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Uber, Taxify drivers use fake apps to defraud riders

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Rogue drivers on taxi hailing apps Uber and Taxify have stepped up their fraudulent billing of customers, raising concerns over the ability of the automated platform owners to protect consumers.

The fraudulent taxi drivers use dummy apps that interfere with the authentic Uber and Taxify apps location (GPS) readings to create a parallel travel path that prolongs the journey and ultimately enables them to charge riders more.

The Business Daily first highlighted the customer billing fraud in May this year but a recent surge in the use of fake GPS itineraries has exposed the taxi-hailing platforms’ inability to safeguard their systems and block infiltration.

Hundreds of customers have recently reported suffering fraudulent billings by Uber and Taxify drivers.

Client’s responsibility

The two operators, however, maintain that they have refunded all customers who report fraudulent activity — suggesting it is the clients’ responsibility to evaluate the fares charged after every trip to avoid losing money.

One passenger who used a Taxify taxi on Tuesday from the Nairobi central business district (CBD) to Kitengela was billed Sh850 for the 32.5-kilometre journey, only for the return trip on a different Taxify cab to bill her Sh1,550 after the journey path was altered to indicate that she had travelled for 66.8 kilometres.

The customer was yet to receive a refund by the time we went to press, even after lodging a complaint with Taxify two days earlier.

Another rider who travelled in an Uber taxi from Mbagathi Hospital to Nairobi CBD was charged Sh650 on grounds that she had travelled 15.82 kilometres, more than triple the 5.1-kilometre journey. The Uber estimate had indicated that she would pay about Sh320 prior to the trip.

One other rider, who used an Uber taxi from Kenya School of Law in Karen to the Movenpick Hotel in Westlands through Lang’ata Road — a distance of about 18.3 to 20 kilometres (Google Maps) – was billed Sh1,280 after the app indicated that he had covered 33 kilometres.

The customer had earlier received a fare estimate of Sh810 for the journey that took place during free-flowing traffic hours. The passenger received a refund of the difference (Sh470) after lodging a complaint through the Uber app.

Fake GPS itinerary

Taxify, responding to queries on irregular billings, confirmed that it had noticed the use of fake GPS itinerary but insisted that its drivers were incapable of manipulating trip distances.

“Yes, we are aware and have managed to block some drivers who have made attempts to game the system. Such attempts are immediately flagged by the fraud team, the driver’s account is suspended and the rider compensated,” Taxify country manager Kenya Alex Mwaura said.

“Please note that drivers cannot manipulate trip distances as this is calculated in real time as the vehicle moves. At the end of every trip, the passengers are able to confirm the fare directly from the app. A receipt is immediately sent on the email to validate how the trip was charged.”

Fraudulent billing by taxi drivers using e-hailing apps have been on the rise in Kenya since late 2017 after similar incidents were reported in Nigeria.

In an earlier correspondence with the Business Daily, Uber Kenya indicated that it was aware of the incidents, which were in breach of its operating guidelines.

“Uber is aware of these incidents. They are in clear violation of our Community Guidelines. Fraudulent activity undermines the trust on which Uber is built. That’s why we are constantly on the lookout for fraud by riders and driver-partners who are gaming our systems,” said Uber East Africa spokesperson Janet Kemboi in the past communication.

Reports showed that a test geofencing-based app, Lockito, was used by drivers to defraud their customers in Nigeria and later in Kenya.

The app is used to generate a fake trip and a fake fare from the point a driver picks up a passenger to the point they end the trip.

Price surge

In most cases, the app is able to start the trip long before the actual one begins. At the end of the journey, the passenger is presented with a cost tally of both the actual and fake trip as the app cannot differentiate the two.

Most of the time the unsuspecting passengers will barely notice the glitch in the pricing or merely attribute it to the usual price surges.

Any customer who does not notice or report irregular billing through the support line offered on apps system will have left the fraudulent driver to go scot-free.

-Business Daily

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4 Essential Points To Consider Before Buying a Power Bank

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Power bank render (image: belkin), Article: John Neesham

Smartphones have emerged as an indispensable part of our lives. From the instant, we awaken we’re maximum probably to be using our smartphones most of the day. We need to either speak with other human beings or use it as a form of enjoyment through smartphones. You need to buy the best power bank which will help in your bad conditions where no charger can help you.

All these elements cause your battery to run low. Which is one of the fundamental motives why the best power bank exists. in recent times. While deciding to own an electricity financial institution you’ll find out that there are numerous alternatives on the market. How do you choose the right best portable power bank? You should consider the following listed reasons before buying a portable charger. The best power bank is one of the most beneficial devices nowadays.

Whenever you spot your cellphone or your Nintendo transfer about to die, plug it into a power financial institution. And it’ll start charging immediately. That stated, shopping for a strong financial institution isn’t that easy as it appears.  When you have purchased one and aren’t satisfied with it. We consider you could have neglected some crucial elements.

At the same time as buying an energy bank, you ought to don’t forget factors like the brand call, customer support. And the actual capability of the tool, among many different things.

  1. Portability

Whilst the portable charger is actually too big to be installed in your pocket or too heavy to hold around, may you be willing to apply it anymore? If you continually convey the transportable charger with you wherever you cross. You ought to not forget a light energy best portable power bank with a graceful design.

