Regulate? Mobile-based online lending firms may be money laundering channels says Central Bank of Kenya governor

Mobile-based lenders pose money laundering risk, says CBK

Mobile-based online lending firms should be regulated to avoid their usage as channels for introducing illegally-obtained cash into the financial system, Central Bank of Kenya governor Patrick Njoroge has said. In a presentation to parliamentarians Wednesday, Dr Njoroge singled out Tala, Branch and Okash — three highly-popular digital money lenders — as credit-only mobile lending institutions that could be easily used to launder illicit cash. Money laundering, which involves transferring and disguising illegally obtained cash to make it look legitimate, is mostly used by criminals and the corrupt to clean…

Read More

Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram in worst ever worldwide outage for the internet giant

Facebook said it was “back at 100 percent” after an outage on all of its services affected users in various parts of the world. Online monitoring service DownDetector reported on Wednesday that the outage began around 12:00 GMT and affected Facebook as well as its Instagram and WhatsApp services. “The issue has since been resolved and we should be back at 100 percent for everyone,” the company tweeted at 00:06 GMT on Thursday, adding they were sorry for “any inconvenience”. A Facebook spokesperson, also speaking on behalf of Instagram and…

Read More

goAfrica partnership with Foxconn, iFP targets local market with cheaper iPhones

Ordinary Kenyans can now afford to buy iPhones at lower prices after goAfrica, an online platform, partnered with Foxconn and iFP to ship reconditioned smartphones to the local market. The smartphones are expected to retail at between 20 and 30 percent lower than what new smartphones cost in Apple Stores. “We are offering quality products to the market at an affordable price,” said goAfrica general manager Boniface Munywoki. The appetite for iPhones has grown steadily in the local market in the past few years, but the high cost of new…

Read More

Vodacom and Safaricom in a bid to buy M-Pesa brand from parent company Vodafone

Vodacom

Vodacom and Safaricom are in the process of buying the M-Pesa brand from parent company Vodafone, in a deal reportedly worth over R190 million. Vodacom mentioned the deal in its recent full year results announcement, saying it expected the acquisition of the popular mobile money service to “further accelerate our mobile money growth plans in Africa”. Vodacom group CEO Shameel Joosub confirmed the plans in an interview with ITWeb, saying Vodacom, through a joint agreement with Safaricom, has done a deal with Vodafone to “take over M-Pesa completely”. “So, Safaricom…

Read More

Google cuts ties with Huawei, to stop licensing its Android OS to the Chinese phone maker

Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday, in a blow to the Chinese technology company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world. Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google spokesperson said, confirming earlier reporting by Reuters. “We are complying…

Read More

WorldRemit joins mobile money provider Paga to allow direct pay to 11 million Nigerian accounts

International cash transfer company WorldRemit signed an agreement with mobile money provider Paga to allow direct payments to 11 million additional accounts in Nigeria. In a statement the global remittance company said the move “considerably grows” its footprint in the country, which opened new channels to its users in more than 50 countries transferring money to citizens in Nigeria. According to figures cited by WorldRemit, Paga is the country’s widest-reaching mobile money company with more than 14,000 agents present across 36 states. Approximately $26 billion was transferred into Nigeria during…

Read More

WhatsApp to roll out a feature to block others from adding you to groups

In a very much welcomed move, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has announced that it will roll out a feature in the coming weeks that gives users much more control over group chats in the app. The company will soon add a new privacy tool to the app that allows a user to block anyone from adding them to a group chat. The feature comes as concerns have mounted over the past few years that WhatsApp group chats are being used to spread fake news and disinformation. Under the new controls, a user…

Read More

Global Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT) Market to hit USD 143.5 Billion By 2025

Internet of things

New York, NY, Feb. 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zion Market Research has published a new report titled “Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT) Market by Node Component (Sensor, Logic Device, Processor, Connectivity IC, and Memory Device), by Network Infrastructure (Storage, Gateway, Ethernet Switch and Routing, and Server), by Solution (Software and Platform), and by Application (Home Security and Smart Domestic, Wearable Technology, Personal Healthcare, Asset Tracking, Smart Office, Smart Homes, and Others): Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast, 2018–2025’’. According to the report, the global consumer internet of things (CIoT)…

Read More

Mobile App ‘State of Mobile 2019 Report’

Global app store consumer spend reached $101 billion in 2018, up 75 percent from 2016. This figure is expected to exceed $120 billion in 2019, according to mobile data and analytics provider App Annie. The company released its annual The State of Mobile in 2019 Report — a comprehensive guide for businesses looking at mobile. Screenshot from App Annie 2019 Annual State of Mobile Report China accounted for nearly 40 percent of total consumer spend in 2018. Globally, on a category level, games accounted for 74 percent of consumer spend…

Read More

Andela Secures $100M Series D Funding to Build Distributed Eng. Teams and Power its work

Zuckerberg

Andela the company building distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software developers, today announced the completion of a $100M Series D funding. The round was led by Generation Investment Management with participation from existing investors including Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, Spark Capital, and CRE Venture Capital. The most recent financing brings Andela’s total venture funding to $180M. Andela was founded in 2014 to connect Africa’s engineering talent with the demand for software developers worldwide. With the Series D funding, Andela will accelerate the development of its technology platform to identify,…

Read More