Nigeria’s Sparkle and Kuda Bank among other have joined Visa’s ecosystem of fintechs to rebuild the global economy affected by the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
The pandemic created major financial challenges for businesses and consumers alike. As money management becomes increasingly digital, fintechs play a pivotal role in helping to restore and rebuild the global economy. To provide increased support for the ecosystem, Visa today announced two new components of its fintech Fast Track program:
1. A rich Partner Toolkit to help fintechs accelerate their growth and better serve their customers.
2. A certification program called Visa Ready for Fintech Enablers, which makes it easier for fintechs to quickly connect with certified partners for digital issuance and other key services.
Fintech leaders around the world are increasingly choosing to work with Visa across key categories including digital wallets, digital banking, ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’, B2B payments, cross-border remittance, bill payments, payments infrastructure, and person-to-person payments.
Recent examples of fintechs partnering with Visa include Sparkle, PayPal, Stripe, Wallet Africa, Kuda Bank, Arca, Paga, ZappGroup and, Chipper cash among many others. With the expansion of Visa’s industry leading Fast Track program, fintechs are armed with the tools to become category winners. Fast Track participation has grown 360 per cent year-over-year, and Visa has welcomed hundreds of fintechs who are actively engaged in the program.
“It’s thrilling to see fintech partners utilize our programs and network to digitize financial services and improve the lives of the consumers and businesses they touch,” said Otto Williams, CEMEA Vice President, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech & Ventures, Visa. “Through the Fast Track program, we’re providing fintechs with a simple set of tools to bring their products to life. The resources we provide, such as online licensing and card design, have helped make Fast Track the leading program for fintechs.”
Introducing the Fast Track Partner Toolkit
Visa has introduced a Fast Track Partner Toolkit designed specifically for fintech partners who onboard with the program. The toolkit was created to accelerate a company’s growth and provides extraordinary access to Visa’s experts in strategy, marketing, design, risk management, and more. Through the toolkit, partners can leverage educational resources like payments boot camps to help upskill a company’s knowledge of the industry, tap into key strategic resources to craft customized benchmarking studies and utilize Visa’s online card design tools to help build and launch a card into market quickly.
Powering the Digital Issuance Journey with Visa Ready
Visa Ready certification for “Fintech Enablers” is designed to help technology companies build and launch payment solutions that meet Visa’s global standards around security and functionality. These companies are in turn helping fintechs around the world build their own products by providing the solutions and expertise they need to get up and running.
Available today, Visa Ready for Fintech Enablers establishes a certified ecosystem of partners who are experts in the capabilities fintechs need to launch and operate products effectively on the Visa network. Recently, the Visa Ready program has added new partners from across the globe— from Sao Paulo to Singapore. New certified processing partners include BPC Radar Payments (Global), Conductor (LAC), FIS (Global), Global Processing Services (GPS) (Global), i2c (Global), Marqeta (Global), and NovoPayment (LAC, NA). Similarly, Visa has certified BIN sponsors across the world that help stand up programs for fintechs including Dock (LAC), Nium (APAC, EU), Railsbank (APAC, EU) and Sutton Bank (NA).
Fast Track Experiences
Of the hundreds of global companies now part of the program, some of the most recent innovators to join Fast Track include:
- Digital Wallets: Working with companies like Careem, LINE Pay, PalmPay, Razer, and VIPPS, Visa is expanding access to digital payments by meeting evolving consumer preferences for managing their money – and transforming some formerly closed-loop systems limited to certain geographies or functionalities into open ones, giving users greater choice, security and utility.
- Advancing Financial Inclusion and Social Impact: Ensuring that consumers and businesses in all parts of the world have access to the financial tools and products to improve their lives is core to Visa’s mission. Companies like CapWay are helping to bring underrepresented communities access to digital payments, while SoLo Funds aims to provide affordable loans for Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. X1 and MPOWER Financing are pioneering new methods of extending credit to demographics like undergrads and international students, while Tomorrow aims to bring change to the mobile banking sector through its commitment to climate protection, sustainability and economic change. Daylight is a digital bank focused on improving the financial lives of the 30M LGBT+ in the U.S. and the first fintech to focus specifically on the LGBT+ community.
