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AppDate: Easy insurance when it suits you

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In his latest AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Sanlam Go Cover, “Narcos: Cartel Wars”, Insurance 101, Telkom’s new mobile app and the Van Schaik Rewards App.

Sanlam Go Cover

The Sanlam Go Cover app lets South Africans and tourists visiting this country purchase instant accident cover on demand, via their smart phones.

Go Cover requires a once-off registration after downloading and optional nomination of a beneficiary or contact person. A couple of clicks and smartphone users can secure up to R1 million cover for t24 hours or for an extended period up to 30 days. This comes with a minimum price tag of just R10. The cover can be activated immediately or at a precise future date and time within 30 days. For example, one can buy 14 days of cover and set it to begin automatically the following week. To simplify the product, Sanlam only offers three levels of cover. For 24 hour cover a premium of R10 gives cover of up to a R100 000, R20 for up to R500 000 or R30 for up to R1 000 000. The daily rate decreases as the period extends.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Rates vary according the number of days and the amount of cover wanted.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

“Narcos: Cartel Wars”

The Netflix television show Narcos has come to smartphones and tablets in the form of “Narcos: Cartel Wars”. A player steps into the role of a cartel kingpin and tries to take over the narcotics world. The game is very much the same as Clash of Clans, where one raids opponent’s home bases, stealing building materials like wood, money, stone and products (in this case, drugs). The further one progresses, the more one can upgrade the base to repel attacks. The more one can upgrade the army, the better the chances of killing off opponents. Although the game includes endless in-game purchases to boost updates and troop training, a little patience and a lot of skill will eventually get you hooked.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download but with in-app purchases.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Insurance 101

Many South Africans don’t completely understand the value of short-term insurance. With this in mind , the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) developed a mobile application aimed at promoting financial literacy around short-term insurance for consumers. Once installed, the app helps consumers understand the intricacies of the short-term insurance space. It explains why one’s assets – such as vehicle, home or cellphone – should be insured. It goes into detail about the necessity of sufficient cover and highlights where one may be vulnerable should one not have cover. Information about the claims process is also available should consumers incur a loss.

Platform: Android

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Google Play Store

 

New Telkom app

The new Telkom allows customers to manage both home and mobile accounts from a smartphone or tablet. The app replaces two existing apps: Telkom (for home accounts) and Telkom Mobile (for mobile accounts). The consolidation of the apps means that customers will now have a better experience while managing both their mobile and home needs. The app includes options for online bill payments, data top-ups, fault-logging for landlines, logging and tracking problems, orders and appointments, phone upgrade requests and even cancellation of wireless application service provider (WASP) services.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

 

Van Schaik Rewards App

The Van Schaik Rewards App for students allows the lock screen on smartphones to display advertising content, course material and, at the same time, let them earn additional income. This income can then be spent at a Van Schaik bookstore to purchase e-books, paper-based books and other learning materials. The app is based on a customer loyalty program, which is nothing new, but it is one of the first in South Africa to implement it as a phone’s lock screen. The idea came about due to exorbitant tuition fees and with students spending a lot of their time on their devices. Should a user spend more than R99 on airtime (which can be purchased in a Van Schaik outlet) per month, they will be given access to additional rewards, like free Whatsapp and Wi-Fi.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download, but airtime needs to be bought from any Van Schaik Bookstore to qualify for the rewards.

Stockists: www.vanschaik.com

* Sean Bacher is editor of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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AppDate: uKheshe bring banking to the masses

In his apps roundup, SEAN BACHER highlights uKheshe, FNB’s banking app with its will feature, Split Payments, Momentum Safety Alert and Fleetonomy.

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uKheshe micro transaction platform

Financial inclusion took another step forward as local start-up, uKheshe, South Africa’s cheapest and most convenient QR cash card and micro transaction platform, won the 2019 Global Fintech Hackcelerator @ Southern Africa competition. 

“The issue of financial inclusion is a global one and the more we can do to uplift the unbanked and under banked, the healthier their respective economies will become,” says Clayton Hayward, co-founder, uKheshe.

While 1.2 billion people have opened a financial account since 2011, there is still an estimated 1.7 billion adults worldwide (or 31% of adults) who don’t have a basic transaction account.  Globally, two-thirds of adults without an account cite a lack of money as a key reason, which implies that financial services aren’t yet affordable or designed to fit low-income users.

To find out more about uKheshe click here

FNB’s banking app with will feature

First National Bank now lets its customers draw up their own wills via the FNB Online Banking platform at no cost. To date, the bank has seen a significant increase in the number of clients who drafted their own wills online, with over 52 000 clients already accessing the functionality.

