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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Could Boost South Africa’s eCommerce

As South African consumers and retailers prepare for the shopping spree associated with the international trend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the real achievement for the country will be the expected improvement in the adoption of e-Commerce.

Dr Christoph Nieuwoudt, CEO of FNB Consumer says, South Africa’s e-Commerce is likely to get a boost around Black Friday and Cyber Monday as some consumers will be looking to avoid the long queues associated with such shopping sprees.

Safaricom Launches eCommerce Portal

Safaricom has officially announced the launch of its e-commerce portal, Masoko. Masoko (Swahili for ‘markets’) aims to leverage the mobile phone to provide local merchants with unlimited potential to sell their products and services via an online platform.

Users of the platform will be able to access items ranging from groceries to books to auto parts.

i-Pay Plans to Expand After R10m Cash Injection

Local fintech firm i-Pay plans to expand following a R10 million investment from venture capital company Kalon Venture Partners.

The capital injection will afford Kalon a minority stake in the start-up.

According to i-Pay co-founder and CEO Thomas Pays, the company will use the funds to hire more staff and continue its plans to market its product and service offering in multiple countries across the globe.

"The investment will have a positive effect of accelerating our expansion into key markets in Africa and across the globe."

Azimo Sees Boom in Remittances to Nigeria

Azimo, the leading online money transfer service, announced today that the number of money transfers sent to Nigeria has grown faster than any other African country, with transactions up 207% YOY.

Three million Nigerians receive money from overseas every year, with total payments for 2017 predicted to reach $22 billion according to the World Bank.

Swiss Bank to Launch Bitcoin Futures

Swiss bank Vontobel said it will start trading Switzerland's first two mini futures to short Bitcoin on Friday, giving investors a tool to bet against the value of the volatile crypto-currency or to hedge Bitcoin positions.

The launch of the two mini futures on the Swiss stock exchange by the country's second-biggest provider of structured products comes after CME Group, the world's largest derivatives exchange operator, said it will launch a futures contract for Bitcoin later this year.

Airlines Urged to Embrace eCommerce

African airlines have been urged to embrace e-commerce and digital technologies to become more profitable. According to Eckart Reiche, the vice-president for sales at Airlines Wirecard, airlines on the continent should embrace technology to serve customer needs and experience in the increasingly competitive market. Reiche said: "Airlines have no choice but to innovate and embrace technologies that will help reduce the cost of operation and also improve customer experience."

PayPal, Synchrony Financial to Expand Partnership

PayPal and Synchrony Financial have announced an agreement to expand their consumer credit partnership.

As a part of the agreement, Synchrony Financial will acquire USD 6.8 billion in receivables, including PayPal’s US consumer credit receivables portfolio of approximately USD 5.8 billion in receivables as of October 31, 2017, and approximately USD 1 billion in participation interests in receivables held by certain investors and a chartered financial institution.