Techfestng, as the name implies, is a celebration of all things technology and innovation in Nigeria. The latest edition took place at the Landmark events centre, Lagos, Nigeria on the 15th and 16th of May 2018 and there was an assemblage of organizations and brands who are harnessing technology innovations like Artificial Intelligence, biometrics, telecommunications, and software development to create products and services that will undoubtedly impact the way we live, work and play in the not too distant future.
Already, brands like VISA offer biometric payment solutions, and Dermalog has come up with a biometrically enabled POS machine that works by interfacing with your Bank Verification Number. An innovation that will without doubts minimize, if not altogether eliminate risks associated with ATM cards such as card and PIN code theft as explained by Ola Olasiyan, the Country Managing Director of Dermalog.
Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems had the mCash solution on display. A USSD enabled solution that eliminates the problems of looking for pocket change while making microtransactions with barbers and kiosk purveyors of items. By acquiring a seller code from your financial institution, any business entity can make or receive payments by dialing *402*sellercode*amount# and follow the instructions.
Diamond Bank came up with “Ada”, an artificial intelligence powered chatbot – a virtual assistant that could help you make your banking transactions seamlessly. Benedict Udokwu, Accounts officer Emerging Businesses says “Ada” can help millions of customers to make transactions such as airtime purchase, bill payments, stock trading, and money transfers all via a social network platform. Already live on Facebook Messenger, the most popular social chat programme, Ada will also be on other messaging platforms in the coming months.
Other organizations present at the Techfestng 2018 event includes Deloitte, MTN, Microsoft, and Interswitch.
Of course, young inventors were given the opportunity to showcase their new technologies and skills and had the chance to meet angel investors and incubation hubs like Roar Nigeria, Wennovation, Passion Incubator and Collab Innovation Hub.
Techfestng was not just all about technology, there was also a wide array of trendy and innovative food businesses that could allow you make mobile payments.
If you couldn’t make it to techfestng 2018, you could make it a date for the 2019 edition. It promises to be an even better time as the event has continously improved over the years.
By Gozie Udemba M.Sc, a food scientist, and techpreneur.