In case you have been off-grid, here’s a round-up of this week’s tech trends, news, and events:
1. Kenya bankers Association (KBA) has launched Pesa Link. This service enables real-time bank to bank cash transfers via mobile phones. Customers can transfer from as low as Ksh. 10 to as high as 999,999. No more intermediaries. Good news for banks since they will no longer pay “exorbitant fees” but bad news for mobile money transfer service providers.
2. The National Youth Service (NYS) was this week accused of conducting parallel voter registration in Runda. The allegations came after Runda residents purported that some NYS personnel was registering voters at the PCEA Beula Church in Runda. IEBC denies such activities arguing that the software used by NYS personnel is totally different from the one used by the elections body to register voters.
3. Safaricom has upgraded M-Pesa to enable customers to receive a transaction fee notification. This will be part of M-Pesa’s confirmation message. The giant telecommunication describes this as a way of enhancing transparency. The first phase of this service was rolled out this week. The second phase is expected to be rolled out soon and it will see customers receive popup notifications for any charges prior to the transaction. The third phase is expected to avail this service to other financial products such as M-Shwari, KCB M-Pesa, and M-Tiba.
4. The government, through Communications Authority of Kenya, wants to start listening to your calls, read your texts, and check your mobile money transactions. Big brother seeks to start snooping into your private conversations without needing a court order. Reason? To track counterfeit devices! And as expected, this ignited heated debate on twitter with some maintaining that our privacy is being thrown to the dogs.
5. The Two Rivers Mall opens. Finally! And this is connected to technology how? The mall has an app, The Two Rivers Mall app, to help shoppers pay their parking fees and access other info on the services available in the complex. The security detail also employs heavy security features.
6. A manager at Safaricom has been accused of stealing mobile phones valued at above Ksh. 69.5 million. That must be a lot of phones. And nice one’s for that matter. Well, reports suggest that Mr. Stanley Opiyo Mjomba was arraigned in court for allegedly stealing 814 assorted mobile phones.
7. Kenyan Railways receives the first consignment of wagons that will be deployed on the Standard Gauge Railway. If you haven’t lost interest in SGR news, especially after seeing the first class trains, well, here goes the other good news.
8. Safaricom’s Spark Venture Fund has invested in FarmDrive, a data analytics startup that makes financial services easily available to small-scale farmers. Through this investment, farmers will be able to access financing via their mobile phones.
9. Airtel Kenya has extended support for Digital Literacy by offering routers and 3G connectivity for free internet connectivity. This connection targets the Intel Mobile Caravan under the She Will Connect Programme.
10. Facebook is set to roll out a feature that allows job posting and application on its platform. The tech giant is definitely coming for LinkedIn so we can only sit back, relax, and enjoy our popcorns we wait to see how LinkedIn responds to this.
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