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Business • Africa • Nov 2020

Modern alternative to traditional banking brands

TymeBank, a leading digital bank in South Africa, looks to empower small and micro businesses to accept card payments, powered by Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across Africa and the Middle East.

Following their successful entry into the South African consumer banking market, TymeBank are now planning to build accessible and affordable payment solutions for the small and micro businesses market. A digital-only bank, TymeBank offers a modern alternative to traditional banking brands and aims to make banking more accessible and affordable to all South Africans having already recruited 2.2m consumers in the past two months.

Network International have already enabled TymeBank to become the first new card acquirer in South Africa for more than a decade and have now implemented a solution with both local processing and connectivity to international card schemes. Network will provide a full end-to-end acquiring solution to TymeBank, including the N-Genius™ payment and processing capability through the company's integrated omni-channel technology platform, Network One. This will enable TymeBank to expand its offering to power digital payment acceptance among South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Network International has been at the forefront of driving digital payments acceptance across Africa and the Middle East, offering end-to-end payment solutions to a growing customer base in over 50 countries.

Dieter Botha, Chief Technology & Operations Officer, TymeBank South Africa said: "TymeBank continues to enhance and expand its provision of affordable (low cost) banking and financial services to the South African market. The bank is always on the lookout for capable and forward-thinking service providers who are prepared to join us on our exciting journey. One such service provider is Network International who met and exceeded our criteria. Network provides platforms that are scalable, proven and cost-effective and bring the bank the ability to develop innovative product and service offerings. Network's acquiring platform, for instance, supports all the many product features and new developments that the bank was looking for. We are therefore proud to announce that the engagement will be launching a differentiated, innovative, low-cost acquiring service to the South African SME marketplace".

Andrew Key, Managing Director, Network International Africa, said, "Our engagement with digital banking pioneer, TymeBank not only broadens our foothold in South Africa, but also carries inherent synergies that will positively impact digital payment penetration in the country. TymeBank have challenged the traditional banking offering, through technology-driven innovation and we are delighted to support them as they look to increase payment acceptance among the SME sector. We anticipate broadening our relationship with TymeBank with an increased range of services over the coming months."

Health • Nigeria • Ago 2020

KAS Print rolls out innovative initiatives to support social distancing and hygiene in hospitals, schools, and other public spaces during the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria

Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) is proud to support and highlight its partners making a special effort to support vulnerable people through the COVID-19 crisis • CCNA would like to put a spotlight on KAS Print in Nigeria, as they find innovative ways to assist brave healthcare workers and public safety efforts in Africa's most populous nation during the coronavirus pandemic

Nigeria is home to over 200 million people, many without the financial means to protect themselves from the novel dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the 27th of February 2020, Nigeria confirmed its first case and after one hundred days (June 6th), the country had officially registered 11,844 confirmed cases and 333 deaths on a curve that is still expected to rise, especially if the virus reaches the vulnerable refugee populations of the country's northeast. Stay-at-home orders have increased financial pressure on many, while the sharp drop in the oil price has put a strain on the Nigerian economy as a whole.

To fight the virus head-on, KAS Print have created protective face shields made of laser cut and shaped transparent acrylic. Covering the entire face, the shield protects the mouth, nose, and eyes from the droplets that carry the virus, while giving a full field of vision and adequate airflow for user comfort. The design also offers personalised labels, printed on the Canon Colorado UV Gel Printer, to reinforce health and safety messages alongside company or sponsor branding. KAS Print has already produced more than 100,000 protective face shields, which have received approval from the relevant regulatory authorities, and plans to produce more than one million by the end of 2020. As the number of cases in Nigeria continues to rise, it is essential that this kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) is made available.

The protective face shield is just one of the three essential products in the COVID-19 PPE kit box. Produced by KAS Print, the kit is designed for distribution in hospitals, companies and government entities, to help reduce the spread of the virus between workers, customers, and visitors. Every kit box contains a face shield, a face mask for additional protection of the mouth and nose, and liquid sanitiser for the hands, covering all four key areas of the body in one kit. The PPE kit box itself, is cut and creased using a flatbed cutter and personalised with instructions printed on the Canon C10000 and Colorado.

"COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis and personal protective equipment (PPE) is central to the solution in all affected nations. In order to slow the spread of the virus in Nigeria, it is essential that we make more PPE available through initiatives like those of KAS Print," says Ben Gossage, B2B Sales and Marketing Director at CCNA. "KAS Print has been a loyal customer of Canon and we are especially proud that our printing solutions can be used to support their worthy efforts. We will need many more stories like this to protect the vulnerable through these challenging times."

The collaboration between Canon and KAS is based on multi-sector knowledge, secure data management, and value-added solutions that foster customer-focused innovation. These skills have been influential in KAS Print's crisis response for schools and public health campaigns. Using the Canon Colorado and C10000, the company has produced awareness leaflets, signage, and floor instruction for retail, hospitals, government offices, and other public spaces. Educating and reminding the public to stay vigilant are fundamental elements of this health emergency and, in Nigeria, KAS Print is playing a key role in that space.

The nature of this pandemic is forcing us to re-think many aspects of our lives related to human contact and sharing of objects that could transmit the virus. For schools in Nigeria, the sharing of textbooks between numerous children is commonplace and represents a key challenge in the efforts to maintain education while safely social distancing. KAS Print has launched a campaign in several schools to print individual and personalised school books for every student, helping to protect the education process and entire neighbourhoods from the spread of the disease.

