The finalists emerged after a three-day hacking boot camp hosted at the Vibranium Valley in Lagos. The winning solutions beat three other contenders to emerge as champions.
Blended won the grand prize of N2 million with its solution that allows merchants get validation of transactions via USSD with mobile phone numbers as User pass and authentication. Maverick took the second positon of N1million with a mobile-based solution that allows merchant pay in advance for services, schedule appointments, while also helping them keep track of their payment inventories. The third prizewinner LagosPay developed a solution that collects payments electronically, by leveraging already existing payment channels, and incentivizing payments with rewards and points, clinching a N500, 000 reward in the process. The grants will be used for the development of the solutions, courtesy of Visa.
Speaking at the event, Kemi Okusanya, General Manager, Visa West Africa, expressed Visa’s deep commitment in ensuring that merchants have access to innovative technologies to make and receive payments. Kemi said: “We constantly strive to reduce reliance on cash, and encourage the development of a digital payments ecosystem for both individuals and businesses. I am very impressed with the quality of solutions developed by these teams and look forward to seeing them adopted by businesses across Nigeria”.
Also speaking, Akintunde Oyebode, the Executive Secretary LSETF, said: “I am pleased with the winning teams and the possibility of using these solutions to solve payment issues experienced by small businesses. If we are able to help businesses optimize payments and grow, it will not only improve the State’s economy, but also create new jobs. Lagos Innovates will continue to build platforms that develop homegrown technology solutions usable in Nigeria and beyond. I will like to thank our partner, Visa; and other implementation partners, Passion Incubator and Venture Garden Group. This hackathon further demonstrates how partnerships between Government and socially responsible companies can spur development and create double or triple bottom line impact.”
The hackathon hosted an array of Nigerian software developers, programmers, coders, data specialists and designers who developed technology-based financial solutions to allow MSMEs make and receive payments, make bulk purchases and keep transaction inventory.