mobileAirtel Africa, Standard Chartered Bank and MasterCard Worldwide have announced the availability of the world’s first virtual payments card that operates off a mobile phone-based wallet in Kenya called PayOnline.

Kenya is the first market in the world to make this type of payment solution publically available, which lets Airtel Money customers in Kenya use their mobile phones to make online purchases from international MasterCard merchants around the world.

Getting Kenyan Businesses OnlineAs the calls for online content get louder, Kenyan firms have partnered with Google to help SMEs in the country attain - at least - basic online presense by launching a new initiative called, Getting Kenyan Businesses Online.

Below is a post from Google Africa Blog:

zyngaThere are no rules to naming a startup. And most entrepreneurs do assume that the name they choose will change before their businesses really start to gain momentum.

Consequently, it doesn't shock us that some of our favorite startups were sired by picking names out of hats, by throwing out odd proper nouns that might be cheap domain names and by haphazardly removing vowels.

vodacomSocial media has moved incredibly quickly from a specialist tool to a must-have channel of engagement with customers.

Building on the unique one on one conversation that social media makes possible, Vodacom has increased the number of people working in its specialist dedicated customer care team and increased their hours of operation.

internet1With a population of over 150 million people, Nigeria has the potential to be Africa’s leading broadband powerhouse.

However, according to Main One Cable, a private undersea cable infrastructure provider in West Africa, broadband penetration in the country is currently less than 3%. As such, there is tremendous opportunity in the broadband space in Nigeria especially in the mobile space where the country is estimated to have about 90 million subscribers.

old_marketingTicketmaster estimates that every time one of their customers posts on Facebook that they’ve bought a ticket, their friends spend an additional $5.30 with the site.

When last year’s Google conference was taking place, they tweeted the morning of the conference: “100 tickets left, 550 bucks a piece, use this promotion code”. 11 minutes later they tweeted, “Sold them, thank you.”

As Ugandans continue to grapple with an economy in crisis, reports from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicate that by press time August inflation rate has risen to 21.4 per cent, up from the revised rate of 18.8 per cent in July due to escalating sugar, meat and chicken prices.

This is the highest inflation rate in 18 years. The inflation rate was last higher in February 1993 when it stood at 24.9 percent, the statistics office said.

KCBThe Kenya Commercial Bank Group (KCB) has digitized all its 221 branches across East Africa.

The move is aimed at making banking a convenient service for its growing customers.

Dr. Martin Oduor-Otieno, KCB Group CEO says the move to expand its branches is geared towards convenient banking for new and the current 1.7 million customer base.

online-tradingIt is a significant turnaround in activity indicating that Small and Medium Enterprises are seeking cheaper options of doing business in today’s Uganda which is characterised by high operational costs.

For developed countries, online trading is a popular means of doing business.

facebookSurely you’ve seen the talk about business profiles on Google+ lately. In fact, some websites reported that their profile were shut down (unsurprisingly) after Google+ clarified its terms of service to say that only people were allowed to have them. A case in point is the Next Web Technology website.