Approximately 80% of South Africans don’t have a valid will in place; and many people believe that it’s a need only when they get older, or later in life. 

“Whilst the digital process is simple and easy to use, the solution also helps with a dedicated client support centre should clients need further assistance or advice regarding the drafting of their wills,” says Johan Strydom, Growth Head, FNB Wealth and Investments. “The solution aims to simplify the process and allows customers to easily draft a will online anytime and at any place, at no cost. In addition, FNB will keep your original will in safe custody at no extra cost.”

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Available the FNB app which can be be downloaded here.

Split Payments

PayFast has launched Split Payments, a South African-first that instantly splits a portion of an online payment with a third party. The service is designed to facilitate fast, safe payments for platform-based businesses, including online marketplaces.

For those who run a marketplace that brings together multiple sellers or merchants looking for new sales channels, Split Payments addresses payment headaches with a simple API integration.

Consumers are used to engaging with large global transactional platforms such as AirBnB, Uber, and Amazon. The benefits and extended reach of these types of platforms are catching on locally, and organisations like estate agency groups and even community marketplaces are setting up digital trading platforms.

The app allows businesses to instantly split out commission, membership or listing fees, when a payment is made via one of its supported payment methods.

For each online payment received  the business can determine what the split is, either a fixed amount, a percentage, or a combination of both. Custom recurring payment integration, such as subscriptions payments, can also be split automatically.

Platform: iOS and Android

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Download Split Payments here

Read more about Momentum’s new Safety Alert app and Fleetonomy.

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Why 4G is still a thing

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Even with the 5G era already upon us, investment in 4G/LTE networks is still vitally important for operators in sub-Saharan Africa and must remain a core focus of network construction for the immediate future. This is according to David Chen, Vice-President, Huawei Southern Africa. 

“Currently, the mobile broadband penetration rate in Africa is only 47%, while 4G penetration rate is merely 10%,” Chen said.

“Insufficient coverage causes LTE users to fall back to the 2G or 3G networks, resulting in significant decline in user experience. It also leads to congestion on the 2G and 3G networks and makes it difficult to release spectrum used by 2G and 3G.”

Chen said that LTE and 5G complement each other and are evolving in parallel. In the next few years, 5G will mainly be used in more industrial communications.

LTE will remain the primary choice for global mobile communications through 2025. It will form the basic layer of national networks, especially when it comes to the mobile broadband access.

“It will take a long time for 5G to provide nationwide continuous coverage. Before that, enhanced LTE networks can guarantee optimal user experience for 5G users, including services such as VR, AR, and cloud gaming,” said Chen.

He said that it is important for operators to invest in 4G to secure future growth, as it is estimated that there will be an additional 80 million LTE users in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.

Driven by this growth, LTE traffic in sub-Saharan Africa will increase by a factor of 8.8. By 2025, about 80% of all data traffic in the region will be over an LTE network.

LTE will also be the main source of future revenue for operators.

“According to GSMA Intelligence, 2G and 3G users in sub-Saharan Africa will gradually migrate to 4G,” said Chen. “By 2025, the proportion of 2G users will drop from 46% to 12%.”

Part of the reason for the migration to 4G is because the ecosystem is mature.

“The price of feature phones supporting VoLTE in the sub-Saharan Africa market has been as low as $25,” Chen said.

Since 5G equipment is already available, there is an opportunity for operators to build out their 4G networks while ensuring that they can evolve to 5G in future.

Chen offered the following tips to operators to ensure they are ready for 5G:

  • All future equipment installations should be 5G ready, allowing easy upgrades to 5G through software updates.
  • Software should support multi-standard spectrum sharing to improve spectrum efficiency, and to allow the smooth migration of 2G and 3G users.
  • Networks must support 4G and 5G coordination, in terms of spectrum, operation and maintenance. This will ensure that users have a consistent experience as we enter the 5G era.
  • The value of existing ICT infrastructure, such as base station sites, must be maximised to avoid overlapping services and wasted resources. This would mean boosting the capacity and coverage of every station for optimum efficiency.
  • Carriers should explore the business case for all possible 5G innovations when building 4G networks, and not just embrace 5G for its own sake. This will mean building business models around IoT, video, live broadcast, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
  • It is important that operators build partnerships with providers that can support the ongoing spectrum evolution with fast site upgrades and large-capacity solutions. The idea is to maximise the value of 4G networks, and smoothly evolve to 5G without unnecessary infrastructure investment.

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