Safaricom’s Fuliza Wins a Prestigious Award Months after Launch

Safaricom and Huawei won this year’s “The Business of Tomorrow” award at the AfricaCom event. The annual event is considered the largest of its kind in the continent. It brings together leading companies in the media, telecommunication, and technology sectors.

This year’s event was held in Cape Town from November 12-14. The trade fair doubles up as an opportunity for innovators to showcase their products. It is also an opportunity for business owners in the tech world to connect and build relationships.

In January 2019, Safaricom partnered with the Chinese tech company, Huawei to launch the Fuliza service. Fuliza is an overdraft service on the mobile money platform, Mpesa. Registered Mpesa customers can borrow money and complete transactions above their account balances.

The innovative service solves the challenge of insufficient funds that Mpesa customers face when doing business via the service. The mobile money service has maintained its lead in the market since its launch. Safaricom’s competitors are far from catching up with the popularity of Mpesa.

Read Also: The Success of Mpesa in Kenya

The success of the Fuliza service is an indication of the need for such services in the Kenyan market. Within the first six months, Mpesa customers had borrowed 81 billion Kenyan shillings via the service. Kenyans are still in need of affordable and accessible loan services to do business.

Prior to Fuliza, Safaricom introduced the Mswari and KCB-Mpesa services for its customers. Both services use the customer’s Mpesa transactions data to determine loan limits. High values of Mpesa transactions enable customers to access higher amounts.

The telecom company has used the same strategy with Fuliza. Safaricom is working with the KCB Group and Commercial Bank of Africa to provide the overdraft service. When a customer borrows funds, the amount is sent to their Mpesa accounts.

Safaricom’s CEO Michael Joseph attributed the success of Fuliza to the significant role that Mpesa plays in the country. Mpesa has expanded and deepened financial inclusion, especially of low-income earners.

With the mobile money service, all customers can access loan services without depending directly on banks. The CEO further stated that Fuliza is one way of fulfilling the promise that the Company makes to provide relevant products and services.

The 26 million-plus subscribers is a clear sign that the service is relevant to Safaricom customers. The number of customers continues to rise despite competition from other telecom companies such as Airtel and Telcom.

The Need for Partnership

Huawei brings in the technology that enables Safaricom to offer the overdraft service. The Chinese giant has an overdraft platform that powers the design and development of financial products such as Fuliza.

Through the platform, Huawei provides secure and stable overdraft services. Security is a major concern for such services that involve millions of transactions and variant payment schedules.

Speaking about winning the prestigious award, David Chen, Huawei’s Director of Marketing and Solution Sales emphasized the need for security. David pointed to a business commitment that software companies in Nairobi, Kenya can borrow.

David indicated that Huawei combines security and stability in all its application programming for financial services. The technology behind Fuliza combines a world-class API with a secure platform for Mpesa users to access additional funds.

Despite the challenges in the global market, Huawei has made history in launching its innovative mobile phones. In September 2019, Huawei launched the Mate 30 series of smartphones without Google services.

Related: Huawei Mate 30 Phone Series Are Finally Out Without Google Apps

The Company responded to the US ban with a series of prestigious smartphones with its operating system. In addition, Huawei showcased its 5G technology at the AfricaCom event. Such technologies have contributed to the digital transformation that the world is witnessing.

Fuliza is one of the engagements that Safaricom has had with Huawei. The two companies have worked together over the years to improve Safaricom’s financial services. The innovative loan services do not only target individuals but SMEs.

While services such as Fuliza attract millions of individuals, the companies work together with macro benefits in mind. Consider the number of businesses in Kenya and beyond that depend on Mpesa to complete transactions.

Product Development and Diversification

The partnership between Safaricom and Huawei is the first lesson for entrepreneurs in Kenya. Companies can achieve more through collaboration. The second lesson is about product development and diversification.

Safaricom officially launched the Mpesa service in 2007 after years of research on the possibility of money transfer through mobile phones. The service has set the pace for other countries.

Despite the success of the transfer service, Safaricom has continued to develop the services. The loan services started with a partnership with banks. Today, it is hard to come across an established business in Kenya without the Mpesa payment service.

Kenyans pay most of their monthly utilities via Mpesa. Should we mention the contribution of Mpesa to the popularity of betting platforms in Kenya? Yet, even with the successes in the past, the management is still exploring new services like Fuliza.

