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FROM CASHLESS TO CARDLESS: How Nigeria’s female-led AZAPAY is innovating the way we send and receive money



Nigeria’s tech eco-system is expanding without let. From real-time payment notification, cardless payment technology, fake bank alert solution, and lowest rate on transactions, Nigeria’s female-lead fintech startup, AZAPAY, has introduced an array of innovative ways to help Nigerians seamlessly make and receive payment.

In 2020, software developer and tech celebrity, Jacquelyn (Jackye) Madu, founded AZAPAY after observing series of challenges relating to processing payments in Nigeria. Top on the list were network downtime, card jamming in ATMs and transaction failure despite account debited.

“Many of us have been in that situation where we try to make payment only for us to be debited yet not reflecting on the other side. And, when we call our banks, they urge us to exercise patient which might have us wait for days or even weeks,” Jackye told Ripples Nigeria.

“This singular challenge has left many stranded and frustrated. At AZAPAY we think this is not right as we feel the pain of our people. During our research we discovered that the delay is as a result of the too many parties involved in the process. And, this, we are set out to resolve,” she added.

Who is Jackye Madu?

A web developer by profession, Jackye, who equally doubles as CEO of HotBox Technology, a software development company, has helped a number of leading companies and brands build digital products such as websites and mobile applications.

After years of working as a web developer, Jackye transitioned from being a chief technology officer to a chief executive officer, with the launch of AZAPAY in May 2020.

Jackye finds time in between her tough schedules in the tech space to pursue her other passion of modeling for notable brands, with her face dotting some commercials.


AZAPAY believes there is a need to build a platform that embraces a cardless era where the money in one’s account is all that is needed.

“We are building something that will serve Nigerians better. The goal is simple -to help our users perform seamless transactions,” Jackye explained.


From a simple idea, AZAPAY has seen steady growth over the years, offering users a convenient way to make purchases while providing businesses the comfort of accepting transfer payment from their customers.

After an initial launch in May 2020, the Jackye-led team returned to the drawing board in January 2021 to rebuild the platform from scratch, leveraging feedbacks received from reviewers.

Eleven months later, the improved fintech product was re-launched, and went on to acquire an impressive number of users.

Between May and July 2022, its merchant feature, where businesses can accept payment for goods and services via AZAPAY network, has also attracted some big names such as GIG Logistics, Shoprite, JARA Stores, amongst others.

Read also: Konga upgrades platform, introduces USSD and cardless withdrawal

“I think AZAPAY has helped us stretch since our launch. We wake up almost everyday resolving one issue or the other. Today, it is paying off, and I must appreciate my team of experts who have invested their time and resources to see us come this far.
“Aside on boarding big names as GIG Logistics and Shoprite, we have also closed a solid partnership with Access Bank,” she said.

How it works

AZAPAY app is available for download on both Playstore and Apple app store. Users are required to register to secure an AZATAG from which all their transactions can be coordinated.

Intending users are required to complete a registration and verification process. After which they can go on to fund their wallets (AZATAG) from their bank accounts. Hence, with a funded AZATAG, transferring money to people can commence immediately.

How this is different from old tradition is that unsuspecting criminals cannot send fake alerts in scam attempts, a POS vendor will not have the opportunity to charge exploitive extra service charge since users are wiring funds from one AZAPAY user to another.

For merchants already listed on AZAPAY such as Shoprite and GIG Logistics, clients, partners and customers can pay them without the use of ATM cards and cash.

AZAPAY’s chances

Nigerians have demonstrated that there is a big market around money transfer going by the volume of transactions conducted by POS vendors.

In 2020, 655.8 million transactions recorded, a figure that nearly doubled in 2021, peaking at 982.8 million.

“If people could use POS terminals, then we are certain they will like the AZAPAY initiative where they can do more and enjoy better offers.

“Any business leader that is yet to adopt AZAPAY has probably not heard about us yet because businesses want to consistently cut cost and grow revenue which is what the AZAPAY brand is offering,” Jackye noted.

The future

For the AZAPAY team, helping businesses and non-business users secure their funds is the goal. In the next 6 to 12 months, the team is working on other incredible features to include the launch of a savings plan, and the roll out of a merchant hub where businesses are provided with a digital shop to list and showcase their goods and services.

Five years from the present, AZAPAY hopes to have expanded into other African countries, leading as a cardless payment player in the fintech ecosystem.

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