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Voyance launches Sigma, a fraud monitoring platform for African fintechs

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Voyance, a data science company based in Lagos has launched a fraud monitoring platform that aggregates data from fin-techs within Africa, starting with Nigeria, to block fraudsters.

Voyance says Sigma is a fraud graph database blocking known fraudsters from illegally accessing their platforms. Members submit known fraudster identifiers like BVN, phone number among others to enable them to lookup and block a fraudster.

According to Abdul Hassan, Co-founder and VP of products at Voyance, think of Sigma as a platform collecting and sharing profiles of bad actors.

At Voyance, we believe deeply in data. With vast experience in working with data science, we decided to build a data-driven fraud infrastructure product for the good of the ecosystem,” said Hassan.

Hassan adds that since there’s no platform for firms in Africa to monitor and block known fraudsters collectively, a common platform was needed to reduce the incredible amount of chargebacks and monetary losses for fin-tech companies as 80% of fraudulent transactions are performed by same fraudster from one company to another.

To quickly dig into how the firm aims to stop fraudsters, Sigma brings together fintechs who then list a known fraudster to them alone. The fintech joins the alliance and backfills the graph database with a fraudulent user identifier e.g BVN, phone number, IP address etc.

Therefore when the now known fraudster tries their act on another fintech within the alliance, they are easily identified and automatically blocked. Other fintechs also join in and widen the net by adding in new identifiers related to the flagged fraudster.

 The total value of e-commerce in Africa reached $16.5 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $29 billion by 2022 dominated by Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya according to a report by Statistica, a research firm.

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Though the future looks promising, the reality is that e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa is still in its infancy and is faced by a number of obstacles such as low levels of Internet penetration, high cost of broadband for Internet access, lack of a national street address system, distrust on online transaction, low bank card penetration and limited e-commerce payment options.

However, these same factors are the same one’s encouraging the development of innovative solutions to bolster e-commerce in Africa. Voyance, for example built Sigma to help address the issue of online fraud which has been one of the causes of online fraud in Africa.


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Facebook & Red Cross Launch #AfricaTogether against Covid-19

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Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are partnering to launch #AfricaTogether – a digital campaign and two-day festival on June 4th and 5th featuring artists from across Africa to encourage continued vigilance against Covid-19.

With more than 100,000 Covid-19 cases confirmed on the continent and containment measures easing in many countries, #AfricaTogether combines musical and comedy performances with information from Covid-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa.

#AfricaTogether will include a festival with performances by artists such as Aramide, Ayo, Femi Kuti, Ferre Gola, Salatiel, Serge Beynaud, Patoranking, Youssou N’Dour amongst many others, as well as a digital awareness campaign with prevention messages developed with Red Cross and Red Crescent health experts and targeting simultaneously Facebook users in 48 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

The event will be streamed on Facebook Live on the 4th June in English and hosted by the Nigerian popular actor and comedian Basketmouth and in French on the 5th June by the renowned media personality Claudy Siar. To watch the live shows, viewers can tune in to the Facebook Africa page and Red Cross and Red Crescent Facebook pages. To register and learn more about the artist lineup and how to tune in, please visit the Facebook event pages in English and in French.

Commenting, Mamadou Sow, a long-serving member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said, “The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis in that it can affect us all, and ignores borders, ethnicities, and religions. African communities so far have responded quickly, but the risk remains very real. If we all do our part, we will beat Covid-19. Music is a powerful uniting force and we hope that the #AfricaTogether festival will bring renewed hope and action against this dangerous disease.”

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Adding her voice to the initiative, Jocelyne Muhutu-Rémy, Facebook’s Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa said: “The spike in the use of online tools during the Covid-19 pandemic shows the social usefulness of digital platforms in difficult times. We are seeing many incredible initiatives from artists bringing their communities together on Facebook Live. The #AfricaTogether campaign will enable people to learn more about fighting Covid-19, while enjoying entertainment from their favourite African performers. We will be spreading joy in a way that doesn’t spread the disease.”