"We have found in Canon a trusted partner that shares our values and is committed to helping us successfully anticipate our customers' needs. The equipment and training we have received from Canon certainly contributed to our various initiatives during the COVID-19 crisis in Nigeria," says Ademola Kasumu, Managing Director and CEO at KAS Print. "We hope for a quick resolution to the crisis in Nigeria and around the world, and appreciate the support of international partners like Canon in our local efforts to slow the spread of the virus here in Nigeria." • 8/20

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Education • Service • Sep 2020

New education platform

Lyra will initially teach users how to read and write in English, and will be offered for free to people in need of literacy skills the most; The app was co-developed by WGI and GE, as part of their ongoing partnership; 20-year-old WGI CEO Chance Wilson and GE seek to expand literacy in many underserved communities around the world

The WGI Worldwide Company and GE today announced the launch of Lyra, a new app-based education platform that uses innovative advanced speech recognition and touch screen analysis to teach reading and writing. It was co-developed by WGI and GE.

The app represents the start of WGI's transition to a digital provider of literacy learning and makes learning literacy skills more accessible for both adults and children. The app's 26 modules are based on the evidence-based synthetic phonics approach to literacy and build on the foundation of WGI's six years of in-person education.

"We realized that while there will never be enough teachers, there are enough mobile devices, and they are already in the hands of people who can benefit from literacy training, said Chance Wilson, WGI Chairman, CEO and Founder. "We worked quickly to bring on new teachers and set up programs in new communities, we wanted to do more given the urgent need."

Wilson, who set up WGI six years ago as a fourteen-year-old middle school student, is passionate about bringing literacy to as many people as possible. At first, he set up in-person classes in his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Once established there, he set about developing plans for national and global impact, which eventually saw a partnership with GE blossom through GE's global network of volunteers and software developers. Now, Wilson and GE are aligned that moving into the digital world could not be more important.

Nabil Habayeb, President & CEO of GE Global, is championing the partnership and says, "Looking at the impact this app has the potential to make around the world, GE is fully supportive of this effort. With so many people isolated and in need of developing new skills, Lyra can help meet a critical demand in underserved communities that have little or no access to literacy resources – a situation made even more dire in the wake of COVID-19."

Globally, more than 700 million people cannot read or write. This limits their ability to gain employment, improve their career prospects, or pursue higher education. It also can have a far-reaching impact on mental health. Lyra now offers a solution for all of them.

The Lyra app features an engaging space-themed interface and user experience. The theme reflects the name of the app – Lyra, which is the brightest constellation in the night sky. The app teaches letters and words by presenting them on the screen, pronouncing them, and then inviting users to say the letters and words out loud. Powerful voice recognition technology then analyzes the response. The app also uses the phone's touch screen to prompt learners to write the letters or words they are studying, then analyzes the results to tell them whether or not the writing is correct.

WGI and GE are poised to continue their partnership by working on developing new versions of the app to provide literacy lessons in other languages. Currently, the app provides more than two years' worth of English language literacy lessons and is designed for those who speak English, whether as a first language or as a foreign language but can't read or write it. It is available for download now on the Apple and Android app stores as Lyra by WGI. • 9/20

Telecom • Africa • Ago 2020

Two-way radio for small and medium businesses incorporates all the necessary features in one affordable device

Motorola Solutions launches a new device specially designed for small and medium businesses in Sub Saharan Africa

The MOTOTRBO™ DP540  two-way radio is built for cost-conscious businesses looking to transition to digital technology for reliable and efficient communications.

As demand for digital radio communication rises, small and medium businesses are looking for simple and affordable solutions for their communication needs without the need to compromise on quality. MOTOTRBO™ DP540 is the perfect tool for users in need of an entry-level digital radio, offering ease of use and powerful digital-enabled features. The new device, available through certified Motorola Solutions resellers in Sub-Saharan Africa, is based on the ETSI Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Standard, proven worldwide in affordable digital systems with low complexity.

"In today's economy, small and medium businesses are constantly under pressure to deliver more, and deliver fast, all while keeping a conscious mind on reducing costs," said Laurent Tribout, director of Motorola Solutions indirect sales for Sub-Saharan Africa. "With this in mind, we've developed a communication solution that holds all the necessary features in one affordable device"

Ruggedly Versatile, Digital Out-of-the-Box
One of the risks of migrating from analogue to digital technology is the transition period which can potentially interrupt business operations. To make this transition smooth and easy, the MOTOTRBO™ DP540 can operate on both digital and analogue modes. In this way, radio users can operate and communicate on their new MOTOTRBO DP540 radios while on the job, as the business transitions to digital technology.

The compact, ruggedly-engineered device is built to withstand harsh conditions and resist corrosion even in the saltiest environments such as seaports and harbours. It boasts superior audio output and unique features, such as voice announcement customization, allowing users to customize the default voice announcement languages using their own audio files. MOTOTRBO™ DP540 is also built for multi-language working environments, with special audio profiles designed to deliver enhanced audio quality when speaking languages with distinct rolled "R"s such as French or Afrikaans.

Handsfree When Sanitation is Key
As in many mission-critical work areas, healthcare workers rely on two-way radio communication for many of their daily tasks. Whether it's coordinating patient arrivals, or briefing an ambulance team on the way to a scene. In many circumstances, such as medical staff treating COVID-19 patients, it is not ideal for personnel to be handling their radio devices.

The portfolio of MOTOTRBO devices, including the new DP540 model, is equipped with a Voice-activated Transmit (VOX) feature, which allows users to operate their radio without the need to press the Push-To-Talk (PTT) button. Along with compatible earpieces designed for handsfree operation, healthcare workers and other essential workers can keep their hands free and clean.  • 8/20

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