3 telcos in South Africa want to combat fraud

February 27, 2024
5 min read

Below is a delayed version of our flagship newsletter, Techpoint Digest

Every weekday, 30,000 subscribers get a fun 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, directly in their inbox, hours before everyone else.


Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • 3 telcos in South Africa want to combat fraud
  • Spiro to set up 13 swap stations in Ogun, Nigeria
  • Seacom faces connectivity troubles

3 telcos in South Africa want to combat fraud


Cell C, MTN, and Telkom, three South African mobile operators, have joined the GSMA's Open Gateway programme. They are working together to combat fraud and online identity theft.

Essentially, Open Gateway functions as a superhero squad of network APIs, providing developers with universal access to operator networks.

This change allows local telcos to implement SIM swapping and number verification using universal network APIs. That's a big win against the surge in digital banking fraud South Africa saw last year.

For context, South Africa has seen an increase in digital banking fraud. In 2022, the number of reported cases increased by 24%.

By standardising APIs, mobile operators are providing themselves with better tools to combat cyber threats and protect their customers.

This initiative is not exclusive to South Africa. It's gone global! From Norway to Brazil, mobile operator groups worldwide are banding together under the Open Gateway umbrella. It is about promoting interoperability while adhering to technical standards and privacy laws.

Be the smartest in the room

Join 30,000 subscribers who receive Techpoint Digest, a fun week-daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, directly in your inbox, hours before everyone else.
Digest Subscription

Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime. Privacy Policy.

So, what is the bottom line? These new APIs are like secret weapons in the fight against fraud. They will significantly impact banking, finance, insurance, and other industries. Plus, they emphasise privacy, which is crucial in today's world.

The CEOs are also buzzing about it. Cell C's Jorge Mendes emphasises teamwork, MTN's Saad Syed is excited about the consistent developer experience, and Telkom's Lunga Siyo? He's ready to kick digital fraud to the curb.

Spiro to set up 13 swap stations in Ogun, Nigeria

Electric bike

Spiro, an electric vehicle company, has partnered with the Ogun State government in Nigeria to establish locations where you can swap out electric motorcycle batteries.

They will start with 13 stations as a test run, with plans to expand to 250 stations soon.

The state government took these electric bikes for a spin in Abeokuta, the capital, testing them on several rough roads and areas to ensure their durability.

Spiro has been around since 2019 as "M Auto Electric." However, in 2022, it rebranded and entered the African market as Spiro.

The EV company has already begun operations in Benin, Togo, Rwanda, and Uganda. And now, with this collaboration, it’s expanding into Nigeria. It’s even sorted out deals in Kenya for motorcycle financing.

Spiro's CEO, Kaushik Burman, is stoked about the Nigerian venture, calling it a big move to electrify the country.

Spiro is working on a billing system called State of Charge. Instead of charging you for a full battery, they'll bill you based on exactly how much charge you used.

Besides, the Ogun State government has consulted with everyone involved, from unions to commercial riders to the Transport Ministry, to ensure the battery swap goes smoothly. And it’s eyeing a solid 30-40% drop in operating costs by switching from gas to electric.

Nigeria's EV scene seems to be heating up, especially since fuel prices skyrocketed following the elimination of subsidies in 2023. However, not everyone is convinced yet. Some experts are sceptical of Nigeria's push for electric vehicles, citing issues such as intermittent power, an absence of trained technicians, and a scarcity of charging stations for various EV models.

Seacom faces connectivity troubles

subsea cables

Seacom, a subsea cable provider, is experiencing difficulties in the Red Sea. Something went wrong with its cables on February 24, resulting in more than 72 hours of service outage.

Nobody knows what caused it, but Seacom is working with its repair partners to identify the problem.

The faulty cable runs from Kenya to Egypt, disrupting connections between Africa and Europe, while customers in East and South Africa feel the pinch.

Some people in Yemen were talking about rebels messing with cables in the Red Sea a few weeks ago, so who knows if that is connected.

Anyhoo, Seacom is a big deal in Africa's internet scene, boasting that it owns a chunk of the fibre market and has been connecting South Africa to Europe with broadband since 2009.

Despite the service outage, Seacom is attempting to keep operations running by rerouting some services through other cables to keep Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa connected. However, there may be delays and hiccups for those trying to connect to Europe and beyond.

The company is also pointing fingers at the unstable situation in the Red Sea region, claiming that repairs are challenging due to the high level of tension.

While dealing with this, the company plans to expand into East and West Africa by acquiring other companies.

In case you missed it

 What I'm reading and watching  


  • Have you ever invested in a crowdfunding platform like Farmcrowdy before? If yes, kindly take a few minutes to answer 8-10 questions here.
  • Kenyan startups focused on embedded finance, future fintech, SME productivity tools, and content like local gaming and mobile advertising can apply for Safaricom’s Spark Accelerator programme. For more information, check this out.
  • The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is looking for an editor to support the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. Apply here.
  • Application for the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Class of 2025 is now open. Check out the one-year, fully sponsored, graduate-level programme in tech entrepreneurship here before March 18, 2023.
  • Do you live in Nigeria and work with a local or foreign company? Whether it's remotely, on-site, hybrid, full-time, part-time or as a freelancer, @TheIntelpoint is trying to understand the Nigerian workspace: how you work, and toxicity in the workspace among others. Please, fill out the questionnaire here.
  • Explore this website to find multiple job opportunities in Data that align with your preferences.
  • If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a techie looking for an internship role, please, check out this website.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

Other Stories

43b, Emina Cres, Allen, Ikeja.

 Techpremier Media Limited. All rights reserved