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Cassava Fintech, Comviva win 2018 East Africa Com Award

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Cassava Fintech, Comviva win 2018 East Africa Com Award

By Dipo Olowookere

Two joint winners have emerged at the inaugural edition of East Africa Com Awards, where six awards were presented recently at Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

East Africa Com Awards celebrate the achievements of the people and companies at the forefront of digital transformation in East Africa. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that have innovated to bring digital disruption and benefit the people of the region.

Cassava Fintech and Comviva won in ‘Fintech Innovation Award’ category for EcoCash Merchant Payments powered by mobiquity® Money.

EcoCash Merchant Payments extends the success of EcoCash beyond money transfer and airtime recharge. It allows EcoCash users to pay at a variety of merchants ranging from supermarkets to small businesses and overcome the cash crunch and change problem prevalent in Zimbabwe.

EcoCash offers multiple options for merchant payments. Customers can pay to merchant by entering merchant code and payment amount in EcoCash app or USSD menu on their mobile phone. Customers can use EcoCash Debit Card to pay at point of sale terminals.

For online payments, customers can use the virtual card. EcoCash has also launched ‘tap and go’ NFC payments with EcoCash ta service, which equips customers with a NFC sticker and merchants with a portable NFC POS device.

All these services have helped to digitize day-to-day payments in Zimbabwe and reduce the dependence on cash.

The impact of EcoCash has been phenomenal – 70 percent of the country’s day-to-day commercial transactions are made through EcoCash, and moving the country one step closer to achieving their goal of being a cashless society.

Commenting on being selected as the winner for the award, Chief Executive Officer of Cassava Fintech Zimbabwe Mr Eddie Chibi, said, “As Cassava we endeavor to operate wherever money changes hands, with an ambition to drive financial inclusion, digital payments and lead the adoption of e-Commerce in Africa.

“We are committed to constantly seeking out new ways to deliver innovative digital transaction solutions which makes it easier and provides convenience to our customers in a manner which solves their real life problems in a meaningful way.

“The scale to which our merchant payments service has reached is testimony to the fact that technology can be effectively used to help uplift the life of the people. We are humbled and grateful to be the recipient of this award.”

Also commenting, Head of Africa Region at Comviva, Anil Krishnan, noted that, “We believe that fintech solutions that cater to the necessities of the people on the ground have the power to bring financial revolution in Africa. EcoCash in Zimbabwe is one such service which has replaced cash and is helping in alleviating the cash problem.

“With EcoCash Merchant Payments we are proud to be instrumental in accelerating the digital payments growth in Zimbabwe. The award validates our efforts in bringing innovative fintech services to the forefront.”

EcoCash merchant payments are powered by Comviva’s mobiquity® Money platform. mobiquity® Money delivers a host of mobile money services that transforms the way consumers save, borrow, transfer and spend money. It is designed to seamlessly integrate consumer touch points with a wide ecosystem of banks, billers, merchants and third-party payment systems, creating a convergence powered by interoperability.

Apart from delivering convenience to consumers, the solution enables financial service providers to acquire new customers, create long-term loyalty with existing ones, and seize new revenue opportunities to increase their footprint in the market. mobiquity® Money empowers financial service providers to be agile in their markets, with complete focus on the customers. mobiquity® Money has clocked over 60 deployments in more than 45 countries. It powers three of the top 10 deployments globally and processes more than 4 billion transactions every year amounting to over $80 billion annually.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Technology

Google Thrills Android Lovers With Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro

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Pixel 6 Pro

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

It is an exciting moment for Andriod and Pixel lovers as Google is set to reveal its new Pixel 6 and 6 pro phones in a few hours’ time.

While the multinational technology company traditionally holds an October hardware event to reveal its new Pixel phones, it is a new thing that it had already announced this year’s innovations to be unveiled.

“On October 19, we’re officially introducing you to Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro—the completely reimagined Google phones. Powered by Tensor, Google’s first custom mobile chip, they’re fast, smart, and secure. And they adapt to you. #Pixel6Launch,” the company had earlier disclosed.

However, the excitement from fans all over the globe seems to be below expectation given that a lot has already been learned about the upcoming Google flagship, thanks to some leaks on the key details of the phones which have been in circulation before now.

There are no confirmations on what the new products will function like, but various leaks have it that the regular Pixel 6 is set to have a 6.4-inch FHD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate.

It has also been speculated to sport a 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide, while the Pixel 6 Pro ups the ante with a 6.71-inch QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a third 48MP telephoto camera with 4x optical zoom.

Regardless, the introduction of the two new versions will see not only a significant departure from previous Pixels but also Google’s first attempt at its own silicon & Artificial Intelligence – a revolutionary outcome for Android users.

What has been confirmed is that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be the flagship devices for the latest Android version – 12, which also has a major visual design change.

