COMPETITION

Fintechs battle for Sh5million prize in Coop bank innovation challenge

The five shortlisted candidates were selected by a panel of evaluators from a list of over 500 applicants

In Summary

•The fintechs have been undergoing a 5-week codevelopment and co-design program after which a virtual demo event will be held to select one or more winners.

•The challenge will enable the bank to identify and partner with innovators who can rapidly develop solutions to build value for Co-operatives.

Co-op Bank’s Head of Digital Experience & Innovation Russel Akuom, Amina Saidi of Co-operatives Banking and Agri-Value Chain Manager Vera Nyaboke prepare for the virtual demo event where winners of the on-going Akili Kali Innovation Challenge will be selected
Co-op Bank’s Head of Digital Experience & Innovation Russel Akuom, Amina Saidi of Co-operatives Banking and Agri-Value Chain Manager Vera Nyaboke prepare for the virtual demo event where winners of the on-going Akili Kali Innovation Challenge will be selected
Image: COURTESY

Five local fintechs are set to battle it out for a Sh500 million cash prize and an opportunity to integrate and launch their innovation with Co-operative bank

The fintechs have been undergoing a 5-week codevelopment and co-design program after which a virtual demo event will be held to select one or more winners.

The shortlisted candidates; Awamo 360 Kenya Ltd, Herufi Technologies Ltd, Jamborow Ltd, Smart Matatu and Chamasoft Ltd were selected by a panel of evaluators from a list of over 500 applicants.

The challenge, which is supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will enable the bank to identify and partner with innovators who can rapidly develop solutions to build value for Co-operatives and enable them to service their members demands more efficiently.

The new innovations will also give cooperatives a competitive edge and strengthen their resilience in the rapidly changing financial landscape in Kenya, particularly in light of the myriad challenges occasioned by COVID-19.

The Co-operative Movement in Kenya is the largest in Africa and among the top 10 globally, with over 22,000 registered Co-operatives and over Sh600billion in savings.

Cooperatives play a major role in all the key sectors of the economy including Education, Agriculture, Housing and Transport.

It employs more than 500,000 people besides providing opportunities for self-employment to many more.

Speaking during the rollout of the Co-op Akili Kali Innovation Challenge in July, the Bank’s Director of Co-operatives Banking Vincent Marangu noted that the growth trends of cooperatives in Kenya indicate a great opportunity for them to offer valuable services to existing and potential new members whose demand for more and better services has grown with the digital revolution.