- Sprint Pledged to Create 5,000 US Jobs
Telecom firm Sprint said it will create 5,000 US jobs over the next 15 months, and pledged Wednesday to work with President-elect Donald Trump to boost the US economy.
Trump first made the announcement at his luxury Florida resort Mar-a-Lago, telling reporters that Sprint called him with the news.
“We just had some very good news,” he said. “Because of what is happening and the spirit and the hope, I was just called by the head people at Sprint and they are going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States. They have taken them from other countries.”
Sprint, owned mostly by Japan’s SoftBank, which already has announced a commitment to major US investments, released its statement nearly an hour later, clarifying that not all the jobs would come from overseas.
Sprint announced a “commitment to create or bring back to America 5,000 jobs,” although it has no specific plans yet. The company expects to fulfill its commitment by the end of its 2017 fiscal year, which ends in March 2018.
“We are excited to work with President-elect Trump and his administration to do our part to drive economic growth and create jobs in the US,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in a statement.
“We believe it is critical for business and government to partner together to create more job opportunities in the US and ensure prosperity for all Americans.”
The Sprint announcement gave Trump another chance to claim credit for job creation, and he referenced the December 19 announcement by satellite broadband firm OneWeb for 3,000 jobs over the next four years.
Those jobs are as a result of a $1.2 billion investment from SoftBank, whose chief executive Masayoshi Son met Trump earlier this month and pledged to invest $50 billion in the US economy and create 50,000 jobs.
In 2013, SoftBank paid $22 billion for 80 percent of Sprint.
“That’s a new company. And it was done through Masa. A terrific guy,” Trump said. “We appreciate it.”
Sprint said it will “begin discussions immediately with its business partners, states and cities to determine the right locations in the US to create these jobs.”
Sprint, which announced 2,500 layoffs in January, mostly in customer care, said it expects the new jobs “will support a variety of functions across the organization, including its customer care and sales teams.”
SEC Plans to Launch Regulatory Incubation Programme For Fintechs
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced plans to launch a regulatory incubation (RI) programme for fintech operating or seeking to operate in the Nigerian capital market.
According to a circular published on the commission’s website on Wednesday, June 16, it says that the initiative will be launched in the third quarter of 2021 and will operate by admitting identified fintech business models and processes in cohorts for a one-year period.
The RI program comprises two phases of participation – an initial assessment phase and the regulatory incubation phase.
The SEC said that the categories to be admitted into each cohort will be determined based on submissions received through the fintech assessment form and communicated ahead of each take-off date.
The circular read: “Review of completed Fintech Assessment Forms will continue on an ongoing basis. FinTechs who consider that there is no specific regulation governing their business models or who require clarity on the appropriate regulatory regime for seeking the authorization of the Commission, are encouraged to complete the Fintech Assessment Form.”
The commission maintained that it designed the RI program in order to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorization to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities.
It will serve as an interim measure to aid the evolution of effective regulation which accommodates the innovation by fintech without compromising market integrity and within limits that ensure investor protection.
Truecaller Launches Smart SMS Feature in Africa
Truecaller, the world’s most trusted and accurate Caller ID and telephone search engine, is rolling out a new feature to further augment the user experience.
The new feature Smart SMS has been introduced based on user feedback and is designed to cater to the evolving needs of our consumers. It offers a host of new services to make day-to-day communication a lot more convenient.
Smart SMS is powered by state-of-the-art machine learning models that adapt based on the feedback you give it. It supports users with important messages from banks, billers, travel companies, delivery companies and so much more.
Smart SMS also helps users stay protected from spam and fraud. Only the essential information within an SMS is highlighted and all SMS messages are categorised and easily accessible. From keeping track of your expenses to last-minute changes to your travel, Smart SMS is the future of SMS that will make life a whole lot easier.
Commenting on the new addition, Zakaria Abdulkadir Hersi, Director of Business Development & Partnerships Africa at Truecaller said: “Roughly 80% of SMSes one receives daily are from businesses, disengaging users from important/useful messages. To combat that, SMS apps need to become smarter by filtering out spam and categorising useful information.