- B2B Payments: Visa is transforming B2B payments, a segment that represents $120 trillion in opportunity, in its work with Fast Trackmembers in every corner of the world, including: Airwallex, Checkbook.io, GMO-Payment Gateway, and Payhawk.
- Digital Currency Advancement: Visa is working closely with companies likeBlockFi, Crypto.com , eToro Money, Fold, Ternio.io, Zap and ZenGo to connect digital currencies and its existing network of 61 million merchants.
- New Enablement Partners: Fast Track is made possible due to collaborations with enablement partners who lay the foundation for fintechs to build their products. Announced today, Galileo, i2C, and Peoples Trust, are becoming part of Fast Track in Canada, joining a class of over 25 enablement partners around the world.
Pantami To Deliver Keynote Address At Council Meeting In Owerri
L – R: Managing Director (NIGCOMSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus.; HRH Eze TID Uba, Hon. Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Ikechukwu Sunday; Gombe State Commissioner for Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Aishatu Umar Maigari and Director (|Planning, Research, and Statistics) Dr. (Mrs.) Nonye Nwachukwu, during a courtesy visit to Eze Palace in Owerri.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the ongoing 8th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy in Owerri, Imo State.
The ongoing 8th National Council on Communications and Digital Economy has a theme titled “Leveraging the Digital Economy Policies and Strategies for Economic Recovery in a COVID-19 Era and Beyond.” Scheduled from Friday, November 27 – Tuesday, December 1.
The meeting involves all stakeholders from 36 states commissioners and FCT,Security agencies, ICT stakeholders from the public and private institutions.
In a related event, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Musa Istifanus led the Council Members on a courtesy visit to the Palace of His Royal Highness, Eze TID Uba, of Owerri.
The Permanent Secretary said that the purpose of the Council coming to his domain is to introduce the Digital Economy to his people so that they can market their products around the world without necessarily being in the market.
He added that with the digital economy their children can be educated without being in the classroom. He noted specifically that this will get the youths to key into the Digital Economy and use the knowledge to make a living for themselves and improve the economy.
In his response, the Eze solicited the help of the Federal Government through the Permanent Secretary to resuscitate the NIPOST and make it fully functional, and to get the telecom service providers like (MTN, GLO, AIRTEL,9Mobile) to reduce the cost of telephone calls, and data adding that the cost of using the Internet to render their services is too high which makes it too expensive for the youths to key into the digital economy.
Members of the Council that accompanied the Permanent Secretary includes; the MD, NIGCOMSAT; Dr. Abimbola Alale, Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, Post Master-General, NIPOST, Directors, and other stakeholders.
Middle East & Africa PC Monitors Market Rise In Q3 2020
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) PC monitors (PCM) market saw shipments increase 12.8 per cent year on year (YoY) in Q3 2020 to total 1.1 million units.
That’s according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC), with the firm’s recently published Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker also showing a 45.5 per cent YoY increase in the market’s value to $232.1 million.
“The growth was driven by a surge in consumer sales for home office and distance learning purposes,” says Nourhan Abdullah, a senior research analyst at IDC. “Although COVID-19 lockdowns were relaxed across the region during Q3 2020, many workforces continued to adopt work-from-home policies, with the same story applying to educational institutions and their use of home schooling.”
The top five countries experienced mixed results in Q3 2020. While the major markets of Turkey, Israel, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia all recorded YoY growth, the South African market continues to struggle, suffering a double-digit decline due to the lack of spending on the technology caused by currency depreciation and a declining GDP.
Shipments to the consumer segment increased 47.1 per cent YoY in Q3 2020 to account for 40.4 per cent share of the overall MEA market. Demand was highest for mid-level screen sizes (i.e., 23.8″ and 27″) offering full high-definition (FHD) resolutions. Gaming monitors accounted for 33.8 per cent share of the total consumer shipments during Q3 2020, recording a value of $46.3 million.
The top three vendors accounted for a combined 55.0 per cent share of the total market’s shipments in Q3 2020. Dell ranked first, followed by HP Inc. in second place. Samsung moved into the top three for the first time, spurred by its competitive prices and discount promotions.
