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Opinion: Are retail outlets the ATMs of the future?

Published by on May 21st, 2013, No Comments

wiGroup-Logo

South Africa already has a number of great money transfer solutions. The real challenge is not getting another banking app, but rather finding locations for these applications to convert credit into cash as well as cash into credit, says Bevan Ducasse of wiGroup.

“Mobile money is growing tremendously,” says Ducasse. “Every one of the big four banks as well as Capitec has a mobile banking solution, and we have MTN and Vodacom offering money transfer services as well. The problem of how to enable people without traditional bank accounts to transfer money has been solved. If someone has a cellphone number, you can send them money.”

What does still need to be solved, says Ducasse, is the problem of how to spend money sitting in mobile accounts and wallets. “At some point you still need to be able to deposit and withdraw cash,” he says; “and everything points to the retail footprint in South Africa being the answer.”

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GoGifting launches largest SA gift card mall

Published by on May 21st, 2013, No Comments

large-iconWith its new list of gift cards on offer, Cape Town-based startup GoGifting, has launched South Africa’s largest gift card mall, online.

GoGifting, launched in October 2012, allows users to send their friends gifts using their connections on social networks like Facebook and is growing maturity in South Africa, having already become a $100 billion market in the U.S. alone.

This week, South Africa’s social gifting pioneer, expanded its gift card and voucher offering to provide 40 gift cards from the country’s favourite brands including Carrol Boyes, Pick’n Pay, Cape Union Mart and Clicks.

Shoppers can now leverage the platform already popular with a large number of users to send gifts for any occasion. Having these available online lets gift-givers send gifts from where ever they are.

“We’ve had so many requests for a larger selection of brands from our users and we’re happy to oblige,” says founder Kevin Tucker. “There’s definitely a huge gap in the market to bring gift cards to online consumers. No more trekking to the shopping centre to find the right one.”

Gift cards are available in either physical or virtual format. Physical gifts are couriered to the recipient  with GoGifting handling all the fulfilment. Virtual gift cards are sent electronically and can be used immediately.

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LG to demo flexible plastic OLEDs

Published by on May 21st, 2013, No Comments

oled

We can expect some interesting things at this week’s SID annual display exhibition in Vancouver, Canada. We have already learned that LG will show off their 55-inch curved OLED TV that we heard about last month. It will be a direct competitor to Samsung’s latest Smart TV technology, which has also started to launch with some curved designs.

Furthermore, they will demonstrate a 5-inch OLED screen created for mobile devices. What makes this panel unique is the fact that it is made of plastic, which means it is both flexible and unbreakable. This would of course be a welcome addition to modern smartphones, as a lot of us have had the anguish of a cracked screen. If not covered by insurance you might as well buy a new phone in some cases, because of the price tags on a new screen.

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Flickr users now get 1 Terabyte Free

Published by on May 21st, 2013, No Comments

new_flickr

Flickr is one of those great sites of the past which was ignored for way too long. As Yahoo’s SVP Adam Caham puts it: “Flickr had become about words, little images, blue links. It was not about the photo anymore.” No Yahoo is hoping to finally rejuvenate the aging photo site with a brilliant new user interface and a massive amount of storage for users.

The boring old white page with tiny images has now been replaced with a image rich interface which is much more in sync with our current broadband age. There is extensive sharing options also built in – and of course it includes Yahoo’s new darling, Tumblr (which it bought for a cool $1,1 Bil).

The biggest way to get people back to Flickr is of course with online storage. (more…)

Yahoo acquires Tumblr for $1.1 billion

Published by on May 20th, 2013, No Comments

yahoo-offices

It’s no surprise that Yahoo has today announced the acquisition of  blogging site Tmblr for approximately $1.1 billion in cash.  The deal exceeds Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of photo sharing app Instagram.

Prior to the confirmation of the deal, news of talks between the two companies was broken by All Things D. The technology news site has also reported that Tumblr were in talks with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter earlier this year about a possible deal yet no other offers were reportedly made.

The official press release from Yahoo states that, “Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp will remain CEO. The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators.”

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MTN launches custom YouTube channel

Published by on May 20th, 2013, No Comments

mtn

MTN has launched the first custom YouTube channel in Africa.

MTN says it has customised the look and feel of its channel to “increase brand awareness” and control its content discovery to suit the type of campaign, event or location.

In addition to various videos, the channel offers customer comments and recent blog posts.

The channel is part of MTN’s aim to deliver “a bold new digital world to it’s customers”.

MTN hopes that this new form of communication will build relationships with customers and provide valuable feedback as well.

MTN’s chief marketing officer Serame Taukobong says, “Our excitement not only stems from the fact that the MTN brand will take pole position in terms of visibility and presence, but also because we will be able to feed the hunger for fresh and current content to the bustling online community”.

Samsung AlwaysOn Partnership benefits businesses

Published by on May 20th, 2013, No Comments

samsung-alwayson

Being connected has become such a part of our daily routine that it is unheard of to not check email, send a social network update, or edit a document in the cloud wherever we find ourselves. And given the increase in Wi-Fi hotspots, one could live ‘always on’ without too much effort.

“Companies see improvements in productivity when employees are able to work remotely and access the corporate network while travelling,” says Mike van Lier, Business Leader for IT Solutions at Samsung Electronics South Africa. “These employees can provide live feedback from the field to ensure that data is always relevant and all internal stakeholders know exactly what the latest developments are. What’s more, mobile data rates have become more competitive to provide business users and consumers with affordable options when it comes to the connected experience.” (more…)

Vodacom increases data and sms for current customers

Published by on May 20th, 2013, 1 Comment

vodacom-red-logoVodacom launched integrated Smart and Red packages in March this year, offering customers  voice, data and SMS in one combined package at a fixed price aiming for an uncomplicated smartphone experience and predictable billing.

Vodacom has now taken this one step further and upgraded the data and SMS allowances for all current customers on these packages. The Smart Small data allowance has increased from 75MB to 200MB, the Medium has increased from 120MB to 300MB and the Large and Extra-Large allowances have doubled. The Red Advantage plan has increased from 700Mb to 1Gb, the Premium from 1.2Gb to 1.6Gb and the flagship VIP plan with limitless talk time has grown from 1.5Gb to 2.0GB

The new allowances will kick-in for both new and all existing Smart and Red customers from 1 June 2013 and will be valid for the remainder of their contracts.

Speaking about this, Chief Officer of the Consumer Business Unit Phil Patel said, “We wanted to reward the early adopters who have bought into our new integrated plan concept. Not only are our packages worry free, we’ve even managed to do something few mobile networks have been able to do and give our customers a positive surprise.”

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