According to GSMA Intelligence, there will be 3.3B smartphones and 1B mobile money accounts in emerging markets by 2020. In 2016, mobile money gross payment volume totaled US$269B with a 72 percent compound annual growth rate. A developer offering a fintech or other solution built on mobile money rails often takes 6 - 18 months to integrate a single mobile money service with their app. Hover offers a technology solution that reduces the time to one hour for all mobile money services.

Hover’s proprietary and patent-pending technology enables developers to build on mobile money even when APIs need for payment integration does not exist. It is the only company focused on the intersection of mobile apps and mobile money, globally. Hover’s tech could be used as a lightweight version of the internet that could bring the next billion people online.

Company Overview

CEO: Ben Lyon
Founded: 2018
Market: Global
Product: Payment infrastructure (Android SDK)
Sponsor: 500 Startups

Over the next six months, Hover will receive $100,000 USD in grant capital and receive mentoring from its Catalyst Fund sponsor investor, 500 Startups. The company will also work with BFA to identify specific advisory engagements towards strategic milestones and a growth trajectory.

THE Problem and Solution

There are over 200 mobile money providers globally, but only a handful of these providers give developers the tools they need to integrate mobile money into their applications. As a result, integrating with mobile money is a slow, difficult process, often lasting 6 - 18 months for a single provider in a single market. Hover changes that. Instead of integrating with mobile money providers directly, Hover gives Android developers the ability to control USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), the communication channel of choice for mobile money services. This enables developers to build applications on top of mobile money quickly, reducing months of waiting to a single afternoon and opening a closed industry to global disruption.

The Innovation

  • The software development kit (SDK) leverages Android accessibility services to relegate USSD mobile money providers’ interfaces to an invisible transport layer in the back-end of Android applications.
  • Hover’s technology bypasses the need to integrate with providers’ servers, enabling developers to go live without external dependencies.
  • Accommodates hundreds of device- and version-specific edge cases, posing a significant barrier to entry for competition.
  • Offers bulk pricing and high-value licensing for enterprises such as aggregators, banks and mobile operators.

The Value Proposition

  • Makes USSD-based services more affordable to illiterate and innumerate segments by enabling end-users to interact with financial and informational services via graphical user interfaces.
  • Enables end-users to access basic services without mobile data or a Wi-Fi connection by leveraging USSD as a transport layer over 2G.


Hover is aligned with the Catalyst Fund learning agenda. Their challenges as we know them could help answer the following questions within the learning pillars of:

  • How can inclusive fintech companies improve USSD-based services with a more seamless experience for end-users?  
  • How can inclusive fintech companies leverage Hover’s technology to offer value-adding services to rural and illiterate populations?