Strides Ahead: How 5G Will Become The New Frontier of Sports
Kevin Murphy, Vice President and Head of Ericsson Levant Countries and Global Customer Unit Ooredoo
Sports fans are a passionate breed and whether they’re at the match or on their couches, they demand the full experience. For fans, and athletes alike, leading technologies enrich the sporting experience, bringing people closer to the action, and creating new immersive ways to showcase the commitment, excitement, and teamwork of sports.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a growth in digital experiences which may become permanent. The increase in virtual events is raising the bar for the quality and design of the experience, with audiences becoming increasingly sophisticated, demanding a more social, innovative and engaging event.
To transform the digital experience for fans, players and support staff alike, three main types of support is required: a sports performance information system; a digital experience backend system; and technology consulting and innovation services.
The combination of 5G, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) supports completely new user experiences in sports – pushing boundaries and taking the consumer to the heart of the game itself. For a team playing before a packed stadium or a lonesome runner on a forest track, connectivity and mobility enable new values in an emerging internet of sport.
This is where 5G can be a vital tool for the sports sector, as it seeks to re-invent the fan experience at home and at the sports arena. Sporting events could better serve both the traveling fan attending every game in person and the die-hard fan catching the game remotely.
In this age of digital and mobile consumption, fans expect an experience boosted by their mobile devices. Through live-streaming video, mixed reality experiences and real-time access to information about the game, the next generation in mobile wireless technology can create an enhanced experience, reinventing how fans participate in sports.
Immersive Sporting Experiences at Home
Sports fans today are looking for new ways to connect to the sporting experience digitally. There is potential to create more immersive fan experiences with the introduction of 360-degree cameras, virtual and augmented reality. Fans can walk the sideline, see what the goalkeepers are seeing or join the victory celebration in the locker room – all serving the purpose of bringing fans closer to the action at the venue from home.
What’s more, the trend of increased solitary viewing due to the development of personal screens and on-demand viewing could be reversed thanks to the capabilities and promises of Virtual Reality (VR). It can provide a way to connect with friends watching the game at different physical locations, creating a “virtual hangout” for the times you can’t be there in person.
VR also brings an exciting prospect to the table: the ability to watch 4K/UHD content without owning a big physical screen and allowing on-demand viewing to become more of a social activity than it is today. Soon, friends and people with similar interests can watch content together in a VR living room, viewers will have the freedom to look anywhere in every scene of a movie and consumers can experience a football match with other fans in a VR arena, as if they are actually there.
And for sports fans in areas that don’t have access to fiber coverage, 5G enables fixed wireless access applications for very high-quality video streaming in 4K video, 360 or AR/VR formats.
This means that you get to watch the 4K video on your mobile device. But 5G is also so fast and so reliable that it will make fixed wireless a real challenger in the broadband market, streaming 4K video wirelessly to your big screen TV as well. And it’s not just the quality either. You’ll be able to choose what camera angles you like, or if you want information overlaid on the screen, or if you want to watch in VR or not.
Creating the Connected Stadium
A great experience at the arena is fundamental to enjoying live sports. Where fans today see broadband connectivity to their smartphone for social media posts as table stakes, there is so much more that could be done digitally to connect fans to the action. This is an area where 5G can improve the overall experience, compared to standard WIFI solutions.
5G can expand the experience for fans at the game, creating new possibilities by connecting sensors in balls, goals, and even players – all in real-time with extremely low latency. The next generation technology can deliver enough capacity to the stadium for fans to stream high-quality video and share the views from their seats with others at the same match.
Other future changes coming to the fan experience with 5G connectivity include the ability to experience matches from new vantage points, using phones to switch between different 360-degree, ultra-high definition virtual reality cameras filming all around the stadium.
The introduction of 5G at a stadium also creates a horizontal platform to serve additional applications. Fans would be able to monitor and track athletes’ performance during practice and competition in real time, for example. This represents a major opportunity for service providers to deliver enhanced networks in stadiums and arenas to ensure their subscribers are well connected.
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