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5 Reasons why Falling in Love with Android is Inevitable

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Nokia loves Android, you should too!

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and love is undoubtedly in the air. That could only mean one thing – Valentine’s Day! This got us thinking here at HMD Global, Home of Nokia phones, what do we love? Simple… Android!

There hasn’t been a topic that separates a society as much as Android versus alternative operating systems. While we’ve had other mobile operating systems in the past, who hasn’t, we have come to realise that since going steady in February 2017, we couldn’t be happier with our current partner, Android.

Here’s five very good reasons why Nokia’s Valentine goes to Android:

  1. Pure, Secure & Up to date

With many years of experience in understanding what our customers want from our Nokia phones, Android has enabled us to do just that, give our customers exactly what they expect, a pure, secure and up-to-date experience.

“The pure, secure and up-to-date approach enables individuals to experience Android devices the way it was always intended, no bloatware, long battery life and regular security updates,” explains Michelle Wynne, Head of Marketing for HMD, Sub-Sahara Africa Region.

  1. Customisation

The mobile phone has become an integral part of our daily life’s and to some an extension of their personality. This is why the freedom to customise your Android device is one of the most commonly mentioned things by our users. Nokia smartphones offer our consumers Pure Android, which means no preloaded apps that you don’t need, just customise your phone with what matters to you.

Nobody knows or understands you, like you do, so who better than YOU to personalise your own phone?

  1. Google integration

Developed by Google, Android gives you the power of Google at your fingertips. From Google Play, Google Photos to Google Assistant, ensuring that you stay up to date with the latest technology and software developed.

  1. Great range of phones

Nokia smartphones provides users with memory to capture all those special moments. Nokia Smartphones come with expandable memory. If you run out of space, you can easily insert a new SD card in your phone and never worry again about missing out on a special moment in your life, with extra memory comes the ability to record at your heart’s content. The cherry on the cake is access to Google Cloud storage to save all your memories and back-up all your content.

  1. Love is finding the right price to fit your needs

The challenge facing most South Africans at the moment is that while they can’t afford to waste money on unnecessary items, they still need a reliable mobile device that will fit their stretched pockets and demanding needs. “This is why there is a range of Nokia Smartphones running on Android OS for everyone” concludes Wynne.

Go ahead, join the family and fall in love with Nokia and Pure Android this Valentine’s Day

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Alibaba is the Cave of Riches: “Amazon” of the East,

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It is considered to be the only online shop that offers relatively cheap products. The company was founded in Hangzhou, China by a former English teacher, the famous Jack Ma, and 17 other people.

Jack Ma was first introduced to the internet in 1995 during his visit to the United States. While he was here, he realized that there were no websites in China. Seizing this opportunity, he first created a directory of sites in China that was known as Chinapages.com.

A few months later, as he was sitting in a coffee place in San Francisco, he asked a waiter “Do you know who Alibaba is?” To which she replied: “Sure, Open Sesame.” Seeing that a random person could answer that, he decided to go to the streets, and he was amazed by the response. Everybody; Germans, Indians, Chinese…they all knew Alibaba (a polite, smart person who helped people).

The name was easy to pronounce and famous, thus it was the perfect name for a platform for sales in-between companies, a platform that would open up the doors for Chinese products in the international trade which already had over 80 million users.

Today, Alibaba Group hosts a variety of services: eTao, a website which has product price comparisons; Taobao, popularly known as the eBay of China, this platform is for sales among consumers; Alipay, “the PayPal of China”, and AliExpress.

Significant Milestones in the History of Alibaba Groups (Alibaba.com)

1999

  •   After approaching various banking institutions, the company managed to raise $25 million. 1688.comwas also founded during the same year- this became China’s greatest marketplace.

2000

  •   Alibaba Group raised $20 million from an investor group led by SoftBank.
  •   Alibaba Group organized the first West Lake Summit, a gathering of Internet business and thought leaders.

2003

  •   Online shopping website Taobao Marketplace is founded, again in Jack Ma’s apartment.

