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Youtap Introduces QR code Payment Apps in Africa



youtap new.jpg

Global provider of mobile payments and financial services software Youtap has introduced a QR code solution and smartphone apps for mobile money services in Africa and Asia.

As a global provider of contactless mobile payments and financial services software, Youtap enables mobile money and virtual wallet customers to tap and pay at any point of sale with any mobile device.

The New Zealand-headquartered company says it has introduced its range of white label quick response (QR) code solutions to banks and mobile money services in Africa.

The products and services include Youtap Pay platform, the Youtap Pay app and the Youtap merchant app. Providers and banks offering Youtap’s white label QR code solution take it to the market with their own name and brand.

Peter Meredith, EVP operations and marketing at Youtap, says the company has services installed in 18 countries across Africa, and is expanding its efforts to cover remaining countries through its telecoms operator and banking partnerships.

“Youtap already has extensive experience across Africa, and we understand the unique challenges to digital payments in these and other global growth markets. Our newly introduced solutions address needs specific to Africa.

“For example, we developed a payment solution called the Youtap X8, which is a low-cost, highly portable payment device that allows small merchants to accept near-field communication (NFC) mobile money payments without an expensive payment acceptance device.

“Our QR code solution is another step in that direction – making mobile money and digital payments accessible to anyone who wants to do business – whether it’s a street vendor, a motorcycle taxi driver, or a large retail chain,” he explains.

The new solution gives any merchant or small businesss owner with a smartphone the potential to download Youtap’s merchant app, self-register, and start accepting mobile money payments. Likewise, any subscriber with a smartphone can download the Youtap Pay app and start making payments.

Merchants that do not own a smartphone could be provided a printed QR code to accept mobile money, notes the company.

What distinguishes Youtap’s QR code payment solutions from similar payment platforms is that it integrates, serves and grows existing mobile money and banking services in the market, it says.

“This integration enables those services to rapidly extend into mass market payments, and provide QR code agent services including cash in, cash out, bill payments and airtime top-up. Other QR code payment methods, such as Alipay and WeChat, serve their own mobile wallets only and typically rely on bank transfers to fund those wallets,” explains Meredith.

Unlike other QR code services, Youtap’s solution also provides NFC-based payments for both banked and unbanked customers through low-cost mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices, merchant NFC smartphones, and integration with existing bank and merchant acquirer POS networks, he concludes.

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So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Vodacom Director Urges Accountants to Leverage Sage/ACCA Partnership



By peter oluka

Mr Oluseyi Olanrewaju, the finance director at Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited, has re-emphasised the need for accounting professionals to embrace digital culture.

He made the remark while delivering keynote address at Sage-ACCA Continuing Professional Development (CPA), event held in Lagos Tuesday, which was the launch of partnership between the two entities to provide platform for accountants to embrace digital transformations.

Olanrewaju emphasized that rapid growth and development in information technology has brought about digital revolution in economic, social and cultural fields, and bequeaths today’s accountant with the responsibility to improve on the skills to remain relevant.

With the recognition of the accounting discipline as an information system, he said, the accountants can’t undermine the influence that the changes in processes of carrying out transactions with the usage of IT in business operations.

In a bid to keep up with changing conditions and the enabling inclusion of information era the need to embrace the digital culture in accountancy can’t be overlooked especially in medium to large scale business.

“Technology should not be viewed as a threat rather tools to boost accounting profession. Digitization is the future; as accountants we can’t run from it. Yes, manual processes are ridden with high risks on accounting and costly. Thus, changes is the environment necessitates changes in applicable accounting tools and skills required to carry out accounting roles”, Olanrewaju said.

Determinants of business that qualify as medium to large include: IT staff & skills including several specialists, multiple locations, large capex in relation to other businesses in operation in the same industry and business with main considerations for technology purchases being advanced features and security.

Using the acronym: VUCA- Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous situations, he reminded the participants that, roles of accountants have changed overtime, demanding for real-time ‘results’. “The environment demands you react quickly to ongoing changes that are unpredictable; it requires you to take action. Therefore, there is little you can achieve today in the ‘VUCA’ world without digitization”.

The keynote speaker also applauded Sage X3 offering, such as robust accounting processes; consistency; time saving; delivers visible metrics; helps to improve operational efficiency and assists users to be in line with government regulations and international accounting rules.

Participants at the interactive session with other C-level ACCA members also learnt how Sage X3 offers the bedrock of the adjustments required in today’s accounting field.

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CBN 14% Interest Rate: Investors Still Expecting Cut



Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

By peter oluka

Nigeria’s central bank has yet again left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 14% in November amid a ‘fragile’ economic recovery.

But, Lukman Otunuta research analyst ForexTimes, in his comment, believes investors are still keen on interest rate cut.

The apex bank also left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known on Tuesday while announcing the decision of the committee in Abuja.

Emefiele said only one of the nine members of the committee voted against the decision.

“Inflation in particular requires very close monitoring to gain clarity on the medium-term optimum path of monetary policy,” Emefiele told a news conference.

The monetary Policy Committee had begun its last meeting for the year on Monday.

According to the committee, the interest rate was held to prevent exchange rate pressure.

Commenting on the decision by the apex bank, Otunuga said, “With GDP growth in the third quarter rising by 1.40%, it seems that the central bank is hesitant to take action anytime soon.

“I believe that Nigeria’s improving economic landscape, and signs of inflationary pressures easing, are likely to support investor expectations of a rate cut.

“With inflation in Nigeria at 15.91%, there is a suspicion that the CBN may be waiting for a more sustained decline before moving ahead with rate cuts to support economic growth.

“As the year slowly comes to an end, investors will continue to observe Nigeria’s hard economic data and inflation figures for hints as to when the CBN might act in 2018”.

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Bitcoin Smashes Through $8,000 for the First time



Bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days.

The new high came after leading U.S. payments company Square Inc said late last week that it had started allowing select customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its Cash app.

Bitcoin traded as high as $8,197.81 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up over 2 percent on the day and around 48 percent up since dipping to $5,555 on Nov. 12.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

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