Central Bank of Kenya Declines to cap the free M-Pesa transactions to five

M-Gas Mpesa

Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom has lost the bid to cap free M-Pesa transactions to five. This comes after subscribers split high-value transfers to avoid paying transfer fees, costing it billions of shillings in revenues. The company had petitioned the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to cap the number of multiple transactions between two numbers, according to a recent disclosure of conference call transcripts between Safaricom and investors seen by the Business Daily. Safaricom reported that customers were splitting high-value money transfers of as high as Sh60,000 to deals of below…

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YouTube TV sharply hikes subscription to $64.99, adds ViacomCBS channels

YouTube TV sharply hikes subscription to $64.99, adds ViacomCBS channels

YouTube TV has announced a sharp 30pc raise to its monthly price from $50 per month to $64.99 as the company starts to offer eight of ViacomCBS’s channels, which are available today: BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1. The new price takes effect today for any new subscribers while existing customers should see it on their next billing cycle (either on or after July 30th). The $15 increase in price marks the latest price hike for YouTube TV, which was $35 per month when…

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Twitter Launches Voice Tweets for the Human Touch

Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO Voice Tweets Gryphon

Twitter has hit the ground with a new feature Wednesday that allows users to tweet out voice tweets or notes in place of traditional text posts. Everyone on the platform will soon be able to send voice tweets, the company announced Wednesday . Users will have to option to share audio recordings of up to 140 seconds directly to their feed to accompany the text, photos, videos, and GIFs they already can share with their followers. The new feature is available first on iOS and launching today for “a limited…

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COVID-19 crisis could accelerate African businesses toward innovation and digitization

Mali based insurtech startup OKO Finance helps rural farmers access crop insurance innovation

McKinsey recently released a report titled, “Reopening and reimagining Africa: How the COVID-19 crisis can catalyze change,” which recommends policies aimed to help Africa use the crisis as an opportunity to create a recovery that features a more inclusive economy, more competitive industries, and more resilient services The report recommends using the pandemic as an opportunity to accelerate digital transformation across the continent. Figure 1 highlights a number of industries poised for swift growth in digitization following the pandemic. Among these, some are already relatively digitized, such as information and…

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Using Big Data In The Fight Against Coronavirus

Big Data

One of the advantages we have today in the fight against coronavirus that wasn’t as sophisticated in the SARS outbreak of 2003 is big data and the high level of technology available. China tapped into big data, machine learning, and other digital tools as the virus spread through the nation in order to track and contain the outbreak. The lessons learned there have continued to spread across the world as other countries fight the spread of the virus and use digital technology to develop real-time forecasts and arm healthcare professionals…

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Mobile banking dominance may slow down as users opt for digital lending apps

M-Gas Mpesa

The growing dominance of mobile banking may slow down amid low employment rates and high costs of living which have pushed more Kenyans to rely on digital lending apps to make ends meet, a new report shows. The report by Egyptian investment bank, EFG Hermes, said the surge in digital lending apps has been witnessed over the years as more Kenyans sought to supplement their incomes following a spiral in the cost of living. This is likely to threaten the mobile banking revolution. While more mobile banking and digital loan…

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Facebook to equip locals with journalistic skills

Facebook

Internet giant, Facebook is partnering with Kenya’s Aga Khan University (AKU) to equip locals with digital journalistic skills to tell their Kenyan stories. The six months ‘Video Journalism Fellowship’ to be hosted at the AKU’s AKU’s Graduate School of Media and Communications(GSMC),Nairobi with beneficiaries attached to local media houses to sharpen their reporting skills. Speaking at the launch event, GSMC Interim dean Alex Awiti said the AKU-Facebook partnership redefines citizen journalism where Kenyans will tell real-life stories using their smartphones to capture video content. “Mobile journalism is a growing form…

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Uber to sell its services to local Indian business

Uber

Uber is in advanced stages of talks to sell its food delivery service UberEats’ India business to local rival Zomato,  as the American ride-hailing giant looks to cut its spending globally, three people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The deal currently values UberEats’ India business at around $400 million, one of the sources said. As part of the deal, Uber may invest between $150 to $200 million in Zomato and get a sizable stake in the 11-year-old Indian firm, people said. A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment on Saturday.…

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Visa acquires stake in Nigeria’s Interswitch

Ecommerce startups

Nigerian digital payments firm Interswitch confirmed today it has reached unicorn status after Visa acquired a minority equity stake in the firm. Global payments giant Visa will invest $200 million for 20% stake in Interswitch, electronic payments company, UK’s Sky  News reports. The investment places a billion-dollar valuation on 17-year old Interswitch and is a major boon ahead of a proposed initial public offering slated for  the London Stock Exchange next year. “The investment makes Interswitch one of the most valuable African fintech businesses with a valuation of $1 billion,”…

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Disney+ just launched and has already attracted over 10 million subscribers, should Neflix be worried?

disney plus-a stream

Disney’s just launched  its premium subscription streaming service Disney+ but was not without issues — high demand resulted in content not being accessible for hours on its first day of availability. The company cited higher-than-expected demand as a factor, and now we have a rough estimate of the size of that demand — Disney has revealed that it signed up 10 million users since its Tuesday debut. That’s a lot of subscribers in a very short period. To put it in perspective, Netflix recently reported 158 million subscribers, but that’s…

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