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MTN now has 100 million customers using the internet

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By Staff Writer

Access to the internet has the power to change lives and bridge inequalities and MTN Group reached a significant milestone by recording 100 million active data users on its networks across Africa and the Middle East.

“We believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life,” said MTN Group president and CEO Rob Shuter. “We are delighted to have connected 100 million of our customers to the power of the internet as we have increased data coverage and reduced the cost to communicate across our markets.”

New MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter
MTN Group President and CEO Rob Shuter

MTN has a total base of more than 257 million customers in 21 markets. Growth through scaling data and digital services is central to its strategy. The group is overcoming the barriers to greater mobile internet adoption by extending its 3G and 4G coverage, accelerating smartphone adoption and transforming prices.

In the past three years, well over 100 million more people in MTN’s footprint have been covered by its data network. This brings the group’s network coverage for data services to beyond 480 million people. However, about 60% of rural populations in Africa remain unconnected. To benefit from connectivity, they need affordable devices as well as the digital literacy to easily access relevant and meaningful content.

To support smartphone adoption, in 2019 MTN distributed 675 000 affordable data-enabled handsets across 12 markets. It also launched a digital literacy programme in nine markets, helping over three million people improve their understanding of the mobile internet and applications.

Data affordability is also key. In 2018 and 2019, MTN reduced entry-level data rates across its footprint by 60%. In 2019 alone, it cut the effective data price per megabyte by 34%.

“We believe the consumer mobile data market will grow enormously over the next few years,” said Shuter. “The COVID-19 pandemic has served to accelerate the adoption of mobile data, digital services and financial services. As a result, we have recorded increases of up to 50% in data volumes in some markets, as work and studying from home becomes a reality for many.”

“Over time our ambition is to grow our customer base to 300 million and for at least 2/3 to be accessing the power of the internet on an MTN network – so  the 100 million achieved today marks the halfway mark in the MTN journey.”

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BigEye Money

Emirates Skywards introduces new way to earn Miles

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Emirates Skywards

By Our Reporter

Emirates Skywards, the loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, has introduced a thousand new ways to earn Miles while shopping online.

Members can now visit skywardsmilesmall.com, choose from more than 1,500 brands and splurge on shopping – all the while racking up Miles that can be used for discounted flight tickets and other rewards.

They can browse through a list of fantastic offers across fashion, lifestyle and other retail stores.

To shop from participating brands, log in using Emirates Skywards account details and continue to the partner brand’s website to complete the purchase.

For every GBP 1 spent, members can earn up to 15 Miles; and for every USD 1 spent, members can earn up to 12 Miles.

Emirates Skywards co-branded cardholders can earn even more Miles while shopping on skywardsmilesmall.com. Before completing the purchase, customers have the option to calculate eligible Miles on the portal based on transactions made.

Members can choose from over 1,500 partner brands in the UK and US across several categories including beauty, fitness, health, electronics and much more. Shop online and splurge on the trendiest fashion wear from popular retail brands including Harvey Nichols and Macy’s.

Emirates Skywards’ 27 million members worldwide can earn and spend Miles for an extensive range of rewards, including flight tickets on partner airlines, flight upgrades, hotel stays, tickets, hospitality at sporting and cultural events, tours and money-can’t-buy experiences.



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Local Business

ABSA Contactless Cards to enhance shopping experience for customers

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A customer pays for their shopping using a contactless Absa Visa Debit Card.

A customer pays for their shopping using a contactless Absa Visa Debit Card.

By Our Reporter 

Absa Bank Uganda recently unveiled contactless vertical Visa debit cards and point-of-sale (POS) machines. The contactless functionality enables customers to make payments by simply ‘tapping’ the card on a contactless enabled POS terminal once the card has been enabled.

The contactless solution comes at a time when there is an increased need for the adoption of cashless payment options in the face of growing safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be spread through touching infected objects and surfaces.

Why get the Contactless Card?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is need to limit contact with other people and the contactless card addresses this as it’s only the customer that touches the card, thus reducing the chances of viral infection from contact with infected hands and objects.

Furthermore, contactless payments are faster and more convenient, as customers experience shorter queues, a faster ‘check-out’ process and no longer need to carry around a lot of cash to perform daily transactions.

There are also reduced chances for fraud as the card never leaves the customer’s hand and is designed with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which encrypts each transaction and ensures that account and payment information remain secure.

How to identify a Contactless Card

The Contactless Card is essentially no different from the other VISA Debit cards in terms of physical appearance.

They all have similar features including a magstripe, microchip, account number, and CVV2 code among others.

The only differentiating feature between the cards is a Wi-Fi symbol in the front top corner of the contactless card.

However, the card has to be enabled first before one can perform any contactless transactions.

To enable the card for contactless transactions, the customers will have to first use an Absa payment device or transact via an Absa ATM. Once this is done, the customer will then perform up to two more chip-and-PIN (swipe) transactions to enable the card for contactless payments.

ichael Segwaya, Absa CFO and ED and Ann Kiconco, acting Retail Banking Director pose with the contactless-enabled Vertical Debit Cards during the launch recently.

Michael Segwaya, Absa CFO and ED and Ann Kiconco, acting Retail Banking Director pose with the contactless-enabled Vertical Debit Cards during the launch recently.

How the card works?

