Visa Inc., one of the world’s leader in digital payment has announced Nigerian start-ups – CredPal and Zowasel as winners in the Merchant Payments and Financial Inclusion challenges, in its first ever sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Everywhere Initiative.
The initiative is a global programme that was designed to encourage the development of “the next big thing in payments.”
The winning solutions beat 10 other contenders selected from 238 submissions to emerge as champions.
The programme was structured around three real life business challenges: Merchant Payments Challenge, which has to do with how to enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally or provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive e-Commerce and reduce cash on delivery.
The other structure – Social Business Payments Challenge- was about how start-ups can use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach and social media partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments.
The third, being Financial Inclusion Challenge, which was about how start-ups can leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers and provide them with secure transaction experiences, to build and enhance their confidence in the banking system.
According to the organisers, CredPal, won the “Merchant Payments” challenge and got $25,000 for its solution that allows business and individuals to pay for purchases in instalments across online and offline merchants, by providing them with instant access to credit at the point of checkout.
On the other hand, Zowasel, developed a solution which connects under-financed small-holder farmers with investors via mobile phone-based P2P lending and marketplace sales, as well as give them access to best agricultural practices.