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Mobile Messaging is Precursor of Mobile Banking- Van Heerden

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 Deon van Heerden was appointed Clickatell’s South Africa country manager and vice president of sales for the Middle East and Africa last April. Prior to this, he successfully launched the company’s UK sales office and achieved a foothold in the very mature European market in just 18 months
Van Heerden is an accomplished management consultant and successful entrepreneur with 12 years experience in a variety of large-scale strategic business transformation consulting programs, general management and operations.
He spoke to hilary okeke

Various Mobile Banking Technologies

There are quite a few types of technologies around; it depends on certain factors relating to which technology to choose.  For something like SMS, it is still the easiest to deploy; whereby a user send a structured SMS to request for his account balance. But in my definition, that is just informational service and not really mobile banking. Again, it depends on your definition of mobile banking. Then you can move on to other types of technologies like WAP, which is a browser based technology on the phone. Here, you need to access the Internet to get to the website of the bank. It needs to be structured in a certain way. The uptake is relatively low from my personal experience in South Africa because users hardly ever use their phones to access the Internet. So, this is not a very popular solution. Something like Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) is more popular in South Africa. It is easier to use and is available on 99 per cent of all phones. It has a user friendly interface; it is secure and cost effective as well cheaper than the SMS solution.

Why Mobile Messaging is the Best Technology

Ease of use is a consideration; but there is also the point around availability. In South Africa, we have USSD availability from the networks, but in Nigeria you do not have it yet, and it is going to take a few months before it is available. Therefore, without the USSD option, you have to look at other options. There is the Java application on the phone. Again you need to have access to a SIM card and deploy the application on that SIM card. So, it is a somewhat complex process to deploy those technologies. But with the USSD based system, it works just like that.

Best Security Strategy for Mobile Messaging Platform

It depends on what transactions you want to run through your platform. If you want to do complex transfers on finance or emergencies, you need to have a secure solution. If it is just informational like balance enquiry, you do not need a strict security solution because if somebody intercepts that information, he cannot do anything with it. It is just a set of numbers which would only make sense to the accountholder. But when you start doing finance and moving money in and out of your account, that is when you need to make the solution more secure.

Revenue Share between Service Providers and Network Operators

In South Africa, we also do not get a big share of the revenue from the operators. These are technologies which they have spent millions of dollars to acquire, and I think they can charge for using it. The banking services that we see being deployed in South Africa do not use the premium right or the revenue share model from the operators, and we do not have revenue share issues in servicing the banks. When you start selling games, ring tones and wall papers via SMS and you use premium rights for shortcodes like you have here in Nigeria; that is when revenue share issues come to play. From my experiences in South Africa, revenue share from the operators are low and that is the same across the world.

Revenue Generation Model

There are two models here. Where revenue share sets in is when you have a premium service like the shortcode. So, the user pays some money to send a message to that shortcode. What then happens is that the operator pays the service provider some percentage of that money. That is what service providers have been complaining about. We sell our services to the banks and that is a whole new model for us.

Future Trends in Mobile Messaging

We are going to see various types of businesses deploying mobile messaging solutions. Many services will be automated via SMS as well. On the mobile banking side, you are going to see real mobile technology deployed to deliver services. Mobile messaging is definitely the first step in launching a mobile banking strategy. It is an informational type of service that is delivered via SMS because businesses may need to educate their clients. In access banking services via your mobile phone, you get feedback on transactions via SMS. Then comes the complex transactional one such as the USSD based service. There is definitely a place for SMS in mobile banking and mobile banking strategy. Here, SMS is a complementary service.


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Join Inlaks Live TechTalk Edition on Hyosung’s Revolutionary MV 100 ATM Model

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Inlaks, the leading Information Technology Systems Integrator specialised in the deployment of highly scalable ICT Infrastructure solutions, will on Monday September 28, deploy the second edition of its virtual thought leadership segment called “TechTalk”.

Techtalk which was formerly a pre-recorded segment hosted on the organisations YouTube channel has now transitioned into a live virtual event across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The virtual edition kicked off in August 2020 with a segment on Financial Crime Mitigation, honing in on the superiority of Temenos Financial Crime Mitigation Solution with Emmanuel Orororo, Sales Manager, Financial Business, Inlaks.

The 2nd edition of Tech Talk promises to offer the same measure of insights as it dives into the world of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) with a focus on MoniValue 100, a revolutionary ATM solution by Hyosung TNS. The MoniValue 100 is especially adapted to the present times as it is a cardless, contactless and changeless solution.

Join this virtual event live by logging on to any of the social media pages below on Monday, 28th September 2020. YouTube: Inlaks, Facebook: InlaksNg, Twitter: Inlaks, Instagram: InlaksNg

Inlaks is a leading system integrator in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company partners with leading OEMs in the technology industry to provide world-class information technology solutions that exceed the needs of its customers.

Over the years, Inlaks has built a reputation as the foremost ICT and Infrastructure Solutions Provider, helping customers effectively seize new market and service opportunities.

With an impressive customer base that includes six Central Banks in West Africa, 18 of the 24 banks in Nigeria and other major customers in the West African region, Inlaks has become the dominant Information Technology Company in Africa.

Inlaks’ customers cut across various segments including Banking, Telecommunication, Oil/Gas, Power, Utilities and the Distribution sectors of the economy. For more information, please visit www.inlaks.com


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Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

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There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.

Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.

The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.

Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.


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Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

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Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.

Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.

In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.

And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”

The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.

According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.

“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”

Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”

 


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