The Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2022 winner, “Touch and Pay,” a Nigeria-based fintech, was announced by the Ecobank Group on Friday.
The announcement was made at the program’s Grand Finale, which was held at Ecobank’s Lomé headquarters and presided over by H.E. Cina Lawson, the Republic of Togo’s Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation.
The greatest monetary reward for no-strings-attached fintech in Africa went to Touch and Pay, who received $50,000, according to a statement from Ecobank on Friday.
The fintech business facilitates microtransactions across Africa, such as paying for bus rides, with the support of over 2 million users and 500,000 daily payment recipients.
The winner, along with the other five finalists, was also accepted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, a special initiative that allows Fintech Fellows to investigate potential business collaborations with the Bank, such as integrating with Ecobank’s pan-African banking platforms and expanding their fintech ventures across Ecobank’s 33 African markets.
Cauri Money from Senegal, DizzitUp from Togo, MaishaPay from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Moni Africa from Nigeria, and Paycode from South Africa are the other five contenders for the 2022 edition.
In a statement congratulating the finalists, Ade Adeyemi, the Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group said: “This year’s six finalists have set the bar high at this Grand Finale. Their innovations are revolutionising the financial payments landscape in Africa and advancing financial inclusion. It is an honour for the Ecobank Group to partner with them and jointly transform the financial landscape of our continent.” Mr Ayeyemi also expressed Ecobank’s “profound appreciation to all our partners especially Arise, the gold sponsor of the 2022 Challenge, as well as to the Jury who worked tirelessly to evaluate the finalists and select the winner.”
Gavin Tipper, the CEO of Arise, a gold partner and co-sponsor of the challenge, said: “Arise extends its congratulations to the finalists and the winner for the creativity and innovation they displayed. The Ecobank Fintech Challenge has become an important platform for supporting fintech innovators and encouraging bold solutions to advancing financial inclusion in Africa. The talent on offer in this year’s pool of finalists once again exceeded expectations, and we look forward to seeing how the different products transform financial services on the continent.”
Oluwole Michael, CEO of Touch and Pay, expressed his joy at his company’s victory in the Fintech Challenge by saying: “We at Touch and pay (TAP) are excited about the opportunity given to us to work with Ecobank, a pan-African bank operating across Africa. This plugs into our vision of helping 250m Africans process cash-based transactions digitally making them truly cashless and providing true credit facilities for merchants, retailers, and customers.”
Highlights at the Grand Finale included panel discussions on “Sustaining and deepening investor interest in African Fintech in the face of global economic crisis: what should investors, Fintech companies, and governments do?” and “Ensuring Fintech-friendly regulations that accelerate start-up growth and maturity: what is the best way forward for Africa.” in addition to the pitches by each of the six finalists and a keynote address by H.E. Cina Lawson.
Since the Ecobank Fintech Challenge was established in 2017, around 4,000 start-ups have taken part in its five iterations.
52 Fintechs have now been accepted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship since that time. Partners supporting the 2022 Challenge included Arise, Konfidants, Tech Cabal, the Africa Fintech Network, and ALX Ventures.