“At Truecaller, we constantly strive to offer the best user experience by adding unique features that fit in with our core mission: to make communication safer and more efficient for everyone. Truecaller has evolved into a powerful communication hub and for the people who wish to use the app to its fullest, we want to streamline the experience as much as possible for an efficient calling and messaging experience for our end user.”
Truecaller uses the same powerful algorithms used to identify spam callers in SMS as well. The SMS intelligence is built into the app itself and it can work offline – nothing leaves your device, including all OTPs, bank SMSes and financial information.
The feature also offers a Smart Inbox that identifies unknown SMS sender numbers and SMS sender IDs are resolved to business names with logos.
Finance Apps’ Deployment Rises by 160% in Nigeria – Report
AppsFlyer, a global marketing measurement firm has released the 2021 edition of its ‘State of Finance App Marketing,’ report, carried out across Nigeria and other selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The report however showed that COVID-19 pandemic directly impacted how consumers interact with financial institutions and how the institutions themselves operate.
According to the report, Financial Technology (FinTech) apps were in high demand, experiencing a 132 per cent leap globally in downloads in the last two years, while sub-Saharan Africa saw impressive growth, with installs in Nigeria climbing 160 per cent, up 100 per cent in Kenya and rising by 52 per cent in South Africa.
Commenting on the growth of finance apps across Africa, the Regional Vice President for EMEA, in charge of Strategic Projects for AppsFlyer, Daniel Junowicz, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated the adoption of financial technology globally and in emerging markets especially, finance apps helped millions of consumers and businesses remain connected. This trend is likely to continue and understanding how to best market their apps will be key to African businesses standing out from the crowd and growing their customer base.”
Junowicz added, “With this year heading for a record with total spend globally, reaching no less than $1.2 billion in Q1 alone, we believe that combining different types of marketing activities in addition to improving the registration funnel by optimizing and shortening the time from install to registration will give marketers the edge to utilize their 2021 budget to the fullest.”
Giving details of the deployment of finance apps in Africa, Junowicz said demand for finance apps became all-time high, where downloads of finance apps shot up over the last year. With 56 per cent of the unbanked population in Nigeria many are turning to apps to access key financial solutions including, loans 43.3 per cent, financial services at 35.6 per cent, and investments at 20.3 per cent.
“Nigeria’s Cost Per Install is up 70 per cent since Q2, leading to a spike in spend, especially in Q1 2021 when budgets almost tripled. While each of the three key regions have experienced growth in marketing activity in the last year, Kenya’s overall growth in the last two years has fallen,” the report said.
Giving key global insights about the use of finance app, the report stated that digital banking installs up 45 per cent, while traditional banks gain 22 per cent in 2021. Finance app installs increased 20 per cent overall, but financial services and traditional banking app installs saw only a 15 per cent increase between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. However, only in the first quarter of 2021, traditional banks picked up speed with a 22 per cent rise in installs.
It said there was 3.3 times growth in the number of re-marketing conversions between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, adding that following a 32 per cent drop in spend in Q2 of 2020 in global market, efforts rebounded in Q3 and with rising user acquisition costs, marketers increased activity in remarketing, which soared 3 times by Q1 2021. Overall, the growth path of non-organic installs continued upward, hitting 172 per cent growth between 2019 and now.
The report added: “Demand for finance apps is rising across the globe, as 29 of the top 40 finance markets by app installs, enjoyed a growth of at least 20 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY), however it was the developing markets that dominated the number of installs. The average number of downloads in developing markets was 70 per cent higher than the average in developed markets, with India, Brazil and Indonesia making up almost half of the global number of downloads.”
Head of Content and Mobile Insight at AppsFlyer, Shani Rosenfelder, said: “FinTech experienced rapid digital transformation over the last year, with the pandemic leading to a shift in mindset even for those that have been slow to adapt.
“Marketers should strive for efficiency with their spend by following the rising Cost Per Install trend and focusing on user acquisition to meet new demand. Marketers should also explore more affordable re-marketing campaigns to keep their brand top of mind amid rising market competition.”
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