This event is one of the many ways that Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are both contributing in the fight against Covid-19 across the continent.

Facebook continues to work with governments across Sub-Saharan Africa, including partnering with organizations like health agencies and NGOs who are actively using its platforms to share accurate information about the situation and launching Covid-19 Information Centers in more than 40 countries, which provides real-time updates from health authorities and helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.

With a network of more than 1.5 million volunteers and staff across the continent, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is on the frontlines of combating Covid-19 in communities through information campaigns, providing soap and access to clean water, and supporting health care facilities and workers with training, equipment, and supplies. In parts of Africa, Covid-19 is another layer of crisis on top of conflict, violence, or climate disasters.


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Droppa expands its express delivery service to more towns

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Droppa, an online delivery platform has expanded its recently launched Droppa Express beyond a 25 kilometre radius.

Droppa Express is now able to courier lightweight goods under 25 kilograms nationally from Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Through Droppa Express, customers can have their lightweight goods delivered within 25 kilometres in just 24 hours, while long-distance deliveries are made within 72 hours.

Droppa CEO, Khathu Mufamadi, says: “We have identified a growing need for express courier services at a time where there is the rapid imposition of social distancing and the restriction of movement amid the COVID 19 pandemic. This means that express delivery services have a critical role to play. We aim to ensure that South Africans can access this service at affordable rates.”

Delivery bookings can be made via the company website: droppa.co.za or the Droppa app, which is available as a free download on Android and IOS platforms.

Droppa Express was launched to cater for the delivery of goods such as food, parcels, books, stationery, and other smaller items under 25 kg via its droppa.co.za or app in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Droppa moves into essential services

Earlier Droppa shifted its model in response to the new Covid-19 lockdown imposed by the government. The company’s original operating model allows patrons and businesses to request a truck/ bakkie for all furniture removals and logistics, also operates in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.

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The on-demand e-hailing platform also offers its services to businesses rendering essential services such as retail stores, warehouses, fresh produce farms, medical suppliers and will be made available to members of the public who require essential goods delivered to them.

Just like Uber, the firm does not own trucks but instead has driver-partners that have registered their vehicles, thus empowering and providing employment opportunities for many South Africans. ‘’The Covid 19 pandemic poses an unprecedented threat to businesses worldwide. Companies must react in different ways to ensure business continuity, improve the resilience of their supply chain, or pivot to innovate ways to generate revenue” concludes Mufamadi.

In December, the firm announced it had raised funds from IDF Capital through the IMIN Accelerator to expand to Port Elizabeth and Durban, and other cities in South Africa.

The firm said it would also use the funds to expand its team, technology and build a robust retail management system for its retail customers.


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Ukheshe launches track & trace to assist with Covid-19 infection alerts

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Ukheshe, a SMME focused digital banking platform, has launched a Track and Trace service using its existing payment ecosystem to assist consumers to manage any possible risk factors in level three lockdown.

Ukeshe’s CEO and co-founder, Clayton Hayward says that Covid-19 is a concern for all citizens and in addition to making the platform free for grant disbursements, Ukheshe wanted to assist in other ways: “We created a track and trace solution to assist consumers to keep updated on infection rates and if they have been compromised.”

As a registered user, by simply checking-in, using the Ukheshe app or via Whatsapp at any business displaying the company’s Masterpass QR code, you will be updated on any Covid-19 infections. For new users without a smartphone, Ukheshe can be accessed by using a USSD code.

“If any infections are reported, the track and trace solution will enable the relevant venue to immediately contact anyone that has visited the location: “Our payment platform is a perfect solution to keep consumers updated and to help fight to flatten the curve,” says Hayward.

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The Ukheshe App is free, user friendly and easy to download for anyone needing to transact without a bank account.

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=guru.jini.ukheshe&hl=en_ZA

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ukheshe/id1350353337

For more formation visit www.ukheshe.co.za


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