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Kyambogo, MUBS students emerge best at MTN MoMo Hackathon 2022

The winners with their dummy cheques

The winners with their dummy cheques

Kyambogo University and Makerere University Business School (MUBS) students earned themselves $5000 prize money after their e-wage innovation was crowned overall best at the MTN Moo Hackathon Awards 2022.

The e-wage application is an innovation by Ivan Kisa a bachelor's in commerce student at MUBS and Ronald Akuayo, an IT student at Kyambogo University. It is an online payroll system for casual workers that uses the MoMo [MTN Mobile Money] API disbursement service to send wages to the mobile account of casual workers designed to replace the hectic process through which companies pay casual workers.

Kisa and Akuayo were handed the $5000 (about Shs 19m) dummy cheque by officials from MTN Uganda and Outbox Hub, the Hackathon hosts at a grand finale held on September 23. According to Kisa and Akuayo, their innovation will put an end to the long queues at banks as employee struggle to withdraw wages. The application will also keep records, process payments, and ease the work of processing weekly payrolls for casual workers.

Kisa told The Observer that the $5,000 cash prize will enable them to implement their innovation and ensure it is adopted globally.

"We are going to make sure that this system is adopted by everyone and that this system really comes to life. This will really help us get into the market and will be very useful to people," Kisa said.

Besides e-wage, MpaMpe app and M-pay were also rewarded for being outstanding innovations. MpaMpe emerged second best while M-pay settled for third position. The innovators of both applications were awarded $3,000 (about Shs 11m) and $2,000 (about Shs 7m) respectively.

Michael Francis, one of the innovators of M-pay, a hybrid crowdfunding app that seeks to bridge the gap between beneficiaries and sponsors said they are looking forward to launching the application.

"We will engage MTN to open for us even extra endpoints that will help us in making disbursements. They already have an opening for mobile money, but then for airtime and data, the openings are not yet in. We also expect to easily deliberate with other engagements that we need to be onboard as key players in order to support our project to grow. Our innovation M-pay is a simple payment tool, a web portal for now. But we of course intend to roll out a mobile app where different mobile money users are able to register and then find the wallets that we shall have created for them at your discretion," he said.

Richard Yego, the MTN MoMo Uganda Ltd managing director said that as more people embrace digital financial services, such innovations will bridge the financial inclusion gap and deliver more seamless customer experiences.

12 teams participated in the MTN MoMo Hackathon and all twelve teams will get access to the MTN Global Community Developer group where they will have first-hand experience on how to code for projects on a wider market.

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