In the past, banks felt it was a privilege for anyone to come over to work with them. Yes, provided there was no mechanism to interact and connect at scale, customers would be tethered to their exclusive ecosystems. Of course, the fintechs emerged and are now evolving rapidly across all domains. Now, banking institutions which want to play at the edges of the smiling curve are finding ways to make their ecosystems the platforms of choice. The massive level of dislocation and disintermediation is huge that some banks now understand that a redesign would be necessary: making things easier for these new species of companies would help, after all.
Ecobank Group wants to begin the party and has launched a fintech sandbox to allow partners and fintech companies in 33 African countries to gain access to its API (application programming interface).By gaining access to the API, these companies would engineer new financial solutions. And if that happens, everything would be in the Ecobank world of commerce in Africa. Flutterwave, Esicia, Callme2Work and Africa’s Talking are companies selected for the pilot. If this type of party advances, that my dreamed fintech product will be built to unify African payment ecosystem very soon.
The press release
Ecobank Group launches Pan-African Banking Sandbox Lome, January 27th 2020 – The Ecobank Group announced today the pilot launch of its Pan-African Banking Sandbox. The Sandbox will allow Partners and Fintechs to access Ecobank’s Application Programming Interface (APIs) for the development of innovative solutions for the 33 African countries where it operates.
The sandbox signals a deepening of Ecobank’s commitment to working with African fintechs in furthering digital banking across the continent. This follows the leading Pan African Banking group’s appointment of a Group Senior Fintech Advisor in 2019. With these notable actions, the annual Ecobank Fintech Challenge is evolving beyond a competition to a marketplace of fintech solutions.
The Group CEO, Mr. Ade Ayeyemi emphasises that: “The sandbox is yet another indication that Ecobank firmly believes that digital banking is the future and the future is now. Hence our commitment to lead Africa into the new age of banking.
Group Senior Fintech Advisor, Djiba Diallo stressing the significance of the sandbox noted that “It will create a great avenue for collaboration between Ecobank and Fintechs, give Fintechs the chance to further innovate while developing the capacity of the wider fintech ecosystem on the continent.” Five African Fintechs have been pre-selected for the pilot launch: â— InTouch (Senegal): Provides merchants and businesses with unique solutions to accept different payment providers whilst distributing an extensive catalog of digital services across multiple countries.
Flutterwave (Nigeria): A leader in payments in Africa, providing reliable payments solutions for businesses globally.
Africa’s Talking (Kenya): A unified API platform for software developers in Africa building SMS, USSD, Voice, Payments and Airtime applications.
Callme2Work (Kenya): A one stop platform connecting specialists across a wide range of expertise to clients
Esicia Ltd (Rwanda): A software development and system integration provider – digitizing business processes for institutions across the public and private sectors.