This week in tech: Mpesa may not be isolated from Safaricom Plus more weekly tech trends
In case you have been sipping on the Uhuru-Nanok beef, you probably missed out on important tech news this week. Luckily, we took notes of what was happening.
Below are the top 10 tech trends that have been ruling the airwaves:
1.Uncle Bob can sleep soundly (for now) knowing that GOK is opposed to a move to have Mpesa separated from Safaricom. The motion had been tabled by the deputy minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo but Joe Mucheru, the information, communication, and technology minister stated that this move would only discourage innovation and put off tech investors.
2. Safaricom ranked on of the best brands in Africa. The giant telecom has been ranked the 4th most valued brand in Africa. This is according to the annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best brand report for 2017. Safaricom has mainly expanded its footprint owing to Mpesa, its mobile money transfer service. Safaricom and Tusker are the only Kenyan brands that appeared top of the list. Kudos to Safaricom.
3. Seems like April long rains are not the only thing we will be anticipating next month since the issuance of ePassports to Kenyans is set to kick off. The Kenyan immigration department has announced the issuance of ePassports from April 2017. The ePassport will store information in an electronic chip. The chip will hold information that was available in the current model. Applause!
4. Multichoice has launched a reward program in an effort to reward customers with a selection of extra channels and airtime bonuses. The reward programs are dubbed “DStv Thanks” and “Gotv Wow”. If you are a loyal customer, you will be happy to know that the new program will allow you to watch additional channels for free for a period of three weeks. There’s a condition: you only get the reward if you remain continuously connected to their platform for at least three months. So, if you have been all over the place, maybe it’s time to settle down.
5. 12 Kenyan banks have signed with Verve International, the largest card brand in Nigeria. The collaboration will see the roll out of a payment solution that will allow customers to make cross-bank digital withdrawals and payments. This deal also allows for sharing of infrastructure among banks that are on board. Verve competes with Visa and MasterCard.
6. If you have been living under that assumption that all hackers are smart, you have been lying to yourself. A ring of bank hackers that are believed to be involved in a multi-million theft in Nairobi have been busted. This gang is believed to have penetrated systems of giant companies and government institutions particularly KRA. The international cybercrime syndicate was using Salami attacks and electronic transfers. The issue of hacking is serious since financial institutions are believed to have lost close to Ksh. 30 billion to hackers or internet thieves in 2016 alone.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder has offered to help companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung to deal with hacking tools released recently.
7. Zuku unveils 250Mbps internet package in Kenya. The Wananchi Group subsidiary describes this internet package as the fastest in the country. The plan is dubbed Home Advanced 250Mbps and is specifically designed to meet evolving needs of local customers. The plan fee is Ksh. 19,999.
8. The head of South Korea’s Samsung Group Jay Y. Lee is in hot soup. Steaming hot. Lee is in the middle of a corruption scandal and has been charged with bribery, embezzlement, and other serious offenses. This could be the trial of the century people. Mark my words.
9. Google is planning to acquire Kaggle, a platform that hosts data science and machine learning competitions. Details of the transactions are still vague but Google is expected to make an official announcement.
10. Finally, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan are expecting another baby girl. In his post, Zuckerberg expressed his joy and also stated that he was happy that Max, their first born daughter, would grow up with a sibling. No nude pictures were involved in the announcement. Just several decent family pictures. Turns out that someone can make a huge announcement without going nude. Interesting.
There, those are your top tech topics for this week.