About the Challenge
Developers, programmers and fintech innovators all over Africa are joining forces with Ecobank, the continent’s biggest banking ecosystem to transform finance through technology and innovation.
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.
Alongside the funding opportunity, Submitting an entry can help you access a host of other exciting benefits that could help catapult your start-up towards success
- Become a Fellow
Enjoying mentoring by leading experts.
- Attract funding
Up to $500K for your Fintech solution
- Go multi-national
Partner with us to roll out to 33 countries.
- Be a Service Partner
Access Africa’s biggest banking ecosystem
- Maximise your reach
Give your start-up full Pan-African visibility.
- Showcase your idea
At Ecobank’s Innovation Fair.
We take a very broad view of fintech. We encourage developers and innovators to submit applications addressing one or more of the following challenges.
Predictive analysis using big data
In the quest to achieve our strategic business goals, of which key components include:
- the creation of sustainable shareholder value,
- drive customer service excellence*,
- develop sustainable competitive advantage,
- be leaders in the areas/locations we do business etc.
It is pertinent that we are able to consistently match or outdo our competition in providing innovative products and services to our customers, with the aim of keeping them happy and loyal to the brand. The customer is central to everything we do! To this end, the ability to understand where the market is going or what the customer wants or needs in terms of financial services and to be able to quickly react to such developments or changes. For us, the key deliverables for predictive analytics include:
- Ability to mine millions of bytes of data from various information sources we have and organize them into meaningful information.
- Ability to be able to deduce information about customer behaviour for available data by combining various data together.
- Ability to use customer behaviour obtained from analysis of available data and predict what a customer might likely purchase or need.
- Ability to tie analyse not only internal data but also available external data (e.g. social media) and make sense from it.
Agency banking is meant to help the bank sell its products and services using agents with the aim of penetrating the market in places where the bank might not be able to go or as a means of selling its products faster. The agency banking platform or solution is a key element for the success of mobile banking strategy and subsequently, our digital strategy. The requirement for agency banking is for the solution to:
- Ability to perform “Cash In” transactions (cash deposit)
- Ability to perform “Cash Out” transactions (cash withdrawal)
- Ability to perform “Account Opening” transactions
- Ability to do “Bill Payment” transactions
- Ability to perform “Top-up” transactions (mobile top-up)
Secured client authentication
The use of technology to provide convenient services to customers comes with its attended risk.There have been many cases where customers’ accounts are hacked, and a fraud perpetrated and the customers claim they never gave out their cards or information. There is a need to ensure customers transaction are adequately protected by providing authentication mechanisms / solutions that do not take away from the convenience of banking from the customer. Some of the authentication technologies used to ensure that users are protected include:
- Biometrics information integrated into the channel which needs to be provided before transaction can be completed.
- One time pass-codes sent to a device as additional authentication (device can be phones or tokens).
Apps to work without internet connectivity
Our belief is to provide every possible way for our customers to be able to transact with their bank and account, and this extends to situations where the availability of internet connectivity is either non-existent or is not very good. This would enable us drive our products to even the most rural of areas. To this end we are looking for solutions or technologies that allow transactions to happen even when there is no internet connectivity. Technologies that readily come to mind include:
- Soundwave based payment systems – uses sound waves to communicate payment data and information between 2 devices. This ensures that a transaction can be consummated between a merchant and consumer with without the availability of internet.
- NFC – there are several NFC payment solutions which enables payment transactions without the requirement of a Wi-Fi or 3G internet service.
KYC (Know Your Customer) is a regulatory requirement to be fulfilled before you can have a relationship with a potential customer. This requires that you obtain and store certain information of the customer before you are able to establish a banking relationship with them. With the intense competition for the business of customers among many financial (and non-traditional financial) institutions, customers demand that their institution provide convenient ways of accessing services. Also with the drive to provide alternate channels for customers to perform their business, there is a need to provide technologies that would:
- Allow customers to provide/capture their KYC without having to come to the branch in a secured manner.
- That would be able to capture biometric details of customers on the fly.
- That would be able to determine that a customer is who he says he is.
- That would be able to integrate and connect to internal and external systems (regulators / government) to fetch or upload data.
Providing analytics that will help improve the services provided to a customer. This will include analytics that not only focus on the banking relationship of the customer but also will provide information and services that helps the customers in his daily life.
To find a credit scoring solution that would be able to accurately determine the credit worthiness of an individual:
- Mining all the transaction data of the individual internally and determining his credit rating
- Easily and seamlessly integrate with external applications to upload and fetch data
- Have the algorithm and ability to combine the internal data and external data to determine the credit rating of the individual
Micro Loan System
The micro loan system should be able to:
- Capture the specifics data for micro lending to individuals in this class.
- Integrate easily to multiple systems both internal and external to upload and fetch data.
User experience optimizing solutions using machine learning and Artificial Intelligence
We would like to take the advantage of Machine Learning and AI technologies to:
- Improve the speed of service to our customers by learning repeated tasks and delivering the service faster to customers.
- Provide financial advice: automated financial advisors and planners that assist users in making financial decisions.
- Monitor and learn users’ habits and needs and alert and coach users, when appropriate.
- Automated agents in our contact and service centers that respond to customers queries and resolves customer issues.
Blockchain technology / solutions within Banking
How do we take advantage of the blockchain technology in its early stages and be at the fore front of the usage of the technology in the banking space?
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