Ecobank Group has announced Ghana’s AI fintech company, Nokwary Technologies as the winner of its Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2020. This followed a highly competitive virtual finale featuring the last 10 finalists selected from a pool of over 600 applicants across Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.
Nokwary Technologies emerged winners after fending off strong competition from the other finalists. South African e-payment service Ukheshe Payment took the first runner-up position while another Ghanian fintech, Growth Factor Technologies grabbed the second runner-up spot.
Ecobank Group CEO, Ade Ayeyemi commended the participating finalists for their top-notch performances: “The quality of the products and pitches we saw in the final this year was amazing. Clearly it is evident that Banking in Africa is moving onto a new dimension with these Fintechs leading the way.”
Top Three Winners
Co-founded by Dennis Asamoah Owusu who also doubles as CEO, Nokwary Technologies is a Ghanaian fintech company that employs artificial intelligence to provide financial solutions. Nokwary operates a WhatsApp-based banking service in the country that allows users to make money transactions through basic actions such as voice commands and texts.
Speaking about the startup’s win at the Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2020, Nokwary CEO Dennis Asamoah said, “I was beyond excited. Our company is rather young and to be recognized like this on such a stage was really exciting as well as a validation for our focus on creating inclusive technology right from the start.
“It is also very encouraging to note that a major bank like Ecobank places such a premium on inclusion and is willing to back and promote innovative and cutting-edge technologies towards that purpose. We are looking to work together with Ecobank to bring an AI-first digital banking platform over WhatsApp, as well as other innovative solutions to Ecobank’s customers.”
Ukheshe, an electronic payment platform from South Africa offers digital banking and online payment services to individuals and MSMEs. Ukheshe allows unbanked traders to process financial transactions via its QR card system. The startup was founded in 2018 by Jason Penton and Clayton Hayward.
Completing the top three winners at the finals was another fintech startup from Ghana, Growth Factor Technologies, founded in 2018 by Kelvin Tyron and Ndifreke Anwanakak. Growth Factor’s flagship product, Nvoicia, provides trade financing solutions to small businesses by enabling them to gain access to collateral-free working capital through invoice discounting.
Cash Prizes and Joining the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship
First place winner Nokwary will be rewarded with a cash prize of up to $10,000. First runner-up Ukheshe will be awarded a cash prize worth $7000 while second runner-up Growth Factor is to receive a $5000 cash prize.
We are so proud to have had them in this year’s competition and are excited to engage further with them over the next year. It is our expectation that we will build a few lasting partnerships which will help improve the lives of Africans all over the continent.Ecobank Group CEO, Ade Ayeyemi
All ten (10) finalists were officially inducted into the one-year Ecobank Fintech Fellowship program which will grant them the privilege to explore opportunities for commercial partnerships with the Ecobank Group. It will also support them to launch and scale products across Ecobank’s 33 country markets in Africa.
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