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5 Cashless Payment Modes for Your Businesses

Inversk Review

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We live in an era where technology is changing how things are done in every aspect of life: from simple tasks such as domestic chores to complex ones such as business and communication. The safety of money flow is paramount to the success of every business.

Transfer of cash in form of notes and coins has been traditionally used but it is now slowly being wiped off by cashless modes of payment such as mobile money transfer. This is why many businesses now including small businesses use the cashless modes of payment to receive money from customers and pay their suppliers. These modes of payment have the following benefits to an organization:

  • Reduced queuing time. This saves time for both the staff and the customers, hence better service.
  • Eliminate cash handling costs as there will be no need for cash floats
  • No cash balancing required.
  • Reduce risk as it provides greater security
  • Cashless tills can be left unsupervised during quiet times as there is no risk of theft or accidental loss of money.
  • Any refunds or discounts can only be enabled by management password control.
  • Allows for the analyzing of all aspects of spending and take up of paid for facilities. For example who buys lunch and when they buy, what they spend etc.
  • With pre-loading of credit onto the cards there is a positive cash flow situation. You receive the money loaded onto the cards in advance of when the actual sales take place.
  • Coordination of all paid for facilities. In many cases it is possible to use one plastic card for a variety of facility based uses, such Access Control, Car Park Entry, Photocopying Control and Cashless Catering and Vending.

There are many types of cashless money transfer modes. They include the following:

  1. Mobile Payments

Mobile payment, also referred to as mobile money, mobile money transfer, and mobile wallet generally refer to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. In Kenya today, most of the telecommunication companies and banks offer this mode to their customers. They include: M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Yu Cash etc.

  1. Near Field Communication (NFC)

It involves the use of contactless payment. These are systems that use devices, including smartphones and other mobile devices, which use radio-frequency identification (RFID) or  NFC for making secure payments. The embedded chip and antenna enable consumers to wave their card, fob, or handheld device over a reader at the point of sale terminal. They speed up POS payment processing by enabling smaller amounts to be paid quickly and easily without requiring a PIN or signature.

  1. Credit and Debit Cards

A debit card is a payment card that deducts money directly from a consumer’s checking account to pay for a purchase. Debit cards eliminate the need to carry cash or physical checks to make purchases.  While a credit card is a payment card that is not linked to your current account and is a credit facility that enables you to buy things immediately, up to a pre-arranged limit, and pay for them at a later date. The cost of the purchase is added to your credit card account and you get a statement every month.

  1. Security

It involves tokenization and biometric authentication. Tokenization is an extremely interesting method of securing credit card data. Instead of using actual credit card details, companies substitute pieces of information known as tokens. The original data is stored securely on a tokenisation server, and only the tokens are used during the payment process. If they are stolen, there is no harm done. Unfortunately for now there are no widespread tokenisation standards. Instead, there are a number of different approaches. Viewed in this light, this security technology is still in its infancy stage however its use is progressing at a fairly good rate.

When it comes to authenticating payment processes, there are several new inventions. The current methods are password, PIN, and fingerprint. These methods all have one thing in common: they can be expanded upon to allow increasing use of two-factor authentication. User-friendly methods—including, for example, new biometric processes like voice recognition, keystroke detection, finger vein scanners and pulse recognition—are set to become increasingly significant. The trend aims to simultaneously increase both security and convenience. Currently, the pre-paid tokens for the Kenya Power and Lighting Company use this system.

  1. E-Money Accounts

Electronic money, or e-money, is the money balance recorded electronically on a stored-value card. These cards have microprocessors embedded which can be loaded with a monetary value. Another form of electronic money is network money, software that allows the transfer of value on computer networks, particularly the internet.

Basically, electronic money is a floating claim on a private bank or other financial institution that is not linked to any particular account. Examples of electronic money are bank depositselectronic funds transferdirect depositpayment processors, and digital currencies. These therefore, are “bank accounts for everyone” and they have the tremendous advantage that as are easily acquired, placing bank-like structures within reach of population groups (such as refugees) who have, until now, been denied access to such services.

Additional benefits of e-money accounts include their data frugality, their generally state-of-the-art interfaces, and more advanced features. In addition, some already offer the instant payments described above, which are not yet available with bank accounts.

So is cashless transfer possible in Kenya? I believe it is as the popularity of mobile money transfer is growing very fast. Soon businesses should be able to embrace the other cashless modes of payment in order to evade the hazards that come with cash payment.

 

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Companies

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Has An Outage, its not Just You

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In what appears to be a server outage for Facebook’s suite of properties — which includes Instagram and WhatsApp — users from across the world have reported usability issues over the past few hours.

