The Ecobank Group announced on Friday that ‘Touch and Pay,’ a Nigerian fintech, had won the 2022 edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge.
The announcement was made at the program’s Grand Finale, held at Ecobank’s headquarters in Lomé and presided over by H.E. Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation for the Republic of Togo.
Touch and Pay received a $50,000 cash prize, the largest no-strings-attached fintech cash prize in Africa, according to an Ecobank statement issued on Friday.
The fintech company handles small payments in Africa, like paying for bus rides. It has more than 2 million users who help 500,000 people pay every day.
The winner and the other five finalists were also accepted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship. This unique program gives the Fintech Fellows a chance to explore possible business partnerships with the Bank, such as integrating with Ecobank’s pan-African banking platforms and expanding their fintech businesses across Ecobank’s 33 African markets.
The other five are Cauri Money from Senegal, DizzitUp from Togo, MaishaPay from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Moni Africa from Nigeria, and Paycode from South Africa,finalists for the 2022 event.
CEO of Ecobank Group, Ade Ayeyemi, congratulated the finalists by saying, “This year’s six finalists have set the bar high at this Grand Finale.”Their innovations are changing how people pay for things in Africa and making it easier for people to get money. It is an honour for the Ecobank Group to work with them to change how our continent’s financial system works.
Mayumi also said that Ecobank “deeply appreciates all of our partners, especially Arise, the gold sponsor of the 2022 Challenge, and the Jury, who worked tirelessly to evaluate the finalists and choose the winner.”
Gavin Tipper, CEO of Arise, a gold partner and co-sponsor of the challenge, said, “Arise congratulates the finalists and the winner for the creativity and innovation they showed.”
The Ecobank Fintech Challenge has become an important place to help fintech innovators and encourage bold ideas to make it easier for Africans to access financial services.
Again, this year’s group of finalists blew us away with their talent, and we can’t wait to see how the different products will change financial services on the continent.
Oluwole Michael, the CEO of Touch and Pay, was pleased that his company won the Fintech Challenge. He said, “At Touch and Pay (TAP), we’re excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Ecobank, a bank that does business all over Africa.”
This fits in with our plan to help 250 million Africans handle cash-based transactions digitally, making them truly cashless and giving merchants, retailers, and customers real credit facilities.
In addition to each of the six finalists’ pitches and a keynote speech by H.E. Cina Lawson, the Grand Finale featured panel discussions on “Sustaining and deepening investor interest in African Fintech in the face of the global economic crisis: what should investors, Fintech companies, and governments do?” and “What’s the best way for Africa to make sure that regulations are friendly to FinTech and help start-ups grow and mature faster?
Since it began in 2017, there have been five Ecobank Fintech Challenges. Nearly 4,000 start-ups have taken part in each one.
52 Fintechs have joined the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship since then. Partners such as Arise, Konfidants, Tech Cabal, Africa Fintech Network, and ALX Ventures helped to fund the 2022 Challenge.