BUSINESS BRIEFS: MARCH 2019

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Social media tax robs Uganda of Internet, mobile money revenue

Uganda’s social media tax has proved to be detrimental to both its internet and mobile money sectors. In the three months following the introduction of the levy in July 2018, there was a noted decline in the number of internet users, total revenues collected, as well as mobile money transactions. In a series of tweets, the Uganda Communications Commission noted internet subscription declined by more than 2.5 million users, while the sum of taxpayers from over-the-top (OTT) media services decreased by more than 1.2 million users. The value of mobile money transactions also fell by 4.5 trillion Ugandan shillings ($1.2 million).

Amazon is targeting customers in Kenya who prefer cash

Amazon is tapping into e-commerce customers in Kenya who want to pay for goods in cash. The e-commerce giant has rolled out a service that will allow customers to purchase goods and then pay for them at a local Western Union retail agent. During checkout, a special QR code will be generated that will be used to verify the customer’s identity and matched to the order confirmation for payment. Dubbed Amazon PayCode, the cross-border payment option has been launched in Kenya in Africa, along with nine other countries in Asia and Latin America.

Ride-hailing services want to disrupt and sanitise Kenya’s unruly public bus system

Aslew of app-based, hailing services wants to disrupt public transit in Kenya by testing ways to get customers to destinations with fewer stops, at affordable prices, while maintaining high quality and safety standards. In the past month, Little and Swvl, a Cairo-headquartered bus transportation service, have begun piloting bus shuttles in Nairobi. Safiri Express is also piloting a bus shuttle that mostly avoids the central business district.

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