if you needed any more proof that social networks are quickly entering the realm of mobile, peer-to-peer payments, then you need not look further than this latest partnership.
The world’s second largest social network, Twitter, has partnered with France’s second largest bank – Groupe BPCE – to essentially allow users to transfer money through their tweets.
BPCE made an announcement last month, saying that they will be partnering with Twitter in a new mobile payment service, but that details of how the service will work will all be revealed when it is launched.
And today is that day. At a press conference this morning, the social giant and the bank unveiled how their new service ill work and what it means for French Twitter users.
Firstly, the new service will tie in with BPCE’s existing mobile payment system called S-Money. Before the Twitter integration, S-Money allowed users to send money to their peers via text message. Now that service is essentially getting an upgrade with the Twitter integration.
The service is currently only available for users with French cellphone numbers and bank accounts, but is not limited to those who have a bank account with BPCE. (more…)
Nowadays we have so many cards we need to carry industrial sized wallets with us. From debit cards to credit cards, gift cards and access cards – it’s all a little too much.
Wouldn’t it be great (for security and our sanity) if all our cards could be linked to one? Of course it would – and that is exactly what Plastc card wants to do.
Plastc card is a ‘smart card’ that can hold up to 20 different cards in its system. All you have to do, is load your array of cards onto Plastc and then store them there, electronically.
Much like the concept of Coin – that can hold 8 cards and let you choose between them – Plastc card also allows you to choose which card you would like to use by simply swiping on the card’s touch screen, or E-ink display, to select the one you want.
Plastc also has NFC and EMV technology capabilities, which of course accompanies the more secure chip reader cards, rather than the less secure, outdated magnetic strips. (more…)
In one of the most unexpected moves in recent history, it has been revealed by TechCentral that Kalahari and its long-time competitor Takealot have agreed to a merger. Unfortunately we have no details about the prospective value of this deal.
What we do know is that Naspers will reportedly acquire shares from Tiger Global Management, who recently invested the mammoth amount of 100 million USD into Takealot, such that the shareholding in the merged business will be of equal value. Upon hearing the news, our first thought was that Kalahari (a la Naspers) had to react to Takealot’s growing market share. That doesn’t seem to be the case, however. (more…)
Facebook wants to be more than just your go-to social network and platform for talking to your friends. It seems that the social giant now also wants to be your preferred platform for sending money to your friends – well at least when they enable their newly unearthed mobile payments feature.
Andrew Aude is a computer science student from Stanford University who brought Facebook’s plans for mobile payment to light after he hacked the code of Facebook Messenger and discovered the new feature.
Aude, who posted screenshots and a video of the feature in action on Twitter, used Cycript – a iOS and Mac hacking tool – to enable the feature on his jailbroken iPhone.
As the screenshots and video show, the mobile payments feature allows you to send money to your friends in Messenger, just as you would send a photo or video.
Aude says the entire process is fairly simple. You simply tap a button to start the payment process, select the amount and hot send. Easy and fast – apparently. (more…)
Mark Shuttleworth is a very wealthy man and now he looks to add even more to his riches after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in his favour in his lengthy legal battle against the South African Reserve Bank.
The local tech entrepreneur – and first African in space – has been battling with the Reserve Bank for over a year about the pricey exchange control levies and today finally received judgement, which of course was in his favour.
The SCA has ordered the South African Reserve Bank to pay Shuttleworth R250 million, plus interest.
The official amount that the Reserve Bank has to pay to Shuttleworth is R250 474 893, 50 (plus the interest, of course). The sum is equal to that which Shuttleworth had to pay for moving his assets out of the country.
Shuttleworth has not been living in South Africa since 2001, when he moved to the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that the billionaire decided to take the rest of his money with him to the UK. He has a reported fortune of R2.5 billion. (more…)
Have you been harbouring an amazing, innovative idea that will turn the tech industry on its head? Well, tech entrepreneurs and visionaries listen up; Byte orbit’s annual startup competition, Startup Knight, is here again, and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.
If you haven’t heard of Startup Knight yet, then it’s time to get acquainted.
Startup Knight aims to empower and inspire up-and-coming tech entrepreneurs and visionaries in South Africa, by offer them the chance to showcase their ideas to investors and ultimately receiving a kickstart in their venture.
The competition is divided into two phases; the Startup Phase and the Concept Phase.
The Startup Phase has a prerequisite that all entrants must already have a working prototype of their product, or have their product already in the market. As for the Concept phase, this only requires entrants to have an innovative idea that is commercially viable or has the ability to attract high volumes of users.
The Concept Phase entrants will be required to demonstrate research into the concept as well as offering a revenue model and go-to market plan.
This year the theme for Startup Knight is ‘Technology That Enables’. To elaborate, this means that this year’s competition is aimed at startups and concepts that are focused on innovations that enable SMEs to operate more efficiently, more competitively and those that achieve scalability.
To give you an idea of the kind of concepts and startups they’re looking for think DropBox, Salesforce, MailChimp, Linode and FreshBooks.
What’s in it for me, you ask? Well, some pretty amazing prizes. (more…)
It’s one of the most talked about tech companies in the world right now, and if these latest sentiments by its CEO are to be believed, it is also one of the fastest growing companies in the world.
Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, has made some pretty impressive statements regarding his chauffeur-like service. So impressive, in fact, that Uber might be contributing to healthy chunk of job creation the world over.
Speaking at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Kalanick said that Uber is creating nearly 50 000 jobs per month. Yes, that’s right – 50 000.
“There are hundreds of thousands of partners connected to our system…[sic] We’re in the neck of 50,000 new jobs every month that are being created” he told the interviewer and surprised audience.
50 000 is no small number and considering that the company announced that they roughly create 20 000 jobs back in May, the growth rate of the company is nothing less than astonishing. (more…)
Viral media company, BuzzFeed, has just secured themselves their fifth round of funding, to the tune of a whopping $50 million.
The news media website, that was founded in 2006, has grown to be one of the world’s leading news and entertainment websites – steadily covering more news worthy subjects than simply posting cat videos and pop culture memes.
Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, is the latest investor to jump aboard the BuzzFeed train. Co-founder, Marc Andreessen, announced the investment on Twitter this morning.
Starting off by saying that he was ‘tickled pink’ to announce the investment in BuzzFeed, he then continued saying that him and his company would like to help BuzzFeed “realize it’s dreams of a profoundly important new media institution.”
But just what is BuzzFeed going to do with their $50 million investment? Well, according to a New York Times interview with BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief, Ben Smith, the main goal looks to be expansion.
The company plans on opening more offices outside of the US. They are currently looking at expanding to Japan, India, Germany and Mexico.
Along with opening new offices around the globe, Smith also said that this new investment will be used to fund an in-house tech incubator, create new categories on the BuzzFeed website and also help fund acquisitions.
The company is also planning to launch something called BuzzFeed Distributed. This division will mainly focus on creating content for other platforms including Tumblr and Instagram – rather than just the BuzzFeed site. (more…)