Ghanaian payments startup expressPay gains $100k Gates grant

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Ghanaian payments technology startup expressPay has been named a winner of the Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, walking away with US$100,000 to help it pursue an innovative mobile money acceptance platform titled Tap and Pay (TAP).

expressPay facilitates fast and secure payments for a host of services, with consumers accessing the platform through its smartphone app, web channels or agent distribution network to pay for services including Surfline, Vodafone, MTN, DStv, Airtel and school fees.

It has joined fellow African startups MMINDZS, Miti Health and Bitsoko in earning a grant from GCE, which funds individuals and companies worldwide to explore ideas solving persistent global health and development challenges.

“The expressPay team will develop a simple and intuitive solution that facilitates the acceptance and processing of mobile money transactions. The product is a low cost contactless solution that simplifies the process of transacting for both merchants and consumers,” the company said.

The TAP solution leverages existing mobile financial service infrastructure, utilising a novel approach in providing low-cost contactless payments. expressPay said the solution will also provide ancillary benefits to merchants to encourage adoption.

“expressPay believes the simplicity of the product will make it easier for merchants and consumers alike to embrace mobile money thereby increase penetration of the unbanked and underbanked,” the company said.

Initial GCE grants are awarded twice a year, while successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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