FinTrak empowers banks to drive business strategy with PI-360

FinTrak empowers banks to drive business strategy with PI-360


Generating performance reports for internal and external stakeholders is a resource-intensive and time-consuming engagement for most financial institutions in Nigeria.

In view of this, FinTrak Software, an indigenous Nigerian Enterprise Solution Provider is set to unveil FinTrak PI-360. PI-360 is a subset of FinTrak Banking System specifically addressing Enterprise Performance Management and IFRS based Financial Reporting.

With PI-360, banks are able to better appraise performance of their business units, branches, customers, accounts, individual staff and other strategic business objects and thus able to drive operational efficiency and reduce operating costs to barest minimum.

“This software will revolutionize Enterprise Performance, Financial and Risk Management reporting in the financial services industry in Africa and the world at large. The solution removes all impediments all processes leading to timely generation of regulatory/internal reports. The platform offers dynamic dashboard, ad-hoc reporting, integrated data for extensive data mining and analysis,” said Ladi Ipaye, FinTrak’s Business Development Executive.

PI-360 exposes users to analytical interface that enables users to access awide scope of predefined information that supports important management decision, such as: Optimized daily Management Profitability Reporting (MPR), Customer Profitability Reporting (CPR), Product Profitability Reporting (PPR) and Accounts Profitability Reporting (APR) with integrated Budget, advanced transfer pricing definitions, daily IFRS Based reports and schedules and the ability for users to control cost elements without sacrificing revenue.

FinTrak Software is a global ICT organization based in Nigeria, known for providing technology and business solutions to mainly commercial banks, mortgage banks across Africa.

FinTrak Software has product presence in many African countries such as Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cote D’Ivorie, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda, Congo, and Zambia operating from its business offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and Kenya. FinTrak Software has partnership agreements with renowned OEMs such as Oracle and Microsoft.

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BlackBerry lesson: adapt or die in the internet Age

BlackBerry lesson: adapt or die in the internet Age


BlackBerry has joined Yahoo, Nokia and other technology industry stars felled by an internet age in which companies are forced to evolve quickly or perish.

Canadian-based BlackBerry announced Wednesday it would halt in-house production of smartphones, marking the end of an era for the once-dominant handset producer.

Originally known as Research in Motion, the company earned a dedicated following of “CrackBerry” addicts and introduced millions to the smartphone.

But, its luster faded with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the large number of low-costs Android handsets that followed.

BlackBerry travelled a road well-worn.

Finland’s Nokia, once the world’s largest mobile phone maker, has seen its smartphone business go up in smoke as well.

Internet pioneer Yahoo recently inked a deal to sell its core business to US telecommunications firm Verizon after years of struggling in vain to revive growth in an online search market usurped by Google.

“What they have in common is that they haven’t reacted well to rapid change from their original positions,” said Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay. “Tech has high velocity.”

The tech sector is young and fast-moving in an internet culture that praises “disruption” and “revolution” of industries and lifestyles.

Among mottos found on the walls of leading social network Facebook is “Move fast and break things.”

Smartphones themselves have become seemingly indispensible, with people typically replacing handsets every year or two in order to have the newest features or capabilities.

– Resting on laurels –
Changing to capitalize on a new trend can be daunting for companies comfortable with products that keep revenue flowing for the moment.

“It reminds me of all those old singers going to Las Vegas to do whatever it is they do when they should really have just stopped,” Kay said of tech companies sticking with what early hits.

“Everybody wants to do an encore and get paid again.”

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, some critiques questioned why the California company was “cannibalizing” its successful line of iPods.

The iPhone became a global sensation, and a main driver of stellar profit for Apple.

Kay noted that when Yahoo ruled internet search it became clear their model was under attack by a newcomer called Google.

Yahoo may not have seen the threat, or may have blinded itself to the need for change because its old business model continued to pump revenue, according to Kay.

And while there are individual specifics underlying the downfall of incumbent mobile phone titans, they all faced the sudden and simultaneous rise of two powerhouses

Apple disrupted smartphones and lifestyles with its iPhone, and Google fired back with an Android mobile operating system that any consumer electronics maker was free to use.

The Google and Apple one-two punch was enough to essentially “pivot” a smartphone market that incumbents thought was too stable to rattle, according to independent Silicon Valley analyst Rob Enderle.

“None of the big firms were prepared to deal with it,” Enderle said of two companies new to the smartphone scene fueling a revolution.

Unlike the birth of search engine Google on a young and growing internet, mobile phones were an existing market that incumbents felt they knew well and were “completely taken aback b the combination of Apple and Google,” according to Enderle.

– Reinvention –
Veteran technology firms being overtaken by newcomers is not necessarily inevitable, if established companies have the wit and courage to re-invent themselves, adapting to survive.

Analyst Kay noted IBM, a century-old technology company that has embraced transformation time and again, even shedding products along the way.

Computer chip giant Intel shifted its focus to microprocessors for mobile devices to adapt to how internet-connected devices were evolving.

Apple itself was a computer company on the brink of bankruptcy when it staked its future on iPods and iPhones in a winning move that made it one of the most profitable companies on the planet.

The future is a question mark for Microsoft, once the world’s largest company, which has fallen behind Apple and Google as the PC industry declines and which is refocusing on enterprise services.

But reinvention isn’t a cure-all, and needs ongoing commitment to change along with vision of where markets are heading.

