto a new dimension with these Fintechs leading the way.
“That is why we are so proud to have had them in this year’s competition and are excited to engage further with them over the next year. It is our expectation that we will build a few lasting partnerships which will help improve the lives of Africans all over the continent,” he said.
Dennis Asamoah Owusu, CEO and Co-founder of Nokwary Technologies was excited about his victory.
“Our company is rather young and to be recognised like this on such a stage was really exciting as well as a validation for our focus on creating inclusive technology right from the start.
“It is also very encouraging to note that a major bank like Ecobank places such a premium on inclusion and is willing to back and promote innovative and cutting-edge technologies towards that purpose,” he said.
He added that the company would work together with Ecobank to bring an ‘AI-first digital banking platform’ over WhatsApp, as well as other innovative solutions to Ecobank’s customers.
This year’s finalists made it through an extremely competitive pool of over 600 applicants across Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.
All 10 finalists have officially been inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, a one-year programme which will give them the opportunity to explore opportunities for commercial partnerships with the Ecobank Group.