Recently, Safaricom introduced data and airtime with no expiry date. The moves are great lessons for business owners to keep innovating their products. Safaricom enjoys the largest market share yet the company never stops rebranding and improving its products.

With over 33 million subscribers, it is easy for a company to settle and cash in the profits. However, the management keeps pushing to increase the market share and reach new markets.

Huawei on its part has expanded its technologies and products to the entire globe. The Chinese brand has had its share of challenges but its products and services are still penetrating new markets.

Final remarks

Safaricom’s success with the Fuliza service shows that Kenyans are still looking for affordable loan services. The service offers an alternative to the now popular instant loan apps. The partnership with Huawei is good but a challenge to software companies in Nairobi, Kenya. We need to improve our creativity and innovation to provide similar or even better financial platforms. Fuliza is a first in Kenya. Developers should be thinking of similar or even better platforms for other telecom companies.

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Whatsapp Has Introduced a Fingerprint Lock Feature for Android Phones


WhatsApp has become one of the easiest and fastest ways to communicate. However, if you share confidential information on the app, you need to be keen about your device’s security.

Anyone who masters your lock pattern or PIN can easily read your messages and misuse the information therein.

Sometimes you just forget to lock your device when the automatic lock is deactivated.

You can now keep your WhatsApp messages private with the new security feature. The upgrade enables you to secure your messages with your fingerprint.

Your fingerprint is unique and perhaps the safest way to secure your phone data.

WhatsApp is not testing the biometric authentication for the first time. The feature was first tested with iPhones in February (2019).

iPhone users have been enjoying both the fingerprint lock and facial recognition safety measures.

How to activate the fingerprint lock feature

For Android phone users, the fingerprint lock/unlock is now accessible via the WhatsApp settings.

You must activate the feature to enjoy the upgraded privacy. Here is the process:

1. Open WhatsApp (You may need to install or upgrade the app it in a new Android device)

2. Open the app’s Settings

3. Click on Account

4. Select Privacy

5. Select the Fingerprint lock option

You will need to confirm your fingerprint when you select this option. In addition, you can select the duration within which the app will automatically lock.

For instance, you can choose to activate the automatic fingerprint lock immediately after closing the app. You can also choose a longer duration like a minute or half an hour.

It all depends on how often you use the app or your current chat sessions.

If you cannot trust your friends or colleagues, it is safer to activate the automatic fingerprint lock immediately after closing the app.

Additional feature

Another security measure that comes with the fingerprint lock is the ability to control the content of WhatsApp notifications.

Most devices give a preview of a new message including the sender’s identity.

Sometimes the preview is the full message from the sender. Your friends can view the message even without unlocking your device or opening the app.

With the upgraded privacy, you can control the content of the notifications that the app gives.

The new security features were tested in Android beta in August and will soon be available on all Android platforms.

Pegasus

The new privacy feature has come at a time when the world is concerned about spyware that targeted WhatsApp users in India.

Pegasus spyware is NSO technology that extracts private data without the knowledge of phone users.

The politics that surround the Indian election are deemed to have prompted the Israeli firm to launch Pegasus in India.

The spyware sends WhatsApp users a link. If you click on it, Pegasus is automatically installed on your device.

You will view the information on the link without realising the security breach beneath the link.

Once the spyware is installed, it extracts data on your device. The developers are interested in your events, contacts, messages, passwords and call log.

Pegasus developers have managed to introduce the spyware to more than 45 countries. India has faced the security breach for the second time.

NSO claims that it developed the spyware three years ago to sell to governments. However, there are concerns that the technology has been misused.

In the case of India, questions arise on the authority to use the spyware to extract data from activists, journalists, and lawyers in an election year.

As a WhatsApp user, you need to be careful with the links you open on the app.

The titles of the links and videos we receive on WhatsApp are irresistible. However, clicking on the links could be the doorway to malware into your device.

Concerns about Cyber Crimes

While Pegasus is no secret to governments, the greatest concern is if the operators have licensed criminals to use the technology.

The same concerns arise about WhatsApp privacy settings.

The current encryption technology ensures that only the two people chatting on the app can read or access the conversation.

The system works for users but not for the police trying to track and stop crimes in time.

It is impossible for law administrators to read encrypted messages on the platform. This means that criminals can communicate on WhatsApp and plan crimes that the police cannot decode.

The new security feature makes it even harder for security forces to track and stop cyber crimes.

Unless the criminal is caught, reading messages on the criminal’s phone will be impossible.

