Combining tech with any sector improves efficiency, cuts costs and eventually reaps more money. This has been a similar case for banking, as it has allowed a lot more people to take advantage of banking services without being confined to the banking premises.
Ecobank has seen the need to empower developers, and innovators to transform the banking sector through tech and innovation. Hence, it launched the Ecobank Fintech Challenge earlier this year. As the team puts it,
Ecobank is challenging Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs to find lasting solutions to the continent’s most pressing banking issues. Submit entries in one or more of our key areas of interest for your Chance to win up to $500,000 funding.
Since January, the challenge has progressed immensely, with the organisers announcing the 20 finalists who stand the chance of winning that huge cash prize. Out of the 20 listed, 3 of the teams were Ghanaian; DigiTeller, Inclusive FT, and Invest Mobile.
The rest of this post will outline what exactly these teams and their products are all about.
DigiTeller is a bot-powered system that allows customers to conduct banking transactions via selected chat services. Simply, the product will allow you to connect to your bank, allowing you to manage money and do more quickly and easily, simply by chatting.
The service will allow customers to use conversational language to interact with their bank accounts, querying bank information, setting financial goals, etc. all while being provided a secure, encrypted communication platform to carry out these services.
The team plans to roll out the DigiTeller service on Messenger, iMessages and Slack soon.
The team wants to provide Inclusive ID, a single identity verification API that connects unbanked Africans to the global economy. It enables African-focused financial service providers to meet AML, KYC and CTF compliance, ensuring the most stringent privacy and security standards as well as reduce cost of customer acquisition. By implementing Inclusive ID API via their digital channels, customers of financial institutions can remotely access financial services, participate in cross-border trade, hence build digital financial identities with lesser perceived risk.
In other words, Inclusive will help customers to verify their identity by connecting their information with a system instead of submitting photographs and utility bills during any bank registration, to prove their legitimacy.
The solution is a mobile app that helps customers to get access to financial investment solutions through their mobile phone regardless of an internet connection. Customers are able to select either long or short term investment solutions through our app or via our USSD platform.
The app intelligently integrates with the mobile money account of the subscriber and an agreed amount is deducted from the account daily, weekly or monthly and invested into financial investment instrument on behalf of the customer.
This provides a seamless experience for those who want to invest without having to go to investment banks, etc. It could be a great boost to character change in investment habits among Africans.
These are the three Ghanaian teams that made it as finalists in the Ecobank Fintech Challenge; they have all not launched yet but are all in beta though. What are your thoughts on them? Do you have a favourite, click share and add your comments below — the makers will be reading.
Also published on Medium.