Tech Thursday: 4 major things happening in tech this week

The tech world is ever-evolving with companies and brands constantly trying to find new ways to beat the competition and create sustainable products that could potentially make people’s lives a little easier. This week some of the leading tech operators in South Africa and the world announced new developments within their companies. Here are some of the announcements made:

1. Taxify is rebranding as Bolt

Taxi-hailing service Taxify announced that they’ve outgrown their initial brand including the name. The Estonian-born tech company said that it plans to rebrand as Bolt making way for their diverse product offerings including ride-hailing with cars to motorbikes and scooter sharing. CEO and co-founder of Bolt, Markus Villig said: “Taxify launched five years ago with a mission to make urban transportation more convenient and affordable.” The company has grown in leaps and bounds now servicing 25 million customers in over 30 countries globally and providing its services in six African countries. It has plans to further expand its offering in East and West Africa, and in South Africa during the course of 2019.

2. Icasa brings relief to data users in South Africa

1 March marked the date of implementation of the new data regulations meant to bring some relief to data users. Icasa said the main issues that the Authority intends to address include usage notifications, rollover of data, transfer of data, and out of bundle billing. Further, the mobile network operators still have an obligation to educate their consumers on the new regulations. Most cellphone networks in South Africa have complied with the new regulations but after ICASA received requests to extend the implementation date for certain regulations, they have extended the implementation date to 12 April 2019.

3. MTN is set to re-launch mobile money later this year

According to the group’s end of financial year results published on 7 March, MTN intends to drive more growth in digital revenue by relaunching its Mobile Money (MoMo) service across Africa. When it launched in 2012, over 2 million customers were using this product offering but it was shut down in 2016 due to lack of “commercial viability”. They cited operating costs becoming prohibitive even though by the end of 2016, the service was popular outside of South Africa with 27 million active MoMo users in 14 markets.

4. Sasfin and Hello Paisa are launching a mobile bank

The South African banking sector will be getting yet another new product offering with Sasfin and Hello Paisa coming together to create a new mobile bank. Money transfer service Hello Paisa and specialist banking group Sasfin are targeting South Africa’s unbanked market with a digital banking offering. This offering will come with a mobile app, mobile SIM card, bank account and a Visa debit card that operates at any ATM or POS device. The account will be able to be opened in minutes and is driven by smart technology.

Source: Capricorn Review