More Card Payments in Africa?


More and More Financial Institutions in West Africa  seem to be encouraging customers to make more payments via electronic cards.

Why? Because it seems wherever I turn, there are  numerous promotions and giveaways for using your electronic cards  and the  new card products churned out …


standard chatered


And …

And the failed Ghana  e-zwich card service launched by Bank of Ghana



The launching of different types of card based products

UBA Africard


The Cashless Lagos Pilot program by the Central Bank of Nigeria

Cashless lagos


The Problem…

Even though there is an uplift of  card carrying customers , I have not seen a commensurate   uplift in retailers  accepting payments via cards.

So there are more customers with electronic cards but with very little retail spaces they can use  these cards to make  payments.

Some  of   the Reasons

1. The Card Machines are expensive to procure

2. Connection problems with the card machines

 What if..

[light bulb moment]

We could provide these retailers  with  cheaper card machines using everyday technology products e.g your mobile phone

There are quite a number of these services available

Square : The payment device is free –  the square device plugs into a mobile phone’s audio jack  of an iPhone, iPad or android phone and it is ready to accept credit card payments. Created by Jack Dorsey (Twitter Co-Founder) and Jim McKelvey



Coin: Coin’s circular device connects to a phone’s audio jack via a cable instead of mounting directly onto the device.


OR:  Flint, which relies on the phone’s camera and its software to process transactions. The service works by holding a credit card or debit card in front of the phone’s camera until its numbers are aligned with Flint’s scanning field

mobile payment via camera


Errr.. the other problem is none of these services work in the African region.

So I am proposing a similar simple jack product for the region, but which works with both the internet and directly via  mobile service provider (to try and minimize connection problems)

Who is up for that Challenge? Maybe at the Next Start-up weekend ? Next Maker Faire ?