Technology and The Rise Of Financial Inclusion in Africa

technology africa

Financial inclusion is all about individuals and businesses having access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs. These needs could be transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance which are delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.

On-the-go financial access facilitates day-to-day living, and helps families and businesses plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies.

Banking

Although being one of the most populous continents in the world, Africa is still a mid-level player in the banking sector and lags behind some continents with respect to Financial Inclusion. We have really come a very long way and still climbing.

Before now, everything banking has to be done in the banking hall and with the use of pen and paper but not anymore. Over 80% of banking operations do not have to take place in the banking hall anymore. You now have the choice of performing banking operations on the go which is a lot easier and fun.

Of course technology has been a major player in the rise of financial inclusion in Africa. A lot of financial institutions are now leveraging Digital technology, or “fintech,” to make their services more accessible to the masses.

banking africa

You can now perform major banking operations like money transfer, account opening, account balance checking, and pay several bills on your mobile phone.

Who would have thought that Africa of all continents would come this far.

It’s such an exciting era for Africans.

Apart from banking operations, African based businesses are springing forth every day that are rendering financial solutions through the use of technology.

Even loan facilities can be accessed either through mobile device or just by the click of a mouse. How amazing!

As accountholders, people can now use other financial services, such as credit and insurance, to start and expand businesses, invest in education or health, manage risk, and weather financial shocks, which can improve the overall quality of their lives.

  • It has become easier than ever before to open an account
  • Cash-payments has been Digitized making the phrase – cashless society more real to Africa than the illusion it used to be.
  • A lot of Mobile-based financial services are bringing convenient access even to remote areas

As our continent have accelerated efforts toward financial inclusion, it is very important that we put measures in place to combat factors that may impede our progress. These include:

  • Ensure that hard-to-reach populations, including women and the rural poor also has financial access and services extend to them.
  • The government should increase citizens’ financial literacy and capability so they everyone including the illiterate gets to understand different financial services and products
  • Ensure that everyone has valid means of identification, and a low-cost, accessible means for them to be authenticated. This will go a very long way in combating crime.
  • Devise useful and relevant financial products, tailored to consumer needs
  • Create and implement very robust financial consumer protection, relevant regulatory and supervisory authorities to ensure that everything is done right.

Although we are still coming up, we have the foundations well laid and in the nearest future, we should be able to measure up to the developed countries in the area of financial inclusiveness.

What are your thoughts? Add your contributions in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share with your friends.

How Andela Is Bettering Africa’s Digital Economy

african tech

Andela is a new kind of technology partner for Fortune 500s and startups. Blending the best of outsourcing and in-house hiring, Andela integrates full-time genius-level remote software developers into your team. Our mission is to transform the global technology landscape by connecting top employers with untapped talent around the world, and we are proud to work with global enterprises like Microsoft and startups like 2U and Udacity.

Andela

According to the founders, in the next ten years, there will be 1.3M software development jobs created and only 400,000 domestic computer science graduates to fill them. Africa, meanwhile, is home to the largest untapped talent pool and seven of the 10 fastest growing internet populations in the world.

Andela was founded in 2014 to build a network of technology leaders on the African continent and bridge the divide between the U.S and African tech sectors. Leveraging a proven, data-driven approach, we build high-performing engineering teams with Africa’s top developers to help companies overcome the tech talent shortage and build better products, faster.

Since its inception in 2014, Andela has consistently admitted talented africans, trained them in programming for a period of 6-months while paying them a standard salary and deployed these individuals to international fortune 500 companies as programmers.

Although Africa has been undergoing a digital revolution in the last decade, we are gradually achieving the standards of most advanced nations.

Andela has maintained her vision which is to grow the number of African programmers and this leaves us with the question: what does the future of Africa’s digital economy hold with initiatives like Andela??

Tech Talent born in Africa will play key roles in IT sectors globally.

According to an article published by the CIO journal of the wall street journal, “By the year 2025, Every Chief Information Officer will employ staff in Africa in some capacity.

This is because, apart from those being raised by Andela, The rapid growth of the African tech sector mainly due to the expansion of mobile technology and driven entrepreneurs seeking to find answers to some of the main challenges facing the continent.

With over one billion people who live in Africa and it being the world’s “youngest” continent with more 16 to 24 year olds than anywhere else on earth. By 2035, Africa’s projected workforce growth of 910 million 16 to 64-year-olds will be more than that of China, India, Europe and the United States combined!

Where does this leave us?

With over 910million work force whose major interest lies in tech.

Tech is really the new economy in Africa and those who must milk this economy have already set their foundation in place.

Andela Co-Founder Jeremy Johnson says “if you believe brilliance is evenly distributed but opportunity is not, then you have to conclude that there are places where there are staggering numbers of extraordinarily bright people who just don’t have a path to the global economy.”

Africa is one of those “places” and I recommend you start now to look deep into the continent so that you can be part of the early partakers of the yield.