2004

  •   Alibaba Group raised $816,882 million from several first-tier investors in the most substantial private equity commitment ever in the Chinese Internet sector.
  •   Alibaba Group organized its first Netrepreneur Summit, a gathering of Internet entrepreneurs, and honors the first 10 Netrepreneurs of the Year
  •   Aliwangwang, a personal computer-based instant messaging tool that facilitates text, audio and video communication between buyers and sellers, is launched on Taobao Marketplace.
  •   Alipay, currently a related company of Alibaba Group, is started as a third-party online payment platform.

2005

  •   Alibaba Group formed a strategic partnership with Yahoo! And soon after took over the operations of China Yahoo!

2006

  •   Yipai.com, similar to Taobao, was merged into Alibaba Taobao. Yipai had 7.29% market share in Q3 of 2005.
  •   Alibaba acquired Koubei.com, one of China’s largest online classified listing companies, which was founded by an ex-Alibaba employee

2007

  •   Alibaba Group launched Alimama, an online marketing technology platform.

2008

  •   Taobao Mall (currently known as Tmall), a dedicated platform for third-party brands and retailers, is introduced to complement Taobao Marketplace.
  •   Establishment of R&D institute

2009

  •   Alibaba paid RMB 540 million to acquire Net.can which was the leading primary Internet infrastructure and services provider (web hosting, domain names, etc.).
  •   Formation of Alibaba Cloud happened during the celebrations of Alibaba Group 10th anniversary.

2010

  • <a href=”https://www.16best.net/aliexpress/“>AliExpress</a> is launched to enable exporters in China to reach and directly transact with consumers around the world.

2016

  •   Alibaba Group exceeded RMB3 trillion in FY2016 gross merchandise volume (GMV) on its China retail marketplaces and subsequently, becomes the largest retail economy in the world.
  •   Alibaba Global Leadership Academy (AGLA) program, a talent development program dedicated to fostering future Alibaba global leaders, was launched.
  •   Alibaba Group launched OS’Car, the first YunOS-enabled, mass-produced internet car, in collaboration with SAIC Motor Corp.
  •   The concept of an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) envisioned by Jack Ma is included in the official communiqué of the G20 summit and gains support from World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo
  •   Alibaba Cloud announced the opening of four new data centers in the Middle East (Dubai), Europe (Frankfurt), Australia (Sydney) and Japan (Tokyo).

2017

  •   Alibaba Group announced plans to establish the first overseas e-hub under the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative together with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
  •   Tmall World, an effort to serve the 100 million-strong overseas Chinese market worldwide, is officially launched.

 Alibaba Group Subsidiary companies

1. Aliexpress. Launched in 2010, Aliexpress is a B2C platform for Chinese companies that wish to sell their products to the foreign market.

2. South China Morning Post. Media popularity and entertainment were and still are the most followed source of information. Alibaba Group acquired South China Morning Post in 2015 for $266 million as a marketing strategy to gain media popularity and reshape the coverage of what was thought to be a negative portrayal of China to the West.

3. AutoNavi. Alibaba Group acquired AutoNavi, a Chinese mapping and navigation company in 2014. The company was critical in garnering user behaviors, and it provides data to Google and Apple Inc. Today, the AutoNavi app is one of the top apps in China with over 100 million users.

4. Taobao. Founded in 2003, Taobao was created to compete with the activities of eBay in China. eBay Inc. had purchased China’s largest online auction site, Eachnet. To counter the popularity of eBay, Taobao offered free seller listings and new features such as instant messaging, and within two years, it managed to kick eBay out of the market.

5. Alipay. PayPal is one of the world’s largest online transaction sites. Well, China has theirs as well – Alipay!

Founded in 2004, Alipay has over 400 million users today. The company is under Ant Financial Services Group, an Alibaba Group Affiliate. In 2014, it was announced that Alipay had even surpassed PayPal to be the largest digital payment platform with over 65 connections with financial institutions such as Visa and MasterCard.

6. Ali Health Information Technology. This company was established after Alibaba and a private equity firm, Yunfeng, purchased 54% stake in Citic 21CN.

7. Alibaba Pictures Groups. One of the most significant Chinese movie company since 2015 was formed after Alibaba group bought a 60% stake worth $804 million in 2014. The company was initially known as ChinaVIsion before it was renamed to Alibaba Pictures Group.

