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Nigerian develops mobile app for offline payments

A Nigerian innovator named Temitayo Gbadebo has developed an innovative approach to mobile app offline payments using Short Lived Distributed Ledger Technology (SLDLT) and Short…

A Nigerian innovator named Temitayo Gbadebo has developed an innovative approach to mobile app offline payments using Short Lived Distributed Ledger Technology (SLDLT) and Short Message Service (SMS) technology.

According to him, this discovery is an innovative solution that enables seamless offline transactions for payment of goods and services.

“This innovative solution eliminates the need for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and any form of data transport to the financial institution’s server before a transaction is completed.

“It ensures that payments are finalised without relying on data transport to the financial institution,” he said.

Given the challenges posed by limited internet access in the country, which hinders financial transactions on mobile apps, users can transact using this technology in two ways: person-to-person and via transport over an SMS line.

“The person-to-person transactions utilise technologies such as NFC, Bluetooth, or Wifi Direct, along with Short Lived Distributed Ledger Technology (SLDLT) for updating transaction history while the transport over SMS line employs a highly efficient compression technology for data exchange.

“This technology is crucial in providing financial users and the unbanked population with the confidence to use financial services, akin to the assurance of having cash at hand for any form of payment,” he noted.

When asked about what prompted this idea, he said that in 2021, he and a friend almost got embarrassed when they took their children out for ice cream.

When it was time to pay, they faced a challenge with card payment because the internet in that area was very poor and couldn’t be used for the transfer of payment both on banking mobile app and POS.

They were without cash and there wasn’t an ATM nearby. After many attempts, the card payment eventually went through.

While they were there, he thought to himself how convenient it would be to pay without internet or USSD, just by tapping the vendor’s phone or POS.

He didn’t pursue the idea at the time, but when cashless payment became a reality in Nigeria in January 2023 and disrupted the economy due to the unpreparedness of the currency redesigning, he felt the need to push the idea forward.

Since then, he has been working on the possibility of such technology and finally made a breakthrough discovery.

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