Remittances to become the Fastest Growth App for MNO-led Mobile Money Wallets

Image result for mobile in africaSub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is witnessing a surge migration within the region and to other parts of the world such as North America and Europe. As a continent, Africa had a net migration population of over 11 million in 2015, predominantly economic migration.
• This has been instrumental in the growing volume of international remittances flowing into the region, as migrant workers transfer money to family members in their countries of origin. International money transfers were estimated to be $33 billion in 2016 and were expected to grow by 3.9% over the period 2016-2021, to reach $39.9 billion in 2021.
• Mainstream money transfer operators (MTOs) such as MoneyGram and Western Union dominate the market for international remittances across Africa. Due to their high service cost, consumers have also relied on informal channels, estimated to make up 75% of the total volume of remittances.
• The growing adoption of mobile money services has seen consumers increasingly turn to mobile money for their remittances, largely due to their relative convenience and affordability compared to the services of mainstream MTOs.
• It is estimated that 2.6% of the remittances in 2016 flowed through mobile money wallets, primarily in East African and West African markets, which have a greater uptake of mobile money services. By 2021, mobile money wallets will account for 4.5% of the total value of international remittances.
• The study focuses on the current structure of tower ownership between mobile network operators (MNOs) and towercos and how this is expected to evolve over the long term. The report also provides an overview of the current and expected base of mobile towers in the region, highlighting potential opportunities in the market and competitive structure across selected countries.
• Mobile network operators (MNOs) will need to consider partnerships with clearing and settlement platform providers such as TerraPay in order to drive the use of mobile money-based remittances.
• MNOs with a large SSA footprint should consider creating remittance corridors in the region by enabling international transfers across the operations in which they have a presence as a way to enter the market.
• MTOs face the growing risk of being dis-intermediated by the MNOs’ mobile money wallets, and will need to consider either partnerships with Fintechs or leveraging technology in order to make their services more affordable.
• At a cost of 11.2% of the transaction value, banks continue to be the most expensive channel to send remittances. Processing remittances through mobile money wallets is by far the cheapest option available to consumers at just over a quarter of the cost charged by the banks.

Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05226037

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Africa will hit 1 billion mobile internet connections in 5 years

Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks.

A Somali man browses the internet on his mobile phone at a beach in Somalia's ...A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022.

“Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum.

“But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under increasing pressure to make the transition from being providers of communications services, and to become providers of digital services.”

Mobile phone operators such as MTN Group, Orange and Bharti Airtel are investing heavily in high-speed networks to meet demand from users who are increasingly using phones for everything from paying their bills to streaming videos and surfing the internet.

Best security practices key catalyses full potential of mobile business processes

According to JP Lourens, software product manager at Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa says that along with the convenience and productivity benefits of giving users the ability to access data and documents wherever they are, mobility also introduces new security risks. “Mobile devices can easily be lost or stolen, with the result that confidential data can fall into the wrong hands,” he says.

“Companies that will be providing the workforce with mobile access to documents, should ensure that they adhere to global best practices in data protection and comply with local laws and regulations, such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI). This is especially important when handling sensitive documents that contain financial data, personally identifiable information or contractual details.”

Good security practices key to unleashing full potential of mobile business processes.Lourens says that a mobile ECM/BPM solution should offer tight security at two levels: user and administrator. Administrators should have full control over which features and data their end-users can access, so that unauthorised people cannot access sensitive information.

Some examples of the key features to look for in a secure mobile ECM/BPM solution include:

User permissions: The app should enable the IT department to set which documents and system features different groups of users can access. For example, HR directors who need administrative access to employee documents may have different permissions than HR clerks who only need to view certain documents. While the first group is allowed to perform any action including deleting and modifying documents, the second group can only view and print what their access permissions grant them access to.

Automatic log-in: Any mobile app with access to sensitive company information should feature an option to disable automatic log-in. This forces the user to type in the user name and password each time the app is opened. It is recommended to disable automatic log-in when using automatic log-out.

Data cache clean-out: The administrator should be able to configure the app to flush all data, including any open electronic documents, from the device in any situation. To continue working, the user will need to log back into the system and download the electronic document again if needed.

Automatic log-out: IT should set a policy that users must log out when they are finished interacting with the app. A good solution will allow the administrator to configure a server setting enabling automatic log-out and disabling automatic log-in and export for all users. It is best practice to pair these security settings with the security features offered by mobile devices, such as “Auto-Lock” and “Passcode Lock”.

It should be possible to configure the app to log out automatically after a certain period of inactivity or when the user minimises the app. This should not only remove all documents from local storage, but remove traces of the document or folder that the user was last viewing. These features will stop unauthorised individuals from picking up an abandoned iPad or iPhone and view the data.

Data leak protection: When an electronic document is exported from a corporate-approved mobile app to another app, that new app takes control of the document. A robust platform should allow IT to control whether sensitive documents can be exported to other apps, from where they can be shared with other people or stored locally on the device.

Says Lourens: “In addition to using a secure platform and configuring it correctly, the organisation should have clear security and capture policies in place. It is important to educate users about the security settings and to show them how to keep corporate data secure. If users will access sensitive documents outside the office, they should also be instructed on how to set up a VPN on their mobile device.”

Modern Wi-Fi Networks are Vulnerable, Risk on Bitcoin Wallet?

KRAKS WIFIEarlier this week, Mathy Vanhoef of the Imec-DistriNet research group, discovered serious weaknesses and vulnerabilities in WPA2, a protocol which is used to secure all modern Wi-Fi networks.

Vanhoef’s paper noted:

“An attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs). Concretely, attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted. This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so on. The attack works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks.”

How Does it Affect Devices and are Bitcoin Wallets in Danger?

As Vanhoef explained in his paper, any device from mobile phones to computers using public Wi-Fi connections can be vulnerable to data theft. Many analysts including CNET executive editor Roger Cheng explained that at this point, any device that is connected to a public Wi-Fi connection is vulnerable.

“This is pretty serious. The bad news is pretty much every Wi-Fi enabled device is vulnerable. The good news is that it has to be local. The hacker has to be near the Wi-Fi network. It can’t launch a widespread attack,” said Cheng in an interview with CBS.

Analysts have explained that hackers targeting local Wi-Fi connections in public areas such as airports can breach the local systems of Wi-Fi-enabled devices, and as such, hackers can steal information ranging from passwords to local app data. Furthermore, because Android and Linux devices are more vulnerable to KRACKs than other devices or operating systems, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets installed on Android and Linux devices could easily become vulnerable to local attacks.

Vanhoef’s paper explained that around 50 percent of Android devices are vulnerable to KRACKs and other types of attacks that are capable of extracting sensitive information efficiently.

“Because Android uses wpa_supplicant, Android 6.0 and above also contains this vulnerability. This makes it trivial to intercept and manipulate traffic sent by these Linux and Android devices. Note that currently 50% of Android devices are vulnerable to this exceptionally devastating variant of our attack,” read Vanhoef’s paper.

2 Factor Authentication (2FA) For Bitcoin Wallets, Preferably Apps like Google Authenticator

In order to prevent KRACKs and targeted Wi-Fi attacks from revealing the passwords and pin numbers used for Bitcoin wallets it is important that users enable multiple-layered 2FA for maximum protection. Blockchain, the second largest Bitcoin wallet application behind Coinbase in terms of user base, recommends that users enable both email and Google Authenticator protection along with two passcodes, establishing four layers of security that are extremely difficult to breach.

Generally, Bitcoin wallet developers and experts recommend users avoid 2FA via SMS, because phone vulnerabilities or social engineering can lead to numbers being compromised

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