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AppDate: Design a circuit board from start to finish 

In this AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Altium Education, Happy Snappy Lite, the FNB and Aura ICE partnership, Merchants Avaya OneCloud, and Mastercard Track Instant Pay.

Altium Education

Altium Education is a free online curriculum and certification program for college and university students interested in engineering and electronics.This hands-on course is designed to take college students from the very basics of electronics to designing their first printed circuit board (PCB). 

In 2020 Altium introduced Upverter Education, a modular-based PCB design program created for high school students, with a focus on higher learning institutions. Designed for virtual, hybrid, and physical classrooms, the curriculum supplements engineering classes.

It features hands-on lessons focused on schematics, design layout, and manufacturing. Students receive instructions that culminate in the completion of their own PCB.

Students obtain a certificate verifying that they have completed a course covering the fundamentals of PCB design.

For more information, visit Altium Education, You can also learn more about the free PCB design curriculum on the Altium OnTrack podcast.

Happy Snappy Lite

The Happy Snappy Lite app allows tourists to share the photographs they take at attractions, using cloud technology, which also helps generate additional revenue for the attraction.

“The revenue from photos of more prominent attractions can be substantial, but for years smaller attractions have been losing out,” says James Cussen, co-founder of Happy Snappy Lite. “Not only is their foot traffic less, they also don’t have the money to afford a design.”

The technology is built into the mobile app and an attraction photographer is employed to take images. On arrival, guests are issued with a photo pass with a QR code and, each time their photo is taken, they can view it on their smartphone. Branded photos remain in their online gallery for up to three months and high-resolution printable images can be shared on social media.  

For more information and downloading instructions, visit the Happy Snappy Lite site here.

FNB and Aura ICE partnership

FNB customers can now access instant emergency response services via the FNB banking app, through an Aura in-app panic button called GuardMe.

The solution allows customers to request rapid mobile emergency response in an emergency. As soon as the panic button is pressed, the closest armed response vehicle to the customer’s location is dispatched.

Aura has installed devices in numerous emergency response vehicles. This eliminates the need for human operators to manually find and dispatch a vehicle. Responders are dispatched and navigated to a customer’s location in an ‘Uberised’ fashion, says Aura founder and CEO, Warren Myers.

Currently, around 95% of South Africans cannot access effective emergency services. Millions of people suffer crime related traumas every day and are unable to get the help they need. GuardMe enables those with a connected phone to access security wherever they are.

The bank’s customers can gain access to 250 armed-response service providers, 2,500 armed-response vehicles, and over 5,000 armed personnel, via the app. They can also sign-up friends and family who don’t bank with FNB/RMB.

Customers can use the app to activate a distress panic button in an emergency without logging in. This service is free for the first three months and will then cost R19.90 per month per user. Customers can also earn up to 100% of their subscription fees back in eBucks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Free for the first three months, thereafter GuardMe costs R19 per person per month.

Stockists: Visit the FNB website here for registration and downloading instructions.

Merchants Avaya OneCloud

Merchants, a customer management company specialising in the business process outsourcing industry (BPO), has partnered with Avaya to launch Avaya OneCloud, an AI-powered multi-channel customer “experience platform” for local businesses. 

Merchants say that, to compete in the customer experience economy – where customers make purchase and brand decisions on how good organisations make them feel – it is critical for a company to deliver a turnkey experience. Developing a decent end-to-end experience is essential to keep their customers happy.

The collaboration between Merchants and Avaya will enable businesses to deliver a total experience to their customers through an all-inclusive, easy-to-manage, subscription-based service. 

Mastercard Track Instant Pay

Track Instant Pay is a virtual card solution that uses machine learning to enable instant payment of supplier invoices.

“It authorises immediate payments to a supplier once they submit an invoice,” says Paul Selibas, president of channel solutions at Ukheshe. 

The system analyses invoices using machine learning to identify those likely to be rejected, then authorises the rest for payment. These payments are sent to the supplier’s bank account via a Mastercard virtual card, eliminating manual processes.

According to a recent Mastercard whitepaper, suppliers, when running on older systems, had to follow a convoluted process in order to verify an invoice for payment. This was a manual and expensive process, and it is estimated that roughly 90% of virtual card transactions were processed this way.

The Track Instant Pay unlocks cashflow for suppliers; saves time, costs, and working capital for buyers; and removes friction, to improve business relationships. Buyers can manage their working capital more efficiently using the credit line tied to their commercial card account. Unique, dynamically generated virtual account numbers, with layers of control, provide enhanced security for supplier payments.

Find out more about Track Instant Pay here

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