While checking out at a contactless-enabled POS terminal, the merchant will simply key in the amount to be paid and then a Wifi sign will appear on the machine, meaning that it is enabled to accept contactless payments.

All the customer will then need to do is bring their contactless-enabled card near the POS machine (about 2 inches) and the payment will then been authorized, without being requested to put in their PIN.

When your contactless card is brought in range with the contactless-enabled device after the merchant has initiated the transaction, the two exchange the necessary details needed to complete the transaction.

The contactless card uses Near Field Communication which is a technology that allows wireless data transfer over a short range.

The chip on the card operates as one part of a wireless link. Once it’s activated by another chip, small amounts of data between the two devices can be transferred when held a few inches from each other.

How secure is the card?

Because payments are completed without need for PIN approval, the bank has a range of controls and checks to ensure safe and secure transactions.

For instance, when the transaction is completed, the customer receives an instant SMS notification notifying them about the details of the transaction by the card. In case they are not aware of the transaction, they can then contact the bank to block the card.

Also the card is configured with limits on how much one can transact at a time as well as the number of transactions they can make in the day. The number of transactions one can make in a day are intermittent. For instance a customer may do two transactions and on their third transaction, they are asked to put in their PIN to approve transaction.



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Local Business

Riham rewards winners in the Go Xtreme Challenge

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Winners in Riham's Go Xtreme Challenge

Winners in Go Xtreme Challenge pose for a group photo with Hariss International directors (in black).

By Our Reporter

Riham has rewarded winners in the Go Xtreme Challenge, an online campaign in which participants showcased their daring side. The month-long campaign was concluded this week with 20 participants being rewarded.

The winners received their prizes during a ceremony held at the Hariss International offices on Thursday. Prizes included bicycles, sodas and t-shits.

Speaking during the award ceremony, Rachel Luwedde, the public relations manager at Hariss International Limited thanked winners for participating in the challenge and revealed that there are many more campaigns still to come.

“We are excited that we are still finding ways to engage our customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With this campaign, we required participants to do something extreme at home using our Sky View product and then share online.” Rachel Luwedde said.

The #GoXtremeChallenge social media campaign kicked off on July 6th and attracted over 50 participants.

To participate, individuals were required to post a 30-second video of an ‘extreme challenge’ while holding a bottle of Sky View soda on Facebook or Twitter tagged #GoXtremeChallenge. The participants performed bicycle stunts, comedy skits, and dance routines among other challenges.

ONe of the winners in Riham's Go Xtreme Challenge poses with her prize.

One of the winners poses with her prize.

“We encourage you to stay tuned to our digital platforms because we still have more in store for you.” She added.

The #GoXtremeChallenge social media campaign focused on the Sky View brand that is known to evoke high performance, youthfulness and a sense of excitement in its consumers.

Guests were delighted with extreme stunts from skaters, cyclists and footballers during the award ceremony, before being treated to a yummy barbecue.

Meanwhile, Riham is set to launch another campaign aimed at encouraging families to share together. The campaign will be unveiled on Monday, August 17.



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Featured

Fresh Dairy Re-Assures Families With Healthy and Nutritious Products That Contribute To a Balanced Diet

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By BigEyeUg Writer

Nutrition is fundamental to ensuring healthy development for children and families. Having a balanced diet is one of the basic requirements of nutrition. A balanced diet implies having a meal that contains different kinds of foods in certain portions such that the body’s requirement for nutrients is met.

While a balanced diet should be a must have in every family, in this fast paced era it can be a challenge for parents to ensure that their families are eating healthy and nutritious foods. The lack of time often forces families to either stick to one type of meal for long or to prepare quick easy to make junk food which doesn’t have sufficient nutrients required by the body.

Fresh Dairy, the leading producer of dairy products in Uganda seeks to address the need for balanced diets in families by producing healthy and nutritious products including Fresh milk, flavoured milk, Long life or UHT milk, powdered milk, Fresh Dairy flavoured yoghurt, Brookside Fruit yoghurt, ghee and butter all made with fresh milk from Ugandan farms. All Fresh Dairy products are nutrient-rich with Energy, Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat and Calcium among others.

Commenting on the need for families to have a balanced diet, Marketing Manager Fresh Dairy – Vincent Omoth noted that Fresh Dairy takes pride in being a family brand that ensures that families enjoy dairy products, that are not only healthy but packed with nutritious ingredients. ‘At Fresh Dairy, we put the family dietary needs at the fore front while developing products. We ensure that all members of the family, from the children, teenagers, adults are catered for by producing a variety of products, in varying sizes and flavours to meet changing consumer needs.

Omoth added that both Fresh Dairy and Brookside products can be consumed according to individual consumer preferences. For instance Fresh Dairy Flavoured Yoghurt and Brookside Fruit Yoghurt can be consumed as healthy snacks, Butter can be used as a spread on bread or for baking, Ghee can be added to meals, Flavoured milk can be consumed on the go in between meals, while Long life milk can be consumed straight from the packages or cooked. All this is meant to meet varying consumer needs, he added.

All Fresh Dairy and Brookside products are available countrywide in Shops, Duukas, Kiosks, Supermarkets and Tricycle agents located near consumers. Customers can also place orders for free home delivery by calling Fresh Dairy’s customer care toll free line on 0800100020/21 or WhatsApp 0715744664.

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