AppDate: Trace offers Africa market-relevant skills

Trace Academy

Trace and the Mastercard Foundation have launched a free-to-use, interactive, mobile-based learning application called Trace Academia, which aims to enable 26-million young Africans to acquire on-demand, market-relevant skills.

Trace Academia is available on Android and iOS and has been successfully tested in 4 African countries. Users can access courses in English and French. Portuguese courses will soon be launched. The learning content will include technical courses relevant to 15 different industries, such as energy, beauty, fashion, DIY, digital marketing, hospitality, the creative arts, journalism, film, and technology. Courses that are more broadly relevant, likeship, public speaking, entrepreneurs and personal wellness, are also on offer. Each course featured on the application has been designed in collaboration with an industry-leading organization to ensure its relevance to employers and the job market.

“Two things that make Trace Academia stand out from other online courses is that it offers learners the ability to learn at their own pace and in their own time,” says Olivier Laouchez, co-founder and executive chairman of Trace. It also ensures that the courses are practical and designed in collaboration with organizations already operating in the chosen field.

For more information on Trace Academia visit the site here.


TAB 4Racing

TAB and 4Racing have launched Take A Bet, a website and app designed to make online betting easier for horse racing and soccer punters.

The TAB4Racing app and website was launched to coincide with the TAB Champion’s Day at Turffontein on Saturday 30 April, one of the biggest race days of the year, celebrating the country’s elite horse racing champions.

Features in the app include top tipsters and experts’ race day picks, and the ability to share bet selections with friends on social media accounts. Also included are improved bet placement and race and venue navigation, simplified Computaform information, and a broader view of horse racing news, silks, jockey and trainer information. Users can get quick feedback via call center agents.

One of the standout features of the app is live streaming and following of local and international races on 4RacingTV’s global racing 1 and 2 betting channels.

On the app one can keep tabs of live bets and track past bets as well as receive notifications of winnings and details of big pools ahead of upcoming race days.

On the soccer front, TAB’s range of soccer pools, which include soccer 6, 10 and 13, will complement the horse racing news. Soccer punters will find team performance and head-to-head information needed to help place informed bets.

Platform: Android and iOS or a desktop with an up-to-date Internet browser

Expect to pay: Free to download

Stockist: Visit the 4Racing website here for registration information.


Zero data costs for Paymenow users

Paymenow is removing data cost for its users when accessing the app and web platform, using reverse billing.

Paymenow is a platform which is free for employees, integrates with payroll software, and handles early disbursements of wages to employees to help them avoid debt. The app also provides gamified financial education to motivate users to improve their money-handling skills.

“We realised that even the minimal data cost to access Paymenow can be a challenge for employees experiencing financial difficulty, so we have partnered with Cellfind to pick up the cost for all connectivity,” says Deon Nobrega, co-founder and CEO of Paymenow. Through this move, users can save an average of R10 per month on data charges.

More than 200,000 South African employees are now signed up to Paymenow. The app uses big data to learn employees’ spending habits and to provide tailored educational material to encourage responsible financial behaviour. It also offers value-added services, such as grocery, healthcare and airtime vouchers. Free support including credit reports every 45 days and the ability to track credit score movements over time are provided.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the Paymenow site here for more information.


Netstar Companion

Netstar has launched Netstar Companion – an on-demand emergency-response service to protect and connect customers and their families.

When downloaded and opened, it connects to the nearest armed response officer or emergency medical services responder.

South African Police crime statistics for October-December 2021 show kidnappings across the country rose alarmingly. Although contact crime dropped 4%, kidnappings continue to be a great concern, with cases rising a massive 35.7%. Gauteng accounted for the bulk of the kidnappings in SA, followed by KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape. In this environment, a panic-assist service can mean the difference between life and death.

Netstar has partnered with some of the best response companies nationwide to give customers access to a growing network of more than 1,500 armed responders across the country. The service ensures customers get help as quickly as possible.

The app has a shake-to-activate mechanism. When activated it automatically records a 20-second audio/video recording and sends it to the Netstar Companion servers for safekeeping, and for possible use as evidence in future legal action.

How it works

  • Tap or shake for help: In an emergency, a shake of a mobile phone activates the panic mode. Customers can also activate the mobile panic button manually.
  • Closest responder activated: The alert is then distributed to five response vehicles nearest to the customer’s location. The control center calls the customer to confirm the emergency – if the customer does not answer, a response vehicle is dispatched.
  • GPS navigation: The accepting response vehicle is navigated via GPS directly to the incident.
  • Instant client profile: Client identity and other key information is shared with the dispatched vehicle and control centre.
  • Control room back-up: The control centers oversees all activations and can send additional support if needed.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Pricing ranges from R100 to R200 per month

Stockists: Visit the Netstar Companion page here to sign up.


Dis-Chem’s WhatsApp channel

Clickatell has enabled WhatsApp as a customer engagement platform for Dis-Chem Pharmacies.

Their customers can now access various services through WhatsApp by sending the word “Hi” to 0860 347243. The menu then allows users to choose which action they want to perform.

Through WhatsApp, customers can register for a benefit card, while existing members can update their personal details, check their loyalty points balance, report lost or stolen cards, and register for Dis-Chem’s Baby Program.

The pharmacy will also use the channel to alert customers via Pack My Meds when repeat medication is due for collection or when delivery can be expected. The channel provides a general FAQ section that supplies information about their services.

Platform: Any device with WhatsApp installed.

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Once WhatsApp is installed message “Hi” to 0860 347 243 to get started

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