The event which is themed Pixel Fall Launch will not only focus on the introduction of Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro as there is room for surprises, that is, the unveiling of sister gadgets or applications.

According to Google, the launch is scheduled to commence at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. BST. This means that for West African Time, it will be watchable starting from 6 pm today, and can be viewed on several platforms using various live-stream options.

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Economy

Apple Rolls Out New AirPods, MacBooks, Processor

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Apple AirPods

By Adedapo Adesanya

At its virtual MacBook event on Monday, tech giant, Apple, launched the new generation AirPods which will support spatial audio, thanks to new sensors that support features like spatial audio.

The new Airpods sport a new design, closer to the AirPods Pro, but they lack the rubber in-ear tip. The case also charges magnetically using Apple’s magnetic charger MagSafe.

Apple says the third-generation AirPods have more powerful bass than previous models and that the AirPods now have six hours of battery life for listening to audio.

The new AirPods cost $179 (N102,388) and will hit the shelves next week.

Apple launched its first AirPods in 2016 and turned the wireless earphone market on its head.

Apple is the largest AirPods brand as it holds 29 per cent of the market share in the third quarter of 2020, three times that of its closest competitor, Xiaomi.

Also at the event, the company announced new chips, M1 Pro and M1 Max, for new high-end MacBook Pro laptops.

The M1 Max is a more powerful version of the M1 and M1 Pro. It has 57 billion transistors, Apple said, and a 32-core graphics processor, saying that its graphics processor compares favourably to current laptop graphics processors, especially when using less power.

Apple said the new MacBook Pro laptops are completely reimagined as they will come with Apple’s M1 Pro chip, a new processor Apple says has a 10-core processing unit that is 70 per cent faster than its current M1 chip.

The new models have an HDMI port to connect to displays and TVs, an SD card slot for photographers. It also uses a MagSafe magnetic connector, bringing back a beloved feature from older MacBooks.

Users can still charge using the USB-C ports, of which there are three, which support Thunderbolt connections.

It comes in 16-inch and 14-inch sizes with denser screens and ProMotion screens with a higher refresh rate, a feature that landed on the iPhone 13 this year. The displays are using MiniLED technology, the company said.

The new models do not have a Touch Bar touchscreen on the keyboard but have a fingerprint sensor on the power button.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 (N1.1 million). The 16-inch model starts at $2,499 (N1.4 million), representing a slight price increase from previous models.

Apple’s $99 (N56,628) smart speaker, HomePod Mini, will also be available in a variety of new colours including orange, yellow, and blue. Previously, it was only available in white and dark grey.

** FX rates were calculated at N572 per Dollar, the black market rates.

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Technology

ICT Reporters Begin Digital Skills Training in Lagos

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ICT Reporters

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

Journalists reporting information and communication technology (ICT) in Nigeria have commenced a 5-day digital skills training in Lagos to upgrade their knowledge of the field.

The seminar, which kicked off on Monday, October 18, is taking place at the Radisson Hotel in Ikeja, and it involves 50 ICT reporters under the aegis of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA). The programme is being supported by the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA)

Chairman of the NITRA, Mr Chike Onwuegbuchi, commended the agency for the support, saying he expects participants to develop the digital skills that will improve their quality of news reportage.

“It wise to partner with an agency of the government on this project, and NITDA being an outstanding agency deemed it wise to work with us,” he stated at the event today.

He urged members of NITRA to use the opportunity to learn, unlearn and relearn new skills, emphasising that, “The essence of this capacity training is for us to upskill.”

“We are aware that some of us have attended training within and outside Nigeria, however the dynamics of this industry where technology continues to evolve demands that we continue to train and retrain ourselves.

“NITDA has been apt in its digital transformation strategy and from our observations; the processes are up to standards we see among private sector organizations,” he further said.

On his part, the Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, expressed optimism that the training will help ICT journalists in news gathering and fact-checking in this era of fake news.

The NITDA boss, represented by the Manager, Digital Architecture, Ms Chineyere Helen Nwanwko, noted that, “As most positions today require technological knowledge, organizations must provide training and education on ICT, or risk having a workforce being left behind.”

“Employees with digital literacy, skills are more competent in their work as they easily identify important information, data, patterns, and use them efficiently. This is important because we are constantly being disrupted by new information.

“Digital literacy skills also allow the workforce to use technology to collaborate and connect with each other and thus strengthen teamwork. In the digital economy, the failure to upskill the workforce in digital technologies could lead to companies and workforce being quickly left behind,” he added.

In his view, it is vital that businesses invest in nurturing a digitally literate workforce that is capable of adapting to evolving technologies. He also noted that the program corresponds with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).

According to him, this is also in line with the agency’s Digital Literacy and Skills and the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2021 to 2024.

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