Of the 690 million registered mobile-money accounts worldwide, 50% are in Africa. In Zimbabwe and Somalia, for example, both countries that have experienced decades of economic isolation and political unrest, mobile money is ubiquitous and central to economic activity. Writes Aubrey Hruby The big picture: While Apple Pay and other mobile-money platforms have been slow to grow in the U.S., with only 20%–30% of iPhone users enabling Apple Pay, a cashless economy has taken hold in unexpected places. In Africa, a continent all too often mislabeled as relatively undeveloped, major innovations are taking root and scaling quickly. The numbers: McKinsey estimates that 1 in 10 African adults actively use mobile money, compared to roughly 1 in 40 South Asians. Although Kenya paved the way
Telkom T-Kash joins M-Pesa and Airtel Money in the interoperability initiative effective October 4th meaning subscribers will no longer struggle with having to cash the voucher within seven days. A joint statement issued by the three mobile operators states the initiative is a significant step towards a more integrated mobile money ecosystem and a boost to the financial inclusion agenda in Kenya. “With the advent of interoperability, customers can send and receive money from customers on a different network. The money received from a different network is directly added to the customer’s account balance the same way it would, had it been sent from the same network,” read the statement. Interoperability of the three services also presents customers with a cost advantage as the three pro
Google is celebrating 20 years of organizing the world’s information and making it accessible to billions of users in close to 200 languages. When Google Search was launched in 1998, the entire web consisted of only 25 million pages. The task of indexing and cataloguing this information, the size of small library, seemed ambitious at the time. Two decades later, Google has indexed hundreds of billions of pages and the number grows with every new piece of information added to the web by users around the globe. The next chapter of Search is one that’s powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) “As the internet has spread around the world with increased connectivity, Google has made access to this information both faster and easier. We now provide search in 190 languages and 150 domains,” s
When you’re browsing a website and the mouse cursor disappears, it might be a computer glitch — or it might be a deliberate test to find out who you are. The way you press, scroll and type on a phone screen or keyboard can be as unique as your fingerprints or facial features. To fight fraud, a growing number of banks and merchants are tracking visitors’ physical movements as they use websites and apps. Some use the technology only to weed out automated attacks and suspicious transactions, but others are going significantly further, amassing tens of millions of profiles that can identify customers by how they touch, hold and tap their devices. The data collection is invisible to those being watched. Using sensors in your phone or code on websites, companies can gather thousands of da
A United Nations agency and the African Union (AU) are pushing for cross-border mobile money payments to boost electronic trade on the continent. The AU has been piloting the use of a common payment system in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and is scheduled to roll out the same across Africa by the end of this year. The move is intended to facilitate interconnectivity between registered mobile money account owners within Kenya and across the continent, totaling 277 million according to a 2017 report. These represent 140 mobile money schemes across 39 countries. The roll-out of the common payment system will coincide with the commencement of trade under the Continental Free Trade Area expected later this year. The agreement aims to create a single cont...