Yesterday Apple held its first event of 2022. In typical Apple style and flair, the smartphone company announced a few upgrades sprinkled with a few new products.
If you missed the Peek Performance Event– which has been watched live by over 150,000 people on YouTube – here are the highlights:
iOS 15.4 is coming. Last month, Apple hinted at a few updates to its operating system. It included an upgrade to FaceID that allows users unlock their phones with their masksand a possibility of payment which turns virtually all iPhones into POS devices. Both features will come with iOS 15.4 which will be released next week. The update will also include a new emoji and a gender-neutral option for Siri.
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are adorned with new colors. If you get tired of your “starlight” or “midnight” colors, both phones will come in two exciting new colours: green and alpine green.
For the first time in years, Apple is launching a new Mac model: the mac studio. It’s not like every other Mac though, this one is a screenless cube that Apple says will deliver 50% faster CPU performance than a Mac Pro. The highest model comes with a new chip, the M1 ultrawhich is also 8 times faster than the M1 which was released in 2020.
There are a few additional new devices, including an update iPad Air with the M1 chip which starts at $599 and a new budget phone, the iPhone SE– starting at $429 – whose only catch is its 5G capability.
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As in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, access to basic financial services is significantly limited in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Only 14% of the population have an actual bank account and only 25% have an account with a bank or other financial institution.
More so, there are less than 35 kilometers of paved roads per 1 million people in the French-speaking country, making traditional branch banking unfeasible for most of its 90 million people and the demand for financial inclusion. arduous.
The digital finance revolution that has unfolded across the rest of Africa over the past decade therefore cannot come soon enough for the people of this central African country, especially as it has a 47% mobile phone penetration rate, which is likely to increase further.
A number of startups have emerged over the past 5 years which, through fintech innovations, have brought financial services closer to where people live and work.
There are International Flashthe nation’s largest fintech and payments aggregator, serving 2 million customers.
Flash operates an agent network that allows people to do their banking on its mobile platform (FlashApp), bringing financial services, including remittances, payments and other value-added services, at hand. And instead of opening individual accounts with several banks or mobile money operators, Flash offers its users one card with which they can accept all payments.
Then, Okapi Finance
Okapi financinglaunched last year, is a platform that allows individuals and businesses to perform everyday financial transactions such as deposits, money transfers and salary payments through its web and mobile platforms, USSD and physical agents.
While Flash focuses on urban areas like Kinshasa with most of its agents in major cities in the DRC, Faycal Company targets the unbanked population in rural areas, where more than half of the population resides. The startup offers a “Tap and Pay” solution, a magnetic card that interacts with POS machines and interfaces with a virtual wallet.
Michael Ajifowoke examines how these startups circumvent fintech challenges in This article.
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BUILDING A NEOBANK FOR THE SUPPLY CHAIN INDUSTRY
On the continent, access to credit remains one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses.
Supply chain companies, in particular, have short periods to execute a contract, and due to excessive bureaucracy and numerous requirements, obtaining credit from traditional financial institutions takes a long time, so these companies are automatically disadvantaged.
This is where Pivo comes in.
Pivo Capital is a credit-focused financial services platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the supply chain. Launched last September by Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Akwiwu, Pivo offers flexible and fast financing options for supply chain businesses such as logistics service providers, customs clearance and shipping companies, and FMCG distributors. Pivo is like a third party partner in a transaction between a buyer and a seller.
Lateral bar: Supply chain finance is a type of cash advance that suppliers receive from lenders to fulfill a transaction or contract before the buyer pays them.
This is how Pivo works
Once a business has completed their registration and applied for credit, Pivo prompts them to provide all the information about the transaction for which they need financing. After that, Pivo assesses the companies’ creditworthiness, performs a risk assessment on the transaction, and then profiles the companies they transact with, to determine if they are credible and profitable.
Once everything is verified and the buyer agrees to pay into the supplier’s Pivo account, Pivo then disburses the loan. In partnership with Providus Bank, Pivo provides its customers with a business account that facilitates fund transfers. So, once the money lands in the provider’s Pivo account, the startup collects its due.
Since its launch, the startup has used this process to disburse $1 million in credit out of $2 million in requests. It also has approximately 250 direct SMB customers and 5 ecosystem managers, which are larger enterprises with SMBs that Pico serves.
For now, Pivo is still building in stealth mode in Nigeria, but there are plans to expand into new products and markets before the end of the year.
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Over the past two years, there has been a significant boom in social commerce activity in Nigeria.
Small and medium-sized merchants are now leveraging platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as storefronts provided by fintech companies such as Paystack and Flutterwave to reach more customers.
But like all e-commerce businesses in almost every country on the continent, the majority of these merchants struggle with the logistics aspect of things. In Africa, the efficient delivery of products is a major obstacle to selling online.
Outbox is one of the startups that helps Nigerian merchants and customers who partake in e-commerce to send and receive items using channels like Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. The startup uses a mix of technologies and offline methods and offers traders a reliable platform to help them in their achievement.
Earlier this month, Sendbox revealed spread to Ghana as part of its vast pan-African expansion plan.
Sendbox recently closed a $1.8 million funding round to expand its product offerings, hire more talent and expand into more African markets, starting with Nigeria’s West African neighbor Ghana.
Ghana is an excellent choice for the startup. With over 2.5 million MSMEs in the country, Sendbox can grow its user base while helping Ghanaian traders save on their logistics solutions.