It took us a team of 11 software engineers and 86 days to build a Pan-African payments network for Ecobank linking their customers across 33 African countries and delivering a multi-country, multi-currency and multi-language mobile banking app. It is the first unified app delivered by any institution on such a scale.

The Ecobank Mission Brief- a Unified Mobile App

The mission brief was clear: one multi-lingual, multi-currency, cross-platform app for Africa in 86 days!

Ecobank was lucid in what they wanted from their mobile app. A payments solution for their customers across 33 African countries on their mobile devices, a secure and convenient way of banking and one that would support four languages (English, Portuguese, French and Spanish) and multiple currencies.

We knew that no one would deliver the job better than us. After all, we had delivered the eWallet for the Growth Enhancement Scheme in Nigeria in 3-months so why couldn’t we deliver a banking app in the same amount of time? We had the greatest chance of succeeding and delivering on the promise of a unified ‘one app for Africa’.

The Ecobank Mobile Banking App, one of the best in Africa

The Ecobank mobile banking app has been lauded as one of the best banking apps in Africa due to its sleek design, seamless sign-in, and access to all services at the customers’ fingertips.

Since its launch in 2016, the Ecobank mobile app now serves over nine million customers in the 33 countries where Ecobank operates.
Features on the Ecobank Mobile App include:

– Send Money to 33 African Countries instantly
– Open an Ecobank Xpress Account
– Check Account balances & transaction history
– Airtime TopUp for Self / Other
– Pay Billers & Merchants
– Account Statement Request
– Block Card / Cheque Request
– Locate the nearest Ecobank Branch / ATM

The Dream team of 11 Software Engineers in Accra

The Cellulant Ecobank team of 11 Engineers celebrating a successful deployment in Accra, Ghana

The Cellulant Ecobank team of 11 Engineers celebrating a successful deployment in Accra, Ghana

When it came to choosing a leader for the team that would undertake the job, a veteran in the game- Kenn Lisudza, the Celluland Head of Global Delivery led a multi-country team of 11 software engineers, at the Ecobank Headquarters in Ghana to execute on the project. Ken is one of the 17 members who delivered the Cellulant eWallet- currently powering the largest financial inclusion projects in Africa.

“When the challenge came to the table- I knew I was the guy for the job. More importantly, I needed to be up to the challenge,” Lisudza recalls. “ The team worked hard, put up with the pressures from me and the customer without blinking. They were up early, slept late — sometimes on the floors of Ecobank offices. Even when it seemed like it was not possible, we worked together to make sure we never lost sight of the goal.”

As Lisudza confirms, the project was completed in just eighty-six days truly living up to our mantra of #makepossible

Expanding Our Partnership- Ecobank Rapid Transfer App

This year, we expanded our partnership with Ecobank to build the Rapid Transfer app– an instant money transfer service that delivers funds directly to an Ecobank Account, a Mobile Money wallet, local banks in an Ecobank presence country as well as cash payments through any Ecobank Agent location (Xpress points).
Unlike the Ecobank mobile banking app which is solely for their banking customers, the Rapidtransfer App is also targeted at Africans living in the diaspora as it enables one to easily and instantly remit money from their handheld mobile device to anyone where Ecobank is present.

What building a unified app for Africa means

It is possible to build a unified app that caters to Africa’s diversity in language and currencies. The Ecobank mobile app proves that.
For our customers, merchants, and partners with a footprint across Africa, we have built a payments platform that each business can leverage on and as a result be able to offer services such as bill payments, mobile money, and airtime purchase.

Transforming the payment landscape in Africa

Payments in Africa is not a novelty; it is the foundation of building great economies at scale in Africa. Teams at Cellulant are driven by the ever-increasing awareness that the work we do is the glue that connects everyone to everything every day. We achieve this not only by having a team with a can-do attitude but by partnering with businesses such as Ecobank who dare to think big and act boldly in pursuit of better payment experiences for their customers. We believe that if we continue powering Fintech solutions that are borderless and frictionless, the next five years will be very definitive in transforming the payment landscape in Africa.

The Ecobank Mobile Banking and Rapid Transfer apps are available for download from the Google Play and Apple Store.