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South African commerce startup, Clickatell, launches platform for WhatsApp mobile payments

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Foremost South African commerce and mobile messaging startup, Clickatell, has launched a Whatsapp Chat 2 Pay feature in conjunction with South Africa’s first low-cost airline, FlySafair.

During the launch of the platform on Saturday, Clickatell’s Chief Product and Technology Officer, Jeppe Dorff, said the feature will make FlySafair the first airline in the world to deploy Chat 2 Pay with a pay-by-link capability that allows its customers the convenience of effortless mobile payments via FlySafair’s WhatsApp channel.

“No one has time to stand in queues anymore, and almost every adult on the planet has a mobile phone,” Dorff said.

“There is a major opportunity for airlines across the globe to enhance their customers’ travel experience by making it possible to browse, book and pay for, as well as manage their travel bookings on their mobile phones.

“We are thrilled to work with FlySafair to transform its customers’ experience by making it possible to make payments using their mobile phones,” he added.

Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, said the airline is delighted to have pioneered with Clickatell for the first of its kind innovation.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our customer experience and are therefore very excited that our customers can now pay for their luggage with a payment link shared to their mobile phones via WhatsApp.

“There is no need any more for our customers to go stand in a queue at the airport to pay for luggage.

“By adding Chat 2 Pay, FlySafair helps its customers to save time and safely make payments further by clicking on the Chat 2 Pay link delivered in a message in WhatsApp without requiring them to expose their personal payment information,” she explained.

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South Africa’s crypto firm VALR gets licence to operate as asset service provider

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South African leading cryptocurrency exchange trading firm, VALR, has been granted both Category I and Category II licence by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa to function as a Crypto Asset Service Provider (CASP).

VALR, which was established in 2018, is a digital asset platform that allows customers to buy, sell, store and transfer Bitcoin and 60 other cryptocurrencies, making it the widest selection of any platform in Africa.

Farzam Ehsani, co-founder and CEO of VALR, who made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday, said it came on the heels of recently obtained approval to offer crypto services in Europe, and another operating license in Dubai.

“VALR has now been licensed as a CASP by the FSCA, making it one of the first crypto asset platforms to receive regulatory approval in both categories in South Africa,” the statement said.

“VALR serves over 1,000 corporate and institutional clients and more than half a million traders worldwide.

“The South African regulatory authority has established a regulatory framework for CASPs, a sector encompassing crypto asset exchanges, wallet providers, custodians and other providers of financial services in respect of crypto assets.

“By licensing and regulating these entities, the country aims to foster trust, protect investors and consumers, and promote sustainable growth within the crypto industry.

“Obtaining the CASP license from the FSCA is a monumental achievement for VALR. Over the past six years, we have actively collaborated with the South African regulators who have now pioneered a regulatory regime, allowing innovation to flourish while protecting the public interest.

“Our license underscores our unwavering dedication to compliance, security, and providing a trustworthy platform for the crypto community.

“We welcome this regulatory milestone for South Africa and applaud the regulators for taking this important step for the nation,” said Ehsani.

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Sustainable Energy for All signs grant agreements with 19 clean energy developers in Nigeria

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Global sustainable energy ornaisation, the
Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), has announced signing of grant agreements with 19 Nigerian clean energy developers under its Results-Based Financing (RBF) multi-donor fund.

The agreement, which has the endorsement of Universal Energy Facility (UEF) and Stand-Alone Solar for Productive Use (SSPU) programme, will see the deployment of high-capacity solar and battery storage systems to businesses and institutions across Nigeria.

Interim Chief Executive Officer, Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), Joseph Nganga, who made the announcement, said the systems are expected to be fully installed and operational before the end of this year.

“This marks a significant step forward in our shared vision for a sustainable future. By signing these grant agreements, the UEF is truly making a difference by empowering clean energy developers to bring their innovative solutions to life,” Nganga said.

“I’m incredibly proud of the UEF’s work and excited to see the positive impact these projects will have on many lives.”

He further noted that reliable clean electricity for homes, SMEs, and institutions, will go a long way to transform daily life of users and the society.

“Electricity stays on, harmful petrol and diesel generator sets will be removed, which reduces indoor air pollution and CO2 emissions, equipment runs smoothly, and essential services like healthcare and education can function effectively. This unlocks economic opportunities and improves overall well-being,” he said.

“I am proud of the work we have all done to enable a better environment for the private sector to grow within the energy sector.”

Managing Director of Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency, Abba Aliyu, who also spoke on the agreements, said the SSPU systems are game-changers.

“The companies signing the grant agreements are a testament to the policies that have been put in place and capacity building efforts made in the past decade to build the sector.

“These solar power systems provide a reliable source of electricity, unlocking a range of socio-economic benefits.

“This significant expansion builds upon the success of the UEF’s initial launch of the SSPU programme in February 2023 when 10 developers received grants to deploy SSPU units in underserved or unserved communities.

“So far, over 1,600 systems have been installed, serving over 1,200 businesses and institutions such as health and educational facilities.”

The UEF has achieved significant progress over the past year, not only in Nigeria but also in Benin Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone, with thousands of Africans benefiting from this facility.

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