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FNB launches Mobile Coupons and Vouchers

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FNB has launched Mobile Coupons and Vouchers on the FNB Banking App, a first for South Africa.

This brings together the worlds of retail banking and shopping, unlocking even more value for FNB customers.

Mobile Coupons is a combined effort with Shoprite Checkers EeziCoupons and FNB to deliver in-store product coupons on the FNB Banking App. This allows FNB customers to access instant in-store savings at the till-point.  Additional coupon partners will be added to the platform in the coming months.

“Coupons are easy and simple for our customers. You browse through the coupons available on the FNB App while shopping, and view the discount per product in Rands. When paying for your goods at the till, you simply tell the cashier that you want to redeem coupons, and enter the single coupon code at the checkout. All qualifying products in your trolley are discounted immediately and you simply pay with your debit or credit card” says Johan Moolman, Head of Mobile Payments at FNB Digital Banking.

This first for South Africa, in the banking industry extends the relationship between FNB and its partners. With collaborative efforts such as this, saving becomes simpler.

Mobile Vouchers is a second new feature launched along with coupons. FNB has leveraged its partnerships with various retailers allowing it to offer electronic vouchers on the FNB Banking App.   These Vouchers can be purchased either with eBucks or Rands.  FNB customers can also purchase, add a message and send these vouchers to anyone else as a gift from within the FNB App.

Electronic Vouchers available on the FNB App will include Makro, Nu Metro, Ster Kinekor, Supa Quick, iTunes and Mr Price, with more partners being added to the platform soon.  All purchased vouchers are stored within the FNB App, and can be redeemed in store simply by presenting the voucher code to the cashier at the point of purchase.

Discounted vouchers from selected retailers will also be available on the FNB Banking App. Discounted vouchers unlock great value to eBucks customers, delivering up to 40% in savings when paying with eBucks.

“eBucks continually brings more value to our customers at our various retail partners.   This is now made more relevant to our customers by offering vouchers via the FNB App to redeem at the point of purchase,” say Jolande Duvenage, CEO of eBucks.

“Mobile vouchers changes the shopping experience. Now, you can shop and browse at leisure, and when you decide to buy, then simply go to the FNB App, redeem a voucher with eBucks or Rands and pay for your goods” says Moolman.

Mobile Coupons and Vouchers will be available to customers who download the latest version of the FNB Banking App which is available for Apple, Android, and Windows devices. Customers who use other devices can login to fnb.co.za from their mobile phone, to access coupons and vouchers. This experience has also been enhanced to deliver the FNB App experience via a mobile browser for any mobile device.

The FNB Banking App currently has over 1.5 million active device users, and has been named SA’s best Banking App in the South African Consumer Satification Index 2015. It has also won App of the Year 2012 and 2014, and holds many local and international awards.

“This is an exciting time for us, we want to help our FNB customers save more, more easily.” concludes Moolman.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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By 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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How load-shedding is killing our cellphone signals

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Extensive load-shedding, combined with the theft of cell tower backup batteries and copper wire, is placing a massive strain on mobile network providers.

MTN says the majority of MTN’S sites have been equipped with battery backup systems to ensure there is enough power on site to run the system for several hours when local power goes out and the mains go down. 

“With power outages on the rise, these back-up systems become imperative to keeping South Africa connected and MTN has invested heavily in generators and backup batteries to maintain communication for customers, despite the lack of electrical power,” the operator said in a statement today.

However, according to Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs, at MTN SA, “The high frequency of the cycles of load shedding have meant batteries were unable to fully recharge. They generally have a capacity of six to 12 hours, depending on the site category, and require 12 to 18 hours to recharge.”

An additional challenge is that criminals and criminal syndicates are placing networks across the country at risk. Batteries, which can cost R28 000 per battery and upwards, are sought after on black markets – especially in neighbouring countries. 

“Although MTN has improved security and is making strides in limiting instances of theft and vandalism with the assistance of the police, the increase in power outages has made this issue even more pressing,” says O’Sullivan.

Ernest Paul, General Manager: Network Operations at SA’s leading network provider MTN, says the brazen theft of batteries is an industry-wide problem and will require a broader initiative driven by communities, the private sector, police and prosecutors to bring it to a halt.

“Apart from the cost of replacing the stolen batteries and upgrading the broken infrastructure, communities suffer as the network degrades without the back-up power. This is due to the fact that any coverage gaps need to be filled. The situation is even more dire with the rolling power cuts expected due to Eskom load shedding.”

Loss of services and network quality can range from a 2-5km radius to 15km on some sites and affect 5,000 to 20,000 people. On hub sites, network coverage to entire suburbs and regions can be lost.

Click here to read more about efforts to combat copper theft.

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