Leading Pan-African payment card brand Verve International, has partnered with Microsoft and Nokia to organize a software development contest themed “Build with Verve: Lumia Edition”, which will allow developers build a Verve payment plugin on for mobile apps.

The payment service provider said that the winner of the competition will “walk away with interesting prizes and an advertising push” provided by Nokia, Microsoft and itself. The winning software would also be deployed on the Nokia OVI store.

Verve International CEO, Mr Charles Ifedi, said: “The growth in Mobile App development by indigenous entrepreneurs can no longer be under emphasized. As a company with proudly-Nigerian roots, we are delighted at the opportunity to create avenues for these products to be monetised by providing a highly secure integrated payment solution.”

The partnership is aligned with Verve’s drive towards effective stakeholder collaboration within the technology sector and supporting indigenous IT skills. Verve would be largely responsible for providing the in–app payment service which will enable entrepreneurs and businesses to better monetise their products and solutions and securely receive payments within the app from the over 20 million Verve Cards and Verve payment tokens in Nigeria.

TechCabal founder Bankole Oluwafemi, while commenting on the development said: “Online payments have been the bane of the development of not just ecommerce, but the entire technology startup sector of the Nigerian economy. Local software and app developers, as well as online merchants find it hard to stay afloat because the transaction mechanisms are not seamless and often require people to revert to expensive and time-wasting offline exchange methods.

He furthered by saying that “any attempt by the biggest stakeholders in payments to engage the issues, especially in a hands-on fashion with actual developers is a welcome development.”

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