What do you think? Kindly contribute by adding your thoughts in the comments section below. If you find this post interesting, share it with your friends using the social buttons below.

Improve Your Picture Game With These 2 Amazing Apps

Best Photo Editing Apps

When people capture images with their mobile devices, the pictures taken sometimes don’t meet the taste or standards which most people want and this has led most individuals to deleting moments and memories which they most cherish. This is why some picture editing apps have been launched to retouch and tune tune people’s final picture appearance.

In this article, we’re going to be providing you with 2 of the best apps which can be used for retouching your images.

VSCO

Best Photo Editing Apps

is best for those who prefer keeping their photo editing clean and subtle. It consists of various collections of editing filters which are referred to as “Presets” within the app. These presets allows you to change the look and feel of your pictures with a single tap unlike other apps which you will have to go through multiple steps before getting a tangible result.

Follow these steps to apply vsco filters to your images:

* Download the app from Apple or GooglePlay Store and Launch

* Import the photo you’re looking to retouch by tapping the plus (+) button on the top right button on your phone screen to select from the collection of images of your phone screen. Once you’ve selected the image you want to edit, a colored border will appear around the corners of the image selected. Tap the mark button on the right to approve import.

* Tap the imported image to start editing from the row of presets labelled with letters and numbers e.g. A6, F1, HB2, etc. Once your preferred preset has been selected, hit the save button to apply the changes made.

The app comes with basic set of filters but there are more other filters which can be downloaded within the app for free and some others which can be purchased at an affordable rate.

SNAPSEED

Best Photo Editing Apps

This photo editor is also one amazing app that seems very easy to use and transforms images to taste. The app has various filters such as Drama, HDR Scape, Vintage amongst others. A quick banner can also prepared on the app using the text tool. To edit with snapseed take the following steps:

* Download the app from Apple or GooglePlay store and launch

* Select the preferred picture you’re looking edit and tap the pen button on the bottom right corner.

* Select your preferred filter and see your image getting transformed.

For better results you can also use the tools which are listed first in the options bar e.g. Tune image, crop, brush, healing and others.

Sample: To finetune an image, select the brush tool and pick one of the filters below. Once selected, use your finger to brush selected parts of the image to apply filter manually. Once done with that hit the save button to export edited images to your phone gallery.

Try this amazing apps out and give us your feedback in the comments section below this article.

Mr Eazi Is Apple Music’s Newest ‘Up Next’ Artist: Zaga Dat!

Apple Music Newest

Mr Eazi Is Apple Music’s Newest ‘Up Next’ Artist: Zaga Dat!

Nigeria’s Mr. Eazi, and a Ghanaian-based performer, is Apple Music’s Newest ‘Up Next’ Artist, the music streaming platform’s emerging artist franchise. The announcement arrives with a new Mr Eazi documentary, a live performance and a Beats 1 interview with Julie Adenuga on Beats 1 Radio.

From Nigeria to the world – Afrobeat continues to blur the sound-boarder.

 Courtesy of Apple Music

Apple Music has announced Nigerian Afrobeat musician, Mr Eazi, as the latest in the streaming service’s emerging artist series.
Up Next: Catch a Vibe – Mr Eazi

Mr. Eazi appeared live on Late Late Show with James Corden on the evening of July 26, and thrilled the audience as he performed hits like “In The Morning,” and “Leg Over.”

You might also be interested in: Rolling Stone Reviews Wizkid’s “Sounds From The Other Side”

 

The streaming service (Apple Music) will promote Mr. Eazi’s songs on its playlists and on the iTunes store.

Mr Eazi, born Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade in Port Harcourt, Nigeria before moving to the outskirts of Lagos where he grew up. After high school, he relocated to Ghana, where he attended university in Kumasi, Ghana. Mr Eazi is known for his Banku signature sound, which fuses elements of music from both Nigeria and Ghana.

Mr Eazi released his Life Is Eazi, Vol. 1 – Accra to Lagos EP in February 2017.

What do you think? Are you a Mr Eazi fan? Add your comments below.
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Credit card fraud: what you need to know

credit card fraud

If you are the owner of a credit or a debit card, there is a non-negligible chance that you may be subject to credit card fraud, like millions of other people around the world.

Worldwide credit card fraud on all time high.

How do you protect yourself?

credit card During holidays season, online frauds on credit cards are always on rise. thebalance.com

Bruno BuonaguidiUniversità della Svizzera italiana

Starting in the 1980s, there has been an impressive increase in the use of credit, debit and pre-paid cards internationally. According to an October 2016 Nilson Report, in 2015 more than US$31 trillion were generated worldwide by these payment systems, up 7.3% from 2014.

In 2015, seven in eight purchases in Europe were made electronically.

Thanks to new online money-transfer systems, such as Paypal, and the spread of e-commerce around the world – including, increasingly, in the developing world – which was slow to adopt online payments – these trends are expected to continue.

