There is no doubt that FinTech startups are the future, or part of the future for mostly the African continents. The upward spiral in the emergence of startups in this field also gives a hint as to why this area should catch our attention.
Voice IT is an Android app that helps temporarily or permanently disabled bank customers to carry out transaction with the aid of a natural voice interface with artificial intelligence, and it has emerged the winner of Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) 48-hour Recode Nigeria hackathon sponsored by Access Bank.
So the fact that most banks do not put into proper consideration the welfare of disabled customers, creating very simple and easy ways to help them carry out bank transactions at their convenience, just caught my attention, because of Voice IT.
The winning team received N1.5 million cash from Access Bank, one year access to IBM Bluemix artificial intelligence platform worth over N10 million, one year access to Microsoft BizSpark developer toolkit worth over N6 million and mentoring from the AFF team. I really think they deserve a whole lot for their rare creativity.
The competition is packaged to address challenges of customer experience and value creation opportunities beyond payment in Africa. This time, they received 18 teams and 70 participants who are developers, start-ups and fintechs. The objective is to develop innovation that could help shape the future of banking.
According to the Group Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, said: “Access Bank is the first Nigerian bank to fully support the hosting of a fintech hackathon. We are committed to giving our customers the best value and to supporting the fintech community in Nigeria.”
Also, the AFF spokesperson, Victor Okigbo made comments that the participants were subjected to 48-hour intense burst of ideation and execution with teams of bankers and programmers co-creating working prototypes and experimenting with innovative customer-centric approaches to old challenges.
So I believe that disabled people now have a saving grace, at least. What else wouldn’t Technology do for us guys?