Mobile

Fintech in Africa

Fintech in Africa

FinTech, Mobile, Startups
FinTech space is fast growing in Africa. The continent has recorded massive growth in the last decade. Currently Africa has more than 400 FinTech companies and startups of which more than 80% of them are home-grown. The industry is largely dominated by payment, lending, insurance and investments focused solutions.     The growth is attributed to mobile access and penetration in the continent and lack of financial inclusion to traditional banking leaving majority (Approximately 60%) of the African adult population unbanked.     In Kenya, M-Pesa mobile money service provided by Kenya’s biggest telecommunication company Safaricom PLC has been a massive success in providing mobile payment solutions allowing users to pay bills, send money to each ot
Kenyan company, Usiku Games, has launched a video conferencing platform: Gumzo

Kenyan company, Usiku Games, has launched a video conferencing platform: Gumzo

Internet, Mobile, Startups
A Kenyan gaming company has launched a web-based video conferencing platform, Gumzo, which it describes as the first made in Africa video conferencing platform. Gumzo, which means "chatting" in Swahili, costs users $1 per week to access. How Gumzo works Gumzo has unlimited talk minutes and can accommodate an unlimited amount of users, according to Jay Shapiro, CEO of Usiku Games which created the platform. It has options of screen sharing and full-screen presentation mode, he added. Unlike many video conferencing applications, it has no app to download or extensions to configure. Its calls happen in the browser so they can work on any phone or computer with internet access. Shapiro says one of the problems Gumzo addresses is poor network quality. Most video conferencing...
CBK extends it’s COVID-19 emergency measures on mobile money Transactions to December

CBK extends it’s COVID-19 emergency measures on mobile money Transactions to December

Business, Mobile
Good news for M-Pesa users as CBK extends deal to December CBK (Central Bank of Kenya) has extended the waiver on mobile money transactions under Sh 1,000 for another six months after the initial 90-day period lapsed. The emergency measures had been effected in March this year, and will now extend to December 31, to combat the spread of the nobel Coronavirus. In a statement, CBK says the measures, which include the elimination of charges on transactions of up to Sh1, 000, have been effective and will remain in force. CBK said it had noted that the measures were timely and highly effective in facilitating official and personal transfers at a time of great need. Following the March 16 announcement by CBK of measures to facilitate increased use of mobile money transactions instead o...
Safari joins browsers that tell you who’s trying to track you

Safari joins browsers that tell you who’s trying to track you

Internet, Mobile, Technology
It's part of a larger push-back on the intrusive practice that follows you across the internet. On Monday, Apple unveiled a new version of its Safari browser that'll tell you which ad trackers are running on the website you're visiting. It'll also give you a 30-day report of the known trackers it's identified while you were browsing. Additionally, it'll tell you which websites those trackers came from. The new features are a step toward transparency, giving you an idea of just how many trackers are following you around and taking notes on your behavior. The tech giant said that the new privacy feature in its underdog browser, Safari, will shine a spotlight on all of the ad trackers embedded on each article or website you visit. Safari’s new anti-tracking feature sits in the top part
Facebook launches WhatsApp digital payments service

Facebook launches WhatsApp digital payments service

Internet, Mobile, Technology
WhatsApp Pay allows users to send money to one another for free. WhatsApp launched its digital payments service in Brazil while the messaging app capitalizes on its popularity in emerging markets. The move comes as the parent company Facebook forges ahead with plans to capitalize on emerging markets and bring e-commerce to its platforms, launching a WhatsApp-based digital payments service for the messaging app’s 120m Brazilian users. WhatsApp, the popular messaging app acquired by Facebook in 2014, on Monday unveiled a new payment service, WhatsApp Pay, which will allow users to send money to one another for free or make purchases from small businesses, without ever leaving the chat platform. After testing a beta version in India, WhatsApp has launched in-app payments in Brazil, the co
Safaricom Smart meters are helping to track water on the internet

Safaricom Smart meters are helping to track water on the internet

Internet, Mobile, Startups
Ever got your water bill at the end of the month and you couldn’t believe how and when you spent that much money on water? Well, it looks like Safaricom has a solution to that with their new Smart Meter and Narrow Band technology. This robust IoT monitoring platform makes it possible to track real time consumption of water. Safaricom Smart Meters On a bright morning in October 2019, teams of technicians fanned out to 20 locations across Embu County to meter various consumers of one of Kenya’s most successful water utilities, Embu Water and Sanitation Company (EWASCO). The technicians had in hand a set of field network management tools to measure data access performance metrics such as connection data rate and latency on Safaricom’s newly introduced Narrow-Band (NB-IOT) network.
Instagram to debut revenue sharing with creators through IGTV ads

Instagram to debut revenue sharing with creators through IGTV ads

Business, Mobile, social media
For the first time in its history, social media platform Instagram will start sharing revenue with creators through ads in IGTV and badges that viewers can purchase on Instagram Live. The company has hinted that ads would come to IGTV for more than a year, often saying the long-form video offering would be the most likely place it’d first pay creators. The new tools that enable video creators to make money, including badges that viewers can purchase during Instagram Live videos and the introduction of IGTV ads. Both launches are considered a test, as the company is limiting the features’ availability during its experimentation phase, it says. Badges will give viewers a way to support their favorite creators while also standing out in the comments, similar to efforts on other live video p
Mobile money transactions spike as users resort to cashless deals

Mobile money transactions spike as users resort to cashless deals

Business, Mobile
Mobile money and data have emerged as the lifeline in revenue growth for African-focused telecoms operators Vodacom Group and Airtel Africa across markets characterized by stiff competition and challenging regulatory regimes. The two telcos this week released full-year results for the year ended March 31 that show impressive growth in mobile money and data earnings amidst near-flat increase in voice revenue. This year, the companies are apprehensive of the impact of the Covid-19, something that has forced Airtel Africa to extend the maturity of $254 million of debt facilities by an average of 18 months in order to improve its liquidity. South Africa-based Vodacom rode on its investment in Kenya’s Safaricom, which is Africa’s second-biggest telco by market capitalization, t
Uber rival Bolt raises €100m to expand product offerings in Europe & Africa

Uber rival Bolt raises €100m to expand product offerings in Europe & Africa

Business, Mobile, Technology
Estonia’s Bolt, one of Uber’s biggest competitors in the European ride-hailing market, has raised €100m (£88m) in funding to prepare for a post-coronavirus world. This sees the total raised by Bolt top €300m, while its valuation has nearly doubled since May 2018, when it was valued at $1bn. The funding round comes at a challenging time for Bolt, with the coronavirus causing a slump in demand for ride-hailing services that is believed to have had a severe impact on its bottom line. However, today’s news suggests that its efforts to diversify are paying off. “Even though the crisis has temporarily changed how we move, the long-term trends that drive on-demand mobility such as declining personal car ownership and the shift towards greener transportation continue to grow,” said chief exec
WorldRemit Partners with Vodacom Tanzania

WorldRemit Partners with Vodacom Tanzania

Business, Mobile
Leading digital money transfer service WorldRemit has partnered with Vodacom Tanzania to enable nine million M-Pesa customers to receive money directly to their M-Pesa wallets from friends and family living abroad. The new service increases convenience for money transfer recipients in urban and rural areas of Tanzania as they can receive international money transfers directly to their phones, without the need for a bank account or internet connection. Using the WorldRemit app, Tanzanians living abroad in over 50 countries, including the US, UK and Canada, can send money home 24/7 in just a few taps. This saves customers time and money as they do not have to travel to a traditional money transfer agent and pay expensive fees to send money home in cash. Vodacom M-Pesa customers can now...