Nigerian fintech startup, Azapay, wants to make cardless payments seamless


Raise your hand if you've ever been required to wait while the driver of your Uber or the cashier at the supermarket confirmed that you had paid for your purchase. This has happened to me quite a few times, and when it does, I usually scroll through some content on my phone to pass the time.

Unfortunately for Jacquelyne Madu, founder and chief executive officer of Azapay, a fintech startup that has been operating for two years.

In a place like Nigeria, a man whose payment takes some time to reflect may or may not be subjected to harassment, but the same cannot always be said for women in these situations. They could be humiliated, and after far too many occurrences of this problem, she made the decision to develop a solution that enabled payments to be made without using cards.

The process of making lemonade using lemons

The frequent disappointments and incorrect interpretations of product requirements are something that a large number of people who have worked with software developers are familiar with. When Madu was younger, one of his career goals was to work in radio, and he eventually obtained positions at stations such as Nigezie and Sound City.

A developer kept bringing up different reasons why he couldn't finish a project at work throughout the process. She became so frustrated that she began to consider how difficult it might be to create a website that she ultimately made the decision to give it a go herself. She started with WordPress, and within a short time she was able to make basic websites and was well on her way to learning the fundamentals of programming.

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jacquelyne madu 1 909x682 0 1129Jacquelyne Madu, Azapay CEO and Founder.

" At the time, I was working on a project, and we had hired a web developer; however, he just kept making excuses and collecting more money from us. I thought to myself, what is it about web development that I am incapable of doing? Therefore, I navigated through YouTube.

I began by learning how to develop with WordPress, and as time went on, I expanded my knowledge to include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Because of this, I made the decision to enter the field of technology because someone was being difficult, and I wanted to see how far I could get.

According to a report that was compiled by Google and the International Finance Corporation, women make up one out of every five software developers working in Africa. Even though women make up only 18 percent of Nigeria's total developer population (out of a total of 80,000 developers), Madu did not let this stop her from pursuing her goals.

She didn't stop at building websites, and she eventually founded Hotbox Technologies, which is the parent company of Azapay. Hotbox Technologies offers businesses services in the areas of software development and consultancy.

Creating a frictionless experience for cardless payments

Azapay was established in 2020 after Madu's personal experience of losing her debit cards, having difficulty replacing them, and being harassed by drivers for ride-hailing services inspired her to create the company.

" I am the type of person who does not like to go around with their card because the majority of the time I put my card in my back pocket, and I end up breaking it, bending it, or losing the card, and it then takes a very long time to get a new card.

I've been in situations where I've made a transfer to an Uber driver, and then that driver starts locking me in his car because he hasn't seen the alert, and it's easy for him to start insulting me because of my gender. I have always believed that there should be a more efficient method for these individuals to be able to accept payments via transfer.

" Azapay is a payment solution that is centered around cardless solutions that bridges the existing gap between businesses and customers when it comes to confirming transfer payments and making it easy and seamless for both parties. " "Azapay is a payment solution that is centered around cardless solutions that bridges the existing gap between businesses and customers when it comes to confirming transfer payments

 2 1129Jacquelyne Madu, Azapay CEO and Founder

Although many companies are willing to accept bank transfers as payment from customers for their purchases, this method is not without its drawbacks. For instance, businesses frequently have to deal with fraudulent transfers, which they frequently are unable to spot. The rate at which these transfers are completed could also be a source of concern.

Even though Nigeria's banking system is frequently praised for the speed and simplicity of its transfers, it can frequently take hours for those transfers to reflect on the end of the recipient, and in some cases it can even take days. Azapay asserts that it can provide a solution to this problem, which would be beneficial not only to businesses but also to the customers of those businesses.

Users can make a payment with Azapay by providing either an email address, a phone number, or an Azatag. The operation of Pocket, which is a subsidiary of Piggytech Global, is quite comparable to this. But Madu is of the opinion that there is enough room in the market for any player.

Despite the fact that work on Azapay began in 2020, the company spent the majority of 2021 conducting beta testing. As of right now, five businesses in Lagos, Nigeria are using Azapay's solution across 200 locations.

A cardless device that acts like a point of sale (PoS) device is one of the ways that Azapay addresses the problem of fraudulent payment transactions. When a customer makes a purchase, the retailer will generate a Nigeria Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN) number that is directly linked to that transaction. This is the number that the customer will use when making a payment.

In addition, the startup offers a dashboard that organizations can use to monitor transactions while simultaneously gaining insightful information about their own operations. The entrepreneur Madu claims that the startup's goal is to become "both the Cash App and Paypal of Africa."

Individuals are able to carry out the majority of banking transactions, such as requesting money, saving money, sending and receiving payments, and sending and receiving payments. The company also offers a product for agency banking called CashMe, which, according to the company, has an uptime of 99.9 percent and will eradicate fraud completely.

Azapay levies a fee on merchants that ranges from 0.3 percent to 1 percent of the total value of a transaction; however, merchants are not required to pay any fees for transactions that are less than 1,000. For individuals, transactions conducted within the app are free, whereas transactions conducted outside of the app incur a fee of 30 per transaction.

The startup company, which currently provides services to more than 2,000 separate users, has the ambitious goal of reaching 100,000 users by the end of this year as it continues to build on the successes it has already achieved.