To some security experts, communication platforms like WhatsApp are easy places for criminals to hide and talk.

However, the security concerns do not eliminate that need for app developers to provide the best security measures to users.

While the information shared on social platforms may be inaccessible to strangers, the operators can access the data from their servers.

The police can request for records of chats for specific numbers when investigating a crime.

Final Thoughts

App developers in Kenya and elsewhere around the world care about the data security of their users. Developers will go out of their way to outsmart cybercriminals with new security features. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has given users a new layer of data security. It is up to the users to activate the settings.

The same applies to malware links that cybercriminals send to app users. You can reduce cyber-attacks significantly by ignoring suspicious links on all social platforms on your device.

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42 Malicious Android Apps That You Need to Uninstall Immediately

ESET cyber-experts recently released a report about rogue apps that got Android phone owners worried.

Most of us trust apps on our devices’ app store, especially Play Store for Android phone users. We shun uncertified sources or websites but trust our app stores.

Here is another thing that gives us the green light to download an app. Thousands or even millions of downloads.

You simply assume that hundreds of thousands of people cannot be wrong.

Experts have now verified that this verification process has exposed us to malware.

In fact, one of the malicious apps that the cyber experts found had more than five million downloads. Would you be suspicious of such an app?

Dangers of installing malicious apps

App users have had concerns about the permissions that apps require during the installation process. You cannot use an app unless you grant the permissions.

The concerns are valid. One of the risks of installing a rogue app is that it shares information about your device with a third party.

Your guess is right. The third parties here are criminals who will misuse your information.

Mobile application developers in Kenya will tell you that most app owners earn from ads. For business owners, apps help them maximise sales.

However, most crooks have no real business but a bunch of malware ads. Hence, they will run the ads in the background while you use a malicious app.

You will never suspect the malicious activities because the ads do not show on your screen.

Sometimes the crooks are bold enough to run the ads even when you are not using the adware app.

The result is that your phone battery life’s is ruined.

Could this be the reason why your phone’s battery never lasts? Before you replace the battery in frustration, consider this possibility and clean up the device.

You might not need a new battery after all!

Why so many downloads?

According to experts, the apps attract many downloads because they disguise themselves as useful apps. Top on the list of the “adware” apps as they are commonly called is an app that enables you to download videos.

Other malicious apps are games or tools that you will definitely need to use your device.

Think about the number of times you get a file that you cannot open or read with any of the apps of your phone.

You immediately run to the app store for a tool without realising that you are exposing your device to adware apps.

Users do not always install suspicious apps. You may install one that will then install other malicious apps.

When the illegal installation is complete, crooks will delete the icon from the apps menu.

You will only see a shortcut, which you will be quick to delete and assume that all is well.

Meanwhile, a bunch of adware apps is using your phone’s software to run ads.

Be careful of apps that bring full screen ads that you cannot close.

Which apps are we talking about?

When cybersecurity experts released this list, Google was quick to delete the apps from its Play Store.

However, you must audit your device and delete the apps. Otherwise, they will continue to spy and share your information with crooks.

Here now are the apps with the corresponding number of downloads.

App Number of downloads
Video Downloader Master 5,000,000 +
Ringtone Maker Pro 500,000 +
Insta Downloader 500,000 +
Tank 1990 500,000 +
Video Downloader Master Free 100,000 +
Tank Battle 100,000 +
Basketball Shooter Challenge 100,000 +
World Champion 2018 100, 000 +
PhotoAlbum 100, 000 +
FB Video Downloader 100, 000 +
Social Downloader 100, 000 +
Hike Hashtags Best Hashtags for IG 100, 000 +
HeroesJump 100, 000 +
VilOader Free MP4 Video Downloader 100, 000 +
Video To MP4 Downloader 50,000 +
Puzzle Box Classic Puzzles All in One 50,000 +
Downloader Free Video Downloader App 50,000 +
DU Recorder for Android 50,000 +
All Video Download 50,000 +
Top1 Video Downloader 10,000+
Head Soccer 2 10,000+
Ringtone Maker App 2019 10,000+
Solucionariodebaldor 10,000+
Bouncing Ball 10,000+
Lite For FB 10,000+
TV N Radio 10,000+
Bouncing Ball 10,000+
Floating Tube By Muicv 10,000+
Spider Solitaire Games 5,000 +
Puzzle Crosssum 5,000 +
Yellow Craft 5,000 +
TVN Group Ankina Reminder Water 5,000 +
Ringtone Maker 2019 5,000 +
Solucionariodebaldor 5,000 +
Flat Music 5,000 +
Smart Note 1,000 +
All Downloader 1,000 +
Soccer Card 1,000 +
Wismichudosmildiecisiete 1,000 +
Basketball Perfect Shot 1,000 +
Solitaire Free (Nteam) 100 +
Hiketop Insta Followers 1  +

List courtesy of The Sun (UK)

Uninstalling the adware apps

You can trust crooks to do everything possible to keep their malicious apps on your device.