8. Aliwangwang and Laiwang. Taobao’s growth demanded an instant communication platform where sellers and buyers could easily communicate and in 2004, Aliwangwang, the second largest instant messenger in China was formed.

Later, in 2013, Alibaba formed Laiwang, its messaging service to rival WeChat, the Tencent’s messaging service app.

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5 Cashless Payment Modes for Your Businesses

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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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How You Can Use Digital Marketing To Grow Your Business

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Digital marketing quite simply means marketing in the digital space. But what is marketing? Marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. So digital marketing is doing all that but in the digital realm. Now we get the full picture of digital marketing.

Digital marketing has been with us for about a decade or just a decade depending on perspective (yes a decade) but it has turned the marketing world upside down. It has not quite replaced traditional marketing but that is a just a matter of time. Let is go over some advantages it has over traditional marketing.

1. Empowers small businesses
Any business can compete with any competitor regardless of size. Using the marketing budget that the business can afford, a business can be able to carve out its own niche in the market place. In the digital world a crisp well thought out website with a smooth customer experience and fantastic service is king- not size.

2. It makes it easy quantify and measure results
Anybody is the business world will tell you that data is king. A lot of the risk associated with business has a lot to do with the unknown. Digital marketing addresses this problem quite effectively. In traditional marketing a business for example might pay for a billboard to advertise its products. The amount the business will pay is based on how many people may see the billboard during the duration the ad is up. The key word here is might. There is no verifiable way to know how many people actually saw the ad.

In the digital world/internet it is possible to know exactly who sees your ad. In addition to that it is also possible to see where the people who saw your ad come from and in some cases one is even able to build a complete profile of the viewer including age, sex and even spending habits (yes even spending habits). To a business this information is vital and enables it to plan its marketing campaign more efficiently.

3. Reduced cost
In traditional media a company may need a fixed amount per year to dedicate to advertising. In the online realm, a business sets its budget according to the intended results of the campaign. There is no fixed amount. Pay as little as you want or pay as much as you want, the only thing that matters is your marketing goals.

The How

Now that we have a clear grasp of what is possible let us go through how it actually works. There are three main ways to go about digital marketing.

These are the main categories everything else falls under one of them. They include;

The Search

Search includes using search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Search engines are simple to understand. A user visits a site and searches for what he/she want, Simple and very basic. However that is where the simplicity ends. The search engine in turn invites advertises to advertise on the pages of the results of what a user is searching for. A search engine, through machine learning and rudimentary artificial intelligence is able to build a complete profile of a user. The search engine knows who the user is, their preferences, demographic and the user’s exact location. All this information is used to determine the kind of advertisement that the user will be shown. Thus a user is shown advertising which is relevant to them. Tools used in this category include Google AdWords.

Social Media

Social Media is also very simple. Everybody is in something. Be it Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. The process is still the same but very refined. Using all the information someone posts on social media a complete profile of the person is built and the person is served ads that are relevant to the person. Tools used in this category include Facebook marketing

Content

Content is very powerful. As an internet user visits the website that interests them relevant ads are shown. For example a person reading a car blog will be shown advertising that involves cars. Video advertising is a form of social media but it is in a category on its own. Video is the most engaging of all media and thus an incredible powerful tool. Tools used in this category include affiliate programs and YouTube marketing.

That being said the internet is just a tool; the principles of traditional marketing still apply. One still needs a definite strategy and plan of action. A business also needs to know its marketing objectives be it increasing sales or improving brand awareness. The business also needs to keep a watch on the metrics and adjust strategy as new data or trends are discovered. This is enabled by the flexibility of digital marketing. A good search engine optimized website goes a long way. A search engine optimized website ranks higher on for example a google search. Also building a following on social media helps brands engage one on one with the customer. This sort of feedback provides good insight on whether a brand is keeping its promises or not. The entire categories search engine, social media and content should be used together for the best results.

Digital marketing is all about coming up with your campaign strategy and create relevant advertising material for the various media. After that now comes the difficult part of measuring metrics and results and optimizing for the best results

It is also easy to get lost in the digital marketing world but not to worry trained experts are also not far away. There are numerous digital agencies catering to all types of businesses be it a startup or a fortune 500.

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