Easy Change Emerges winner of Wema Bank’s Hackaholics

Easy Change a mobile application that tends to solve the problem of change associated with transport fare, has won the $10,000 prize for the Wema Bank Hackaholics.


Wema Bank’s Managing Director, Mr Ademola Adebise, said on Tuesday in Lagos that the bank’s aspiration was to be a very innovative bank.

Adebise said that as an innovative bank, Wema Bank set up the Hackaholics and decided to make it an annual event.

He said that the whole idea was to bring the young energy and the entrepreneurial mindset of Nigerian youths together, link them together and try to harness those ideas.

“As an innovative bank, we still cannot have all the ideas internally, that is why we have gone out to seek all these bright ideas, harness them and provide advisory services to them.

“We will incubate them, provide funding and we believe that some of these ideas at the end of the day will become commercial to solve problems within the banking industry and the society at large.

“Disruption is a daily affair but we believe that we are building an ecosystem, where we all need to collaborate.

“You cannot be an island if you really want to be successful,’’ Adebise said in a statement.

He said that the engine of growth was the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises sectors of the economy, hence, the need to engage the startups in the Hackaholics.

A member of the Easy Change Team, Chudi Anene, commended Wema Bank for the opportunity to develop the application.

Anene said that the team looked at the market potential, as about 60 per cent of the citizens used public transport.

He said that the problem of change was a prevalent one, as the lower denominations of cash in the society were deteriorating.

“We are providing alternative payment solution for people to pay for their transport, whereby it does not have to rely on network or mobile phone to function.

“It does not depend on Android, it does not depend on any network, as it works with a technology called Near Field Communication (NFC). So without network, without data, you can make your payment,’’ Anene said.

According to him, the target of the team for the utilisation of the app is the yellow buses (Danfo), as the buses are mainly used by people.

“We are working in line with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to see how they can enforce the use,’’ he said