The icons will not easily display on your phone, especially now that the list out in the public eye.

As soon as the app installs, the app owners delete the icon and replace it with a shortcut.

After deleting the shortcuts, you need to go to your phone settings and check the list of installed apps.

You may be surprised to see the number of suspicious apps on your device.

If you love to play the latest games and solve problems with apps, you need to keep cleaning your device regularly.

We know it is a bit of pain but necessarily. Crosscheck this list with your list of apps and delete any adware app no matter how useful it has been to you.

Google has already done its part in deleting the apps from the store. Do your part now and uninstall any that you find on your device.

Concluding remarks

Mobile apps are here to stay. However, you must take responsibility of your data security. Cyber criminals will continue with their craft to make the best of mobile technology. The release of this list does not end their trade. New adware apps are likely to hit the stores if they are not there already. Be careful when installing apps and keep track of the list of apps on your devices.

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Everything You Need to Know about Google’s Latest Products (Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Buds)

We know Google as a search engine and a global marketing platform. Did you know Google sells hardware too?

In the latest hardware event, Google unveiled new smartphones, that is, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. We will discuss the specs of the two phones shortly but the company is big on competing with the world’s tech giants.

In addition to the smartphones, the Company announced new laptops and smart home devices.

Why announce new products at the close of the year, you ask? Well, we are headed to the Christmas season. The world goes into a shopping craze during the holiday.

Let us now look at the new products that Google released into the market

Smartphones: Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

How would you like to take a clear picture of the stars at night? Have you ever tried that with your smartphone? We bet you did not like the output!

Google’s Pixel 4 enables you to get a clear picture of the Milkyway.  It has a powerful night camera not to mention the normal day-camera.

The company’s initial target market is the US. Buyers will thank Google for having this phone on during a car crash. The phone has a unique feature that detects a car crash.

It will automatically dial 911 when this feature is activated. That means the owner gets immediate medical attention.

Here is another feature that smartphone users will love. Google included a detection feature for gestures. Pixel 4 has the fastest face unlock, which competes with other phones in the market with such features.

With the radar detection, you can make a gesture in the air and the device will immediately unlock. You can also swipe in the air to move from one app to another.

The main difference between Pixel 4 and XL is the size. Pixel 4 XL has a 6.3 inch screen display while the normal Pixel 4 has 5.7 inch display.

The manufacturer has gone a step further to include 90hz display. Such a display prolongs the device’s battery life.

Another advantage of this new display is that it makes scrolling smoother and easier compared to the traditional display. You can turn the display on and off as you desire.

Google has made the new phones more accessible to buyers than previous Pixel models. For previous models, buyers had to unlock them from vendors including Google or from Verizon.

The new smartphones will be accessible through all the major carriers in the US. Are you curious about the price?

We know you are! The new Pixel 4 will start from $799.

Pixelbook Go

Google has explored the market for laptops alongside other hardware. In the event, the company introduced a new version of its Pixelbook laptop.

You can expect improved features every time a manufacturer has a new version of the same device. The new Pixelbook Go is lighter than the original version.

In addition, the bottom design gives you a better grip on the laptop. It has a longer battery life (12 hours). Yes, you read right, it is 12 hours.

Pause for a moment and consider the battery life of your current laptop. Can you work with it all day without charging?

Other improvements on the laptop include a magnesium casing and a larger 13.3-inch diplay.

The price of Pixelbook Go starts at $649.

Pixel Buds

Google introduced new Pixel Buds in the event. They will be available in the market in 2020. Music lovers will enjoy these Buds because of their amazing features include the wireless design.

Google introduced a previous version of the same buds that were connected through a wire. The new buds are completely wireless, so you can forget about tangled wires.

Look out for its adaptive sound technology. What does that mean?

You do not need to adjust the volume every time you change your environment. The Pixel Buds will automatically increase or reduce the volume to suit your environment.