Thanks to leading companies such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon India (which together had 80% of the Indian e-commerce market share in 2015) as well as Alibaba and JingDong (which had upwards of 70% of the Chinese market in 2016), electronic payments are reaching massive new consumer populations.

This is a goldmine for cybercriminals. According to the Nilson Report, worldwide losses from card fraud rose to US$21 billion in 2015, up from about US$8 billion in 2010. By 2020, that number is expected to reach US$31 billion.

secure credit card Commuters sit at a bus stop adorned with an advertisement of Indian online marketplace Snapdeal. Abhishek Chinnappa/Reuters

Such costs include, among other expenses, the refunds that banks and credit card companies make to defrauded clients (many banks in the West cap consumers’ liability at US$50 as long as the crime is reported within 30 days for credit cards and within two days for debit cards. This incentivises banks to make significant investments in anti-fraud technologies.

Cybercrime costs vendors in other ways too. They are charged with providing customers with a high standard of security. If they are negligent in this duty, credit card companies may charge them the cost of reimbursing a fraud.

The types of frauds

There are many kinds of credit card fraud, and they change so frequently as new technologies enable novel cybercrimes that it’s nearly impossible to list them all.

But there are two main categories:

  • card-not-present (CNP) frauds: This, the most common kind of fraud, occurs when the cardholder’s information is stolen and used illegally without the physical presence of the card. This kind of fraud usually occurs online, and may be the result of so-called “phishing” emails sent by fraudsters impersonating credible institutions to steal personal or financial information via a contaminated link.
  • card-present-frauds: This is less common today, but it’s still worth watching out for. It often takes the form of “skimming” – when a dishonest seller swipes a consumer’s credit card into a device that stores the information. Once that data is used to make a purchase, the consumer’s account is charged.

prevent credit card fraud Credit card machine are sometimes used in the fraud called ‘skimming’ in which your card details are duplicated.Izcool/Wikimedia

The mechanism of a credit card transaction

Credit card fraud is facilitated, in part, because credit card transactions are a simple, two-step process: authorisation and settlement.

At the beginning, those involved in the transaction (customer, card issuer, merchant and merchant’s bank) send and receive information to authorise or reject a given purchase. If the purchase is authorised, it is settled by an exchange of money. This usually takes place several days after the authorisation.

Once a purchase had been authorised, there is no going back. That means that all fraud detection measures must be done during in the first step of a transaction.

credit card protection Buying online is practical and fast…yet risky when we do not known the vendors or their websites well. Photo Mix/Pexels

Here’s how it works (in a dramatically simplified fashion).

Once companies such as Visa or Mastercard have licensed their brands to a card issuer – a lender like, say, Barclays Bank – and to the merchant’s bank, they fix the terms of the transaction agreement.

Then, the card issuer physically delivers the credit card to the consumer. To make a purchase with it, the cardholder gives his card to the vendor (or, online, manually enters the card information). The vendor now forwards data on the consumer and the desired purchase to the merchant’s bank.

The bank, in turn, routes the required information to the card issuer for analysis and approval – or rejection. The card issuer’s final decision is sent back to both the merchant’s bank and the vendor.

Rejection may be issued only in two situations: if the balance on the cardholder’s account is insufficient. Or, if based on the data provided by the merchant’s bank, there is suspicion of fraud.

Incorrect suspicions of fraud is inconvenient for the consumer, whose purchase has been denied and whose card may summarily be blocked by the card issuer, and poses a reputational damage to the vendor.

How to counter frauds?

Based on my research, which examines how advanced statistical and probabilistic techniques could better detect fraud, sequential analysis – coupled with new technology – holds the key.

Thanks to the continuous monitoring of cardholder expenditure and information. This includes the time, amount and geographical coordinates of each purchase – it should be possible to develop a computer model that would calculate the probability that a purchase is fraudulent. If the probability passes a certain threshold, the card issuer would be issued an alarm.

The company could then decide to either block the card directly or undertake further investigation, such as calling the consumer.

The strength of this model, which applies a well-known mathematical theory called optimal stopping theory to fraud detection, is that it aims at either maximising an expected payoff or minimising an expected cost. In other words, all the computations would be aimed at limiting the frequency of false alarms.

My research is still underway. But, in the meantime, to reduce significantly the risk of falling victim to credit card fraud. Here are some golden rules.

First, never click on links in emails that ask you to provide personal information, even if the sender appears to be your bank.

Second, before you buy something online from an unknown seller, google the vendor’s name. This helps you see whether consumer feedback has been mainly positive.

Finally, when making online payments, check that the webpage address starts with https. This is a communication protocol for secure data transfer. ALso, confirm that the web page does not contain grammatical errors or strange words. That suggests it may be a fake designed solely to steal your financial data.

Bruno Buonaguidi, Researcher, InterDisciplinary Institute of Data Science, Università della Svizzera italiana
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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