Users of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp reported some issues with the social media services on Wednesday to Thursday morning. The outage is still ongoing

According to multiple reports, though much about the problems was unclear — including the cause, how many people were affected and the extent of the lack of usability.

In a statement to PEOPLE, a Facebook spokesperson said only, “We’re aware that some people and businesses are currently having trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Further, Facebook relayed via Twitter; “We’re aware that some people are having trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps. “We’re sorry for the trouble and are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Users have resulted to twitter to air their frustrations. If you browse through your uploaded photos, instead of seeing holiday snaps or pictures of food and friends, you’ll be shown text saying things like “image may contain: people smiling, people dancing, wedding and indoor” or just “image may contain: cat. Also, users cannot upload or see image in Instagram as well as share on their whatsApp status.

On WhatsApp, some users noticed image and video files were not able to send, while others on Instagram claimed they could not see images on their feeds. Users on the Facebook Messenger app also reported being unable to load or send images and videos. The guardian reported.

Wednesday night’s disruption comes just weeks after an Instagram outage that lasted for more than an hour. During that incident, users were unable to refresh the app and received error messages upon loading.

The company blamed that outage on “a technical issue.”

Update: Reports indicate that the sites are now back to normal in some parts of the world.

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National News

Mobile Loan Apps Set First Loan at Ksh 4,000

Customers will get access to in-app digital borrowing history and repayment behavior which will also be accessed by all DLAP members so as to determine how much to lend to a customer.

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Mobile loan users now have a reason to smile as the initial lending maximum set at Ksh 4,000 with no loan history. This decision is part of the code of conduct signed by lenders under the newly formed Digital Lenders Association of Kenya (DLAK).

The lobby, which currently consists of twelve members, says this move will ensure member firms match customer debt levels with repayment ability so as not to plunge borrowers into over indebtedness.

DLAK was formed as a way to adopt a self-regulatory framework and a set of shared principles to guide members.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge had recently raised concerns over the increasing number of mobile loan apps that may be exploiting Kenyans. CBK has also in the recent past put on notice unlicensed and unregulated digital lenders as the government to protect consumers from fraudulent dealers.

Members of the lobby group include Tala, Alternative Circle, Stawika Capital, Zenka Finance, MyCredit,Okolea, Lpesa, Kopacent, Four Kings Investment, Kuwazo Capital and Finance Plan.

Under the groups code of conduct, customers will get access to in-app digital borrowing history and repayment behavior which will also be accessed by all DLAP members so as to determine how much to lend to a customer. Business daily reported.

“Where possible, lenders will attempt to help contactable customers to restructure their debt or otherwise make every reasonable effort to help their customers return to good standing,” reads DLAK’s code of conduct in part.

The digital lending industry have in the recent past been put on spot by the senate who called for its regulation on claims they are saddling borrowers with high-interest rates. The fims were accused of offering mobile loans at rates above the cap provided in law and occasioning heavy borrowing and indebtedness mainly among the low-income groups on easy access to loans. Some of the apps opffer an interest rate equating to 180 percent over a year.

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Africa

Jack Ma’s Netpreneur Prize Entries to Close on June 30th

Inversk Review

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The call for entries for Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) deadline is nearing, already set on June 30 2019. This means interested entrepreneurs have only 4 days to submit their applications for the chance to pitch Jack Ma and win a share of the $1-million.

Launched in 2018, the Jack Ma led initiative has a budget of $10 million over a 10-year period. This means each year, 10 entrepreneurs will share $1m each year.

Through the contest, Ma aims to support African tech entrepreneurs in their efforts to build a more sustainable and inclusive Africa for the future. Jack Ma decided to create the prize after his first trip to Africa in July 2017 when he was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met.

The competition is open to entrepreneurs from across all countries of Africa to apply; and from all industries, including traditional and tech. It puts a special focus on small enterprises, female entrepreneurs, and those doing work to improve local communities.

The businesses pitched also has to founded and registered in the African country in which they operate. Also, they must have been operational for at least three years and show earnings for these years. Their products or services must also be adapted to the continent’s needs.

To enter the competition, each business must create three short videos – one from the founder, one from an employee, and one from a customer. Applicants must be African nationals leading mission-driven organisations and must have been operating for at least three years. The finalists will be selected by a team of judges from the five regions representing the entire continent.

Interested applicants can head to the ANPI website and click Apply Now. You will need to fill in a form to create an account which you will use to complete the submission process.

Semi-finalists will then be selected by a group of judges and notified in August with the top ten finalists travelling to the Grand Finale in November.

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