The buds have a spatial vent design, which protects you from clogged ears. If you have used headphone for a long time, you know the irritation in your ears.

Google has boosted the speakers to improve the output and updated the sensors as well. However, the buds are still light to carry around.

Another feature we need to mention here is the long-range for the Bluetooth connection. You can enjoy the music on your headphones even when you move further from your device.

Nest Home Devices

Google has a Nest package of smart home products. The products in this package that have improvements include the Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus.

The coverage for both programs has expanded. The updates will be available to Nest customers in the coming year.

Google has upgraded the Nest Wifi routers with 25% more coverage. The routers are faster than the previous routers. Starting November, customers can now choose between a 2 pack or 3 pack of the new routers.

The Nest Mini is also brand new with better speakers.

Stadia

Google did not leave gaming fans behind this year. Stadia is a service that enables users to stream their favourite video games.

The stream services started with a cloud feature earlier this year. Starting November 2019, you can use Stadia to stream video games to Google’s devices such as Chromebooks.

The streaming service comes with a special controller and retails at $9.99 per month.

A free take-home lesson

You define the limits for the growth and expansion of your business. Google started with answering search queries. It is the leading search engine in the world.

Millions of website and business owners rely on Google to reach their customers.

Today, Google is competing with top brands for mobile phones, laptops, and smart devices. Do not limit your business to one niche. Explore related niches.

We can also learn the need to keep updating products, including well-performing products.

The global competition is too steep for a company to maintain the same version of a product for years. Product development must be part of your business growth strategy.

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Top 10 Dating Apps in Africa

The majority of internet users in Africa access the internet on their mobile phones. The trend has led to thousands of mobile applications. The first generation of mobile applications in Africa targeted basic services such as banking and health services. However, current applications target economic, political, and social sectors including dating. In the past, people turning to dating websites to connect with other singles looking for love. Mobile dating apps are slowly overtaking dating websites. Most of the apps target mobile phone users in specific countries or regions. The most popular dating apps in Africa are outlined below:


Tinder

The Los-Angeles based app is popular in South Africa. The app is also gaining popularity in East Africa countries, especially in Kenya. The app has a simple user interface and allows users to share real-time photos as they chat with their match. Active app users get up to 100 matches in a month.

Grindr

The app targets gay men who prefer to date privately. Most African societies are conservative about same-sex relationships and marriages. Hence, Grindr has gained popularity because it offers gay men an alternative way of meeting and building relationships. Kenya is among the top users of the app. The developers claim that it is the safest gay dating app in Kenya and Africa.

SpeedDate

The dating app has more than 13 million users in the world. One of the features that attract users to the app is the five-minute video dates. Users can go on a virtual date with their matches for five minutes on the app. Kenya is among the top African countries with many active users on the app.

BeNaughty

Some people use dating sites and apps for fun. Such people are not interested in committed relationships or meeting a lifetime mate. BeNaughty is popular among these internet users. Users can vote for the best members and participate in such competitions. The downside of the app is that many users create multiple fake profiles for the fun of it.

Lovoo

Lovoo ranks among the top-grossing social networks in Africa. The app is an extension of the German dating website. One of the unique features of the app is that users connect with other users within their vicinity.

Zoosk

More than 25 million people in the world use Zoosk. The app has a behavioral matching engine that connects users with their perfect matches. The app ranks number 3 among highest-grossing iPad apps in Kenya.

SayHi!

The dating app helps its users to meet new friends and find love through chat messages. Users can locate potential dates in their location using a map on the app. The app enables singles to identify other local singles within their geographical location.

Are You Interested (AYI)

AYI is one of the most popular dating apps in Africa. The developers target mature singles interested in finding love. The app is integrated with Facebook and so users must create profiles on both social platforms. Users can share photos and see other users who are interested in them on the app. Access to Facebook profiles gives users more information about their potential dates.

OkCupid

OkCupid gets more than three million new visitors every month and ranks high among the most popular African social networking applications. South Africans are the most active users of online dating sites and apps on the continent. However, the app has also spread to East and West African countries.

Tagged

Tagged is one of the leading apps where people meet new friends, chat, and flirt. The app has more than 300 million registered users. Tagged is among the popular paid-up social networking apps. The app stands out because it has a playful atmosphere where people can meet and play social games.

Final Remarks

You are guaranteed to find some love with all these apps in the market. The big question is, does internet love lead to a serious relationship? Click here to find out more before you start looking for love online.

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