Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, recently welcomed 10 startups to its Start Path programme at the Mastercard ‘Connecting Tomorrow’ Forum. The event, which held in Barcelona, Spain, is part of its efforts to drive the startup ecosystem.
Mastercard Start Path is the company’s global initiative to provide startups with the operational support and commercial access needed to scale. The programme brings together a global network of innovators, ranging from startups to banks and merchants, to shape the future of commerce in an agile and accelerated manner. Start Path evaluates roughly 1,600 applications per year and invites about 40 later-stage startups to participate each year.
Representing numerous countries including Nigeria, Mexico, Australia, Singapore, Jordan, the UK and the US, the participating startups are developing innovative financial services technologies that exemplify a new level of innovation and convenience in customer experience. During the Mastercard Connecting Tomorrow Forum, the selected startups were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an audience of more than 250 potential investors and partners.
Speaking on the forum, Gaurang Shah, Senior Vice-President, Product Management, Digital Payments and Labs, MEA, Mastercard said: “Startups are reimagining all touch points of the consumer lifecycle and we must harness their unique approach to addressing emerging challenges to our advantage. Through the Mastercard Start Path programme, we are able to combine our assets and expertise with the startup community’s out-of-the-box ideas and unconventional business models to shape the future of commerce together.”
The ideas presented by startups ranged from new approaches to enabling small merchants to accept payments and manage personal data and digital identities, to solutions that allow consumers to pay together for e-commerce transactions, as well as programmes that empower citizens to be in control of their financial obligations across multiple geographies.
Representing Nigeria is Lydia, a leading financial services platform to improve access to credit and finance across frontier and emerging markets starting with Nigeria. Launched in November 2016, businesses who are looking for $500 USD to $50,000 in working capital, are able to apply online or via their mobile phone and get a decision in 24 hours. Lydia was co-founded by Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin.
Other startups on the list are Agora Services (USA), Billpocket (Mexico), Extend (USA), Jaib (Jordan), Meeco (Switzerland), Pay By Group (USA), Rewire (Israel), Silot (Singapore) and Simudyne (UK).
Huawei To Build Two Data Centers In South Africa
China`s tech company, Huawei says it will build two data centers in South Africa from next month as part of plans to expand cloud services across Africa.
It says, the company is working with South African partners for the construction of the data centers in Johannesburg initially and later cape town.
Its cloud service will be available to organizations in South Africa as well as neighboring countries.
The Chinese firm, at the center of global security concerns, wants to challenge amazon, which is also expanding its presence in the emerging tech hub of cape town.
Facebook Removes Hundreds Of Accounts Engaged In “Inauthentic Behaviour”
Facebook said it has removed hundreds of accounts linked to spreading fake news and hate speech in Indonesian.
In efforts by Facebook Inc to prevent social network being misused in the build up to elections, 207 Facebook Pages, 800 Facebook accounts and 546 Facebook Groups accounts were removed for “engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
According to Reuters, Facebook’s head of Cybersecurity Policy, Nathaniel Gleicher said The accounts and pages were actively working to conceal what they were doing and were linked to the Saracen Group, “an online syndicate in Indonesia.”
“They have using deceptive messaging and… networks of concealed pages and accounts to drive often divisive narratives over key issues of public debates in Indonesia,” Gleicher said.
Volkswagen To Build Car Plant In Ethiopia
German car-maker Volkswagen have announced their plan to assemble cars in Ethiopia. The car-maker said in a statement that they will build a car plant and a training centre in the country. Many Ethiopians have found owning a car too expensive because of import taxes of up to 200%.
A 2014 Deloitte report, says Ethiopia has the world’s lowest rate of car ownership, with only two cars per a thousand inhabitants.
Volkswagen made the announcement in front of the German president as he visited the country.
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