iAfrikan Daily Brief - Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, Groupon South Africa, Airtel Nigeria & MTN Group
Friday, 04 November 2016
Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Launches mCash
Credit: Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System
Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria along with the country’s banks has launched a digital money solution aimed at facilitating low-value retail payment. The new micro payments solution will be known as mCash – short for micro Cash. The solution is a mobile money system similar to what Safaricom’s M-PESA is in East Africa. NIBSS have said that they hope it will help further enhance financial inclusion in Nigeria through making available alternative method of payment to both retail merchants and customers. mCash uses USSD thus making it available on any type of mobile phone. Retail merchants will have a unique sellers which a customer can then use to pay for services and products via USSD on their mobile phone.
Groupon South Africa Shuts Down
Credit: Groupon South Africa
It’s official, Groupon South Africa has shut down as of 04 November 2016. This is after earlier in October 2016 the mother company, Groupon, had announced that it is looking at a way to streamline its operations especially mentioning that it is looking to reduce its country footprint from 27 countries to 15 countries. As of today, there are no more deals on offer on the Groupon South Africa website and the company has said that “All current vouchers bought will remain valid until the date stated on the voucher. The terms and conditions on the voucher remain the same. For any customers who are uncomfortable with using their voucher, we are offering a cash refund option if they contact us”. Groupon as a whole has been struggling with coming up with a profitable business model since taking a steep fall from its earlier years.
Airtel Nigeria Fined $16,000 For Unsolicited Text Messages
Credit: Airtel Nigeria
Justice Jude Okeke of the FCT High Court Maitama in Nigeria made a ruling that Airtel Nigeria should pay N5 million(about $16,000) to one of its customers, Mr Emmanuel Anene, for continually sending him unsolicited text messages which he never asked for or subscribed to. This ruling comes after numerous Nigerians have taken to social media to complain about receiving unsolicited text messages from mobile service providers even after unsubscribing or asking that they not be sent to their mobile numbers. Justice Okeke that Airtel Nigeria violated Mr Anene’s right to privacy. Furthermore, Justice Okeke highlighted in giving judgement that Mr Anene had continually complained and asked not to be sent the messages and Airtel Nigeria didn’t stop or respond. This should be a warning to all mobile service providers.
MTN First To Test Facebook's Voyager Platform
Credit: MTN Group
In a bid to bring faster and affordable connectivity to Afrikans, MTN have announcd that they are the first telecom service provider to have tested Facebook’s Voyager platform at a data center in Soweto, South Africa. This after MTN Group recently joined the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) earlier in 2016. Facebook’s Voyager is an open optical packet transport platform whica aims to reduce the cost of and increase the speed of rolling out Internet connectivity. The Voyager platform field tests were undertaken in MTN data centres between their 14th Avenue in Fairlands Offices and Soccer City in Soweto, at the end of October 2016. Customers can only` hope that this means the saved network implementation costs will be passed down to them in cheaper data bundles.