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Posta looks to digital boxes to overturn bad fortunes; hopes to increase revenue by Sh1.5bn

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Posta had a decline in the number of letters posted locally in a year to 47.1 million compared to 115.58 million it posted 10 years go/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29- The Postal Corporation of Kenya is now targeting to increase its revenues by Sh1.5 billion through digital boxes after it witnessed a fall in letters during the last financial year.

According to data released by the Communication Authority, Posta had a decline in the number of letters posted locally in a year to 47.1 million compared to 115.58 million it posted 10 years go.

The hope to recover from the losses has been brought about by adopting digitization after it partnered with Safaricom to create digital boxes, under the name M-Post.

Speaking during the launch of the product, Postmaster General and Marketing Chief Executive Officer Dan Kagwe say it is a postal service and one that will smoothen delivery of goods for East Africa’s largest telco firm.

“We do not have any revenue share with Safaricom so its supporting us because they want to open up on logistics since every customer has been stuck when it comes to the delivery point,” said Kagwe.

Under the new service, across all the telco firms’ customers looking to sign up can visit Postal Corporation’s website or dial *234# and register for a Post Office Box linked to their mobile number at a cost of Sh300.

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Other telco providers as Airtel and Telkom can use *890*90# to receive their Mpost code.

The Mpost box numbers will be in the format P. O. Box 254XXXXXXXXX” where XXXXXXXXX denotes the customer’s mobile phone number, for example, “P. O. Box 254722000000.

Customers will then have the option of selecting their drop off point to pick their deliveries in which one can also change their parcel disposal through additional cost by dialing *234#.

The new services is also expected to increase e-commerce penetration which Postmaster General and Marketing Chief Executive Officer Dan Kagwe describe as being less than one percent.

“Right now, the e-commerce penetration is hardly, and we can increase our e-commerce penetration to 50 percent as this is a youthful product and we are sure they will engage,” Kagwe added.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the innovation is in line with the country’s digitization plan as it has also opened doors for more jobs.

“The service fits squarely we have for the digitization of Kenya and the continent and we are going to use some of our interns who are more than 300 who will go spread the message in the local areas,” the ICT boss said.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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