The Lagos State government and global payment technology solutions provider, Visa Inc. say they are exploring how technologies developed by indigenous small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could be deployed to promote the cashless initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Speaking on the sideline of Cashless Lagos Hackthorn held at the weekend, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Akintunde Oyebode, said the forum was designed to solve problems around cash management in thevstate.
He said it was also looking at how to use technologies developed locally by SMEs to solve challenges around the Cashless programme.
He said: “I am pleased with the winning teams and the possibility of using these solutions to solve payment issues experienced by SMEs. If we are able to help businesses optimise payments and grow, it will not only improve the state’s economy, but also create new jobs. This hackathon further demonstrates how partnerships between government and socially responsible companies can spur development and create double or triple bottom line impact.”
According to him, the cash prizes won by the teams that pitched would be used to build the actual solution.
“What you see here is the prototype solution and we hope to take it to the market in the next six months. We also have banks interested in how they support the roll out of the solution for their customers bringing the ecosystem together.
“This is the second programme we launched this year. We look forward to doing more and partner with relevant institutions. We are funding tech startups and issued work space stations to 50 start-ups already and to 25 more before the end of this month.
“In total, we are talking about N80 million in work space vouchers. A funding allowance of N200 million is available and this is the first set of funding going to the tech ecosystem,” Oyebode said.
Leader of Team Blended, which won the star prize of N2million, Olawale Olarenwaju,said the solution is a handy point of sale (PoS) in a mobile device that works like the normal PoS. “Our integration will be powered by Visa because it is big card switching companies that allow us authenticate other cards through Visa,” he said.