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  • Orange, Ecobank team up to launch new money transfer service in Africa

    Pan-African banking group Ecobank and major telecom Orange have rolled out a service that will enable Orange Money subscribers to transfer money between their respective accounts. Mobile remittance is on an up in Africa. Amazingly, of recent, it is sidestepping the issues that hogged it early in its entry, reluctance from users because of security being among the top barriers to entry. The market is warming up to the idea of never setting foot in a bank or carrying money in a wallet. As this trend keeps on growing, more and more alternatives are popping up from clever startups to...

  • Here’s where Africa’s payments revolution should be happening today

    In emerging markets, mobile money services have the power to simplify lives, offering people the convenience of paying from anywhere and at any time, but also to transform them, playing a social noble role by addressing the unbanked or underserved population in Africa, offering them payment services they did not have access to before. Africa is a continent filled with digital opportunity. With the mobile phone as the primary online device and a 72% mobile phone penetration rate, by far surpassing landline internet connections, the African digital revolution will take place through the small screen. Seven out of 10...

  • Payment startup Nomanini sees over 1 million end-users per month

    South African-based company Nomanini, which is responsible for an innovative mobile Point of Sales (PoS) terminal, is taking the prepaid voucher industry in informal markets by storm. Since launching in 2012, the startup has rolled out its service in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia where -- according to a recent case study by GSMA Mobile for Development -- it reaches up to 1 million end users per month. This means that of the 750 active terminals, the average number of transactions per terminal is between 700 and 1 000. The in-depth study found that most of Nomanini's growth...

  • Foodpanda buys out Asian competitors with massive expansion

    When German startup factory Rocket Internet moves, it moves big. And no less so is Foodpanda proving this with its most recent announcement. Rocket Internet's food delivery company Foodpanda (also operating as Hellofood in Africa) has announced the acquisition of seven key competitors in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Pakistan, Hong Kong and Thailand. This increases the fat panda's presence to a total of 39 countries. Ralf Wenzel, Co-Founder and CEO of Foodpanda group says that “With the recent acquisitions Foodpanda becomes the market leader across South East Asia. The combined expertise and experience of several great local companies allow us to significantly...

  • Pargo’s pick up points hope to innovate South Africa’s growing ecommerce

    Dutch founders Lars Veul and Derk Hoekert recently showcased their ecommerce solution called Pargo at the eCommerce Confex Africa. We caught up with them to see what all the fuss is about around pick up points. Both have a strong background in ecommerce and have over the last two years help grow the online classifieds site Groupon SA. While trying to sort out Groupon's ecommerce strategy, the pair immediately saw a gap. "We asked the question, 'Why are people in South Africa not using post offices as a delivery service?' The courier service industry, on the other hand, is not on...

  • Technovation app challenge is calling for all young innovative women

    Supported by big names in the tech industry like Twitter, Google, MIT Media Lab and Andreessen Horowitz, Technovation is calling for young women in the entrepreneurial tech scene to join its three-month tech programme. The initiative is currently active in 28 countries around the globe and focuses on helping young women -- between the ages of 10 and 18 -- to work together. The teams are then encouraged to design and develop their mobile app and pitch in front of a group of judges. So far, Technovation has seen over 3 000 women build their own mobile applications. To apply,...

  • Wallettec integrates SnapScan in South Africa to enhance PoS experience

    Walletec, a mobile wallet integration company from South Africa, has integrated SnapScan to further advance its plans to become the single interface point between the Point of Sale (PoS) and any mobile or e-wallet solution. In a country like South Africa where mobile payments are a growing trend, this is a necessary process to enable wider market access for people who find payment options to be limited. “Wallettec assists retailers and mobile money providers by supplying them with a single integration point into existing PoS systems, meaning it can accept any digital wallet hassle free through a single transaction," says...

  • Online verification startup ThisIsMe is like ecommerce for your identity

    In the famous words of former US president Ronald Reagan during the Cold War, "Trust, but verify." This is the philosophy attached to ThisIsMe -- a South African startup out to help prove that your online self is real. "The gap is simple. Everything people do today online is based on trust," explains company CTO David Thomas. Online tasks that have succumbed to fraud, phishing attacks and scams can include everything we do online from finding a date, buying her expensive jewellery and then signing up for health insurance. An Economic Crime Survey 2014 released last year found that South Africa...

  • Will open data really help drive entrepreneurship in South Africa?

    Information is power, so they say. Which is why the launch this week by Cape Town authorities of an open data portal should prove to be exciting for any entrepreneur looking to provide solutions to better manage urban challenges. Competitiveness boost Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille  says the new portal (the Open Data Portal) will boost the city's competitiveness by allowing entrepreneurs to create new apps. Such apps could help the city improve public transportation, fight crime, attend to infrastructure faults better or improve living conditions and employment chances of its residents. So far the city has uploaded 25 data sets to the portal - including city budget data and the location and boundaries of all district parks,...

  • World Bank launches initiative to crowdfund green startups in Kenya

    The Kenya Climate Innovation Centre's (KCIC) ribbons have officially been cut this week, with a vision of mentoring and crowdfunding small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa. Specifically, those focusing on eco-friendly or green technologies. This comes at the back of a study, done by the World Bank's infoDev arm, which reckons that the crowdfunding potential in the developing world could reach up to US$90-and US$96-billion per year by 2025. Considering the popular US crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, saw a total of US$1.5-billion pass through its platform, that's a lot of money. The report further found that from an income perspective...