By Prince Osuagwu
Four fintech start-up companies from Nigeria have made it to the finals of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative, a global innovation program that tasks start-ups to solve e-commerce challenges of tomorrow.
The Nigerian startups, VoguePay, CredPal, Loystar and Growselwill were among the 12 chosen, from the 238 total entries to compete against innovators from across Sub Sahara Africa for a chance to secure funding of up to US$50,000 to develop their ideas when the initiative concludes in Johannesburg on July 24.
Fintechs in Africa are making incredible strides; not only to bring more convenience to consumers, but also to enable connection for people who would not otherwise have access to financial services or even a way to connect to the formal banking system.
Venture funding for African startups jumped by 51% to $195 million in 2017 and fintech in Africa is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years as it continues to disrupt the traditional financial sector.
With a clear goal of reducing reliance on cash, building digital payment based economies and increasing financial inclusion, Visa said it is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in the payment landscape.
The Sub Saharan Africa edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative challenged local fintech startup to deliver solutions based around three real life business challenges:, including how startups can leverage Visa Developer APIs to either enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally or provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery.
Another one is how startups can use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach and social media partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments.
The other is how startups can leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system.
Entrants were asked to submit ideas to leverage Visa’s network and technologies to resolve, at least, one of the challenges. One winner per brief will be selected, with each receiving funding of US$25,000. Winners will be invited to a work meeting with Visa and may be presented with the opportunity to create a prototype. Visa will then select one overall winner to receive an additional US$25,000.