  1. The Capacity of The Power Bank

How frequently might you want to rate your digital devices without charging your electricity financial institution? that could be a query that the capability of the strongest financial institution can tell you. Every other critical question is, for what tool you’ll use your strong financial institution? A pc needs more energy than a phone. A phone can be charged with an electricity financial institution of 3.350 mAh however a pc wishes more electricity.  In need of a laptop energy bank? Use an energy bank with a capacity of 30.000 mAh or better. 

  1. Price and Quality

If you are searching for the best-power financial institution that suits your wishes. You have to look in addition to just the photos. check the specs and determine what specs are crucial for your usage of the strongest financial institution. Occasionally a less expensive model isn’t matching your desires. And the reasonably-priced energy bank may not last as long as you want.

Moreover, another cause to take a good look at the price exceptional ratio is the overload. A few reasonably-priced strength banks can overload and damage your electronic devices. All of our strength banks are tested and meet all ECU safety needs.

  1. Usage of The Power Bank

An energy financial institution may be used for greater than just one cause. A student can use an electricity financial institution inside the bus to school when there is no socket available. A climber can use the best portable power bank to use his smartphone when he needs to send an emergency signal. Or a survival specialist can use an outdoor power bank when a storm is raging over him.

 

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African fintech aYo looks to data to drive growth

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African fintech aYo Holdings Group CEO, Marius Botha (Image: Supplied)

African fintech aYo Holdings is transforming its technology back end and data management approach as it gears up to drive greater scale, better customer experience and faster access to markets across the African continent in the coming years.

The company already has more than 15 million customers using its microinsurance products across Uganda, Ghana, Zambia and Côte d’Ivoire, and Group CEO Marius Botha says its vision is to grow into the largest financial services technology platform in Africa by enabling the distribution of a range of affordable and accessible micro financial services products.

aYo and its shareholder, MTN, are currently working on the final details of a partnership with a new insurance group for access to more underwriter licenses, in order to expand its product range and penetrate more markets.

“We see ourselves as a technology company first and foremost, that happens to sell microinsurance now. As our customers transition to a world where financial services are easily accessible via mobile phone and transacted via apps and other channels. We need to respond with a platform business model that will allow us to scale rapidly and cost-effectively manage material volumes of nano transactions,” said Botha.

Part of this technology evolution has seen aYo transition to a cloud data warehousing approach. Using Snowflake as a solution as it looks to deal with growing volumes of customer data.

“Data is a key asset that we want to grow and leverage, as it will allow us to drive better outcomes and value for our customers. Moving into a new generation data warehousing capability gives us the ability to analyse usable data faster, and build automated models for particular use cases. Like more granular target market segmentation, retention strategies and targeted customer propositions,” said Botha.

Choice of technology plays a critical role in ensuring the affordability of micro financial services by driving ‘frictional costs’ out of the system. Like the costings involved in using legacy tools and processes, or online physical hosting solutions. A solution like Snowflake helps the company to scale up and down according to demand. And makes it easier to build real-time reporting capabilities which are key strategic aims.

“We’re excited to be experimenting with world-class technologies that help accelerate our vision to enable first-time access to financial services for many African consumers, and bring them into the economic mainstream. That’s where insurtechs are truly contributing to financial inclusion across the continent, and making a positive difference to people’s lives,” said Botha.

 

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Press Release

Social media main enabler for growth among women-owned businesses

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95% of women SMEs in the region identify social media channels as the top tool to drive their business ventures

Mastercard, the Official Payment Technology Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Female Fusion Network unveiled new research at the first in a series of workshops for the region’s female entrepreneurs at the world’s largest cultural gathering.

Held at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Women’s Pavilion, in collaboration with Cartier, the session focused on the power of the digital economy in enabling women-owned businesses to go online. In a study conducted among Female Fusion’s network of 20,000+ members across the region, it was revealed that 95% of women SMEs in the region identify social media channels as the top tool for their business ventures. Other channels include their own e-commerce websites (72%) as well as messaging services such as Facebook and Whatsapp (50%).

In addition, three out of four (72%) women-owned businesses said they rely on word of mouth to market their products and services. The workshop identified how SMEs can make the most of their online footprint, and better connect to their consumers in a digital economy.

Speakers included Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President, Digital Partnerships MEA, Mastercard, Sarah Beydoun, Founder and Creative Director of social impact fashion business Sarah’s Bag in Lebanon, Ioanna Angelidaki, co-founder of Instashop, and Maureen Hall, Founder and CEO of COÉGA Sunwear.

“The findings from the study indicate a clear need for further education and empowerment. Mastercard has long pushed for the success and growth of women as we break gender barriers around the world. Digital tools and technologies are the greatest equalizer for businesses and as the shift towards e-commerce becomes increasingly permanent, we are committed to helping women businesses go digital and grow digital as they pursue their entrepreneurial passions,” said Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President, Digital Partnerships MEA, Mastercard.

The recent unveiling of the inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index also revealed that in terms of a digital footprint of the region’s women entrepreneurs, social media (71%) leads the way followed by a company website (57%).

“We are proud of the successful launch of our workshop series in partnership with Mastercard. As a growing community of ambitious women leaders, Female Fusion Network looks to support our members with access to platforms that offer simple yet effective takeaways for them to grow their business. We look forward to having more of these impactful sessions during Expo 2020 Dubai,” said Jennifer Blandos, Managing Partner, Female Fusion Network.

Mastercard has made a global commitment to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025 as part of its goal to build a more sustainable and inclusive world. As part of its efforts, the technology leader recently launched  ‘The Entrepreneur’s Odyssey’ a first-of-its kind digital education platform that brings together a range of world-class academic and business resources to help small businesses learn and thrive.

 

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