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Ukheshe named finalist in Ecobank Fintech Challenge

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SMME digital banking platform Ukheshe has announced it is a finalist in Ecobank Group’s 2020 Ecobank Fintech Challenge

Now in its third edition, the challenge is designed to deepen collaboration between Ecobank and fintech firms with African-focused products.

Ukheshe is one of three South African businesses in the top 10 finalists out of a pool of 600 fintech entries.

Ukheshe is a microtransaction platform launched in 2018. It uses QR codes, USSD and its app to help informal traders pay and get paid.

Its CEO, Clayton Hayward, says being selected as a finalist gives the platform an opportunity to showcase its depth and will assist the company to further drive its objectives of addressing the challenge of Africa’s unbanked.

“We’re delighted to be identified as a fintech platform that can assist in unlocking the potential of Africa through financial inclusion. Through the challenge, we can take Ukheshe further, addressing the unserved and underbanked in several more countries and even across continents.”

Driving financial inclusion

Ecobank has operations in 36 countries on the continent, and the fintech challenge is aimed at all African fintech companies that are ready to scale, providing them with support and access to the bank’s markets so they can grow into Pan-African success stories.

Ukheshe and nine other fintech companies from seven countries will participate in the Ecobank Fintech Innovation Fair on 21 August.

All finalists will also be inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, which provides the opportunity to engage with the bank’s executives and explore commercial partnership and integration opportunities within the Ecobank ecosystem.

The event will be live-streamed and will see teams showcase their solutions to Ecobank’s investment and technology teams.

Finalists will also pitch to a panel of judges for the Ecobank Africa Fintech Prize – awarded to the top team ($10 000) and two runners-up ($7 000 and $5 000 respectively).

Hayward says adopting a cashless mindset is growing among emerging economies. “Digital payment solutions are becoming more widespread, especially in Africa.

“Harnessing the power of digital and mobile payment technologies will drive economic growth and financial inclusion. The Ecobank Fintech Challenge will assist Ukheshe to create further awareness of its banking platform, while creating more awareness of the plight of the underserved.”

The other teams in the challenge are:

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