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Hackathon participants working on their pitches after selecting which challenge they will solve regarding mobile money and mobile banking

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and FinMark Trust, hosted the first ever Hackathon on innovation for inclusive financial services under the Lesotho Scaling Inclusion through Mobile Money (LSIMM) Project.

The purpose of this Hackathon was to promote innovative solutions addressing some of the identified challenges to financial inclusion, focusing on access and use of mobile financial services (mobile money and mobile banking) in Lesotho, especially among the poor and rural population.

Competing innovators had to: 1) Design and develop the next-generation applications to improve on existing digital financial systems and product offering; 2) Facilitate use of technology to bridge the financial inclusion divide in Lesotho; 3) Create Lesotho – relevant technological solutions to solve local challenges; and 4) Leverage existing information, networks and human capacity to build innovations.

The event was held over three days, from 22nd to 24th April 2018. There were 65 participants, organised into 17 teams, which competed for the Cash Prize of US$ 5,000.

Even though all participants’ pitches were breathtaking, the jury winnowed 7 teams whose pitches were exceptionally outstanding. The prize included USD 5000, mentorship and technical support to enable financial support of all selected prototypes, and one participants’ price of USD 500 which was won by Money Bag.

 The winners were Money Bag; Cashflow; Trio; Bundle-Up; Technify; Nova; and InfoCrasp.

Here are some of the views of participants and audience from twitter: 

Excited hackathon participant whose team later won the cash prize
Audience engaging in hackathon competition on twitter

Profiles of Winning teams:

Technify – Resolved the challenge of different and long steps for payment and the name of their solution product was Integrated Taxi Management System (ITMAS). The team members were: Thato Rammoko, Pule Molise, Mohale Molieleng and Tlotliso Mafantiri.

Info Crasp – Resolved the challenge of limited usability of financial services among semi-literate, aged and visually impaired and their solution product is Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System and voice recognition. The team members are: Sello Mafantiri, Rats’omo Rats’omo and Tseko Moshe

Cashflow – Resolved the challenge of location of merchants and agents not clearly known and their solution product was cash flow. The team members were: Mothusi Kabi, Tokelo Kamohi, Tsekiso Thokoana, Morapeli Thetsane and Motlatsi Lesole.

Bundle-Up – Resolved the challenge of location of merchants and agents not clearly known and their solution product was: Know Your customer (KYC) + GPS BASED MM SYSTEM.  The team members were: Kabelo Ramaboli, Nyakallo Moleko, Tankiso Kolobe and Kabelo Lekhatla

TRIO – Resolved the challenge of management of community group savings and credit programs and their solution product was Sesiu. The team members were: Mohau Ramakhula, Seboka Matsoso and Mosiuoa Sesing.

NOVA – Resolved the challenge of limited usability of financial services among semi-literate, aged and visually impaired and their solution product was Buddy Rescue. The team members were: Pule Maanela, Thabo Majoro and Thoola Shai.

Money Bag – Resolved the challenge of limited usability of financial services among semi-literate, aged and visually impaired and their solution product was money bag. The team members were: Lehlohonolo Makoti, Makhaba Sennane and Teboho Ntilane.

Hackathon competitors' hard work rewarded for outstanding solutions on mobile money and mobile banking challenges

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