IBM now seems tangled in endless restructuring, with revenue declining for more than four years; Intel continues to struggle to find the kind of success it had with big computer chips.

Analysts have taken to wondering whether Apple itself has become too dependent on the iPhone, and is taking too long to come up with “the next big thing.”

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New education marketplace launched

New education marketplace launched

eLearnAfrica partnered with universities around the world to provide online education

As the furore around #feesmustfall and free education continues in South Africa, one social enterprise has come to the fore with a promising solution. eLearnAfrica  launched its new online marketplace for education, making it easier for students throughout Africa to search for and enrol in hundreds of online courses, online degrees, and professional certifications from some of the best universities in the world.

eLearnAfrica is a social enterprise committed to increasing and expanding educational and employment opportunities throughout Africa through an innovative web portal that connects users of all educational levels to trusted third-party and collaboratively created content. eLearnAfrica’s mission is to make learning opportunities available to everyone through an easy-to-use website and mobile app. In addition, eLearnAfrica is highly intuitive with a content discovery solution that delivers personalized recommendations tailored to each user’s preferences.

eLearnAfrica has partnered with online course providers to make available courses from some of the best universities in the world. These courses use video and other online resources, and students take a short test to progress to the next class. Most of these courses can be taken for free, and some courses also offer a verified certificate of completion (with a modest administration fee).

eLearnAfrica works with both edX and FutureLearn to offer a huge variety of courses to its primarily African audience. EdX, the nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard University and MIT, offers hundreds of courses from the world’s top institutions, such as top-ranked Wharton Business School, the University of California, Berkeley and more.

“We are delighted to collaborate with eLearnAfrica,” said Anant Agarwal, edX CEO and MIT Professor. “We are deeply committed to edX learners on the continent and have a partnership with The University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits), a first of its kind collaboration between a major MOOC provider and an African university. Our work with eLearnAfrica will help further the edX mission to increase access to high-quality education for learners in Africa and around the world.”

FutureLearn, the social learning platform wholly owned by the Open University, offers over 4.5 million learners access to free online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, centres of research excellence and specialist education providers like the British Council, Creative Skillset, and European Space Agency.

Nigel Smith, Head of Content at FutureLearn, commented on the partnership: “We’re very pleased to be one of the launch partners for eLearnAfrica. Although we are UK-based, 70% of our learners are based in countries outside the UK and with our mission to pioneer the best social learning experience for everyone, anywhere, eLearnAfrica is a great partner for us.”

He continued, “With 8% of our current learners based in Africa, there is clearly an existing appetite for free, high quality education from reliable and trustworthy sources but also huge potential for growth. We offer a vast array of professional development courses that can increase employability or help learners to start their own businesses, while our general interest courses provide something for everyone with lifelong learning ambitions. And of course, through our social learning platform, all our courses offer an element of experience of studying abroad with different cultures without the expense of leaving the country. We have no doubt that eLearnAfrica will be both popular and successful and we look forward to working with their team to reach more learners on the African continent.”

To make sure that Africans can take video-based professional certification programs, eLearnAfrica has joined hands with industry leader itSM Mentor, which has over 1400 classes in close to 175 specialized areas. Students can quickly become certified by mastering Microsoft Office, learn accounting, project management, or information technologies.

Students interested in earning a degree online, can find Associates and Bachelors programmes in Business Administration, Computer Science and Health Science and even a Masters programme in Business Administration from the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, US-accredited online university, University of the People (UoPeople).

CEO of eLearnAfrica, Brook Negussie, said the portal is set to become Africa’s trusted source for open education. Negussie, who is known for his work in providing internet access for schoolchildren across Africa, added: “As an educational platform, eLearnAfrica offers opportunities to African students at every stage of higher education and career development, with courses from the world’s best universities, including full degrees, vocational training, and industry-standard professional certifications. We set out to combine local knowledge with long-term global expertise through partnerships and academic excellence, to bring the best in the world to Africa in one easily accessible marketplace.”


Staff Writer

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DPO group enters merger with PayGate

DPO group enters merger with PayGate

From Left Eran Feinstein the DPO group CEO, Offer Gat is the DPO group Chairman and Peter Harvey will continue to lead the DPO group activities in SA

The Direct Pay Online Group, (“DPO Group”) – formerly known as 3G Direct Pay Limited announced that it has merged with PayGate (Pty) Ltd (“PayGate” or “The Company”). This merger follows the recent investment in the DPO Group by Apis Growth Fund I, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners LLP (“Apis”), a private equity asset manager focused on financial services in the growth markets of Africa and Asia.

PayGate enables quick, secure online payments through a wide variety of payment solutions in Africa, and supports a large array of digital payment methods. Furthermore, PayGate has expanded aggressively into the rest of Africa and currently offers clients online acquiring in 24 African countries. PayGate has built a strong base of customers through its focus on building a best-in-class payments processing platform in Africa and eliminating the complexity of accepting online payments. Similar to the DPO Group, PayGate holds PCI DSS Level 1 Certification, the highest security certification in the payment cards industry.

The combination of 3G Direct Pay and PayGate under the Direct Pay Online Group will provide a single contact point for merchants looking to accept online payments across the continent. Merchants will have access to 60+ DPO Group employees across the continent to provide bespoke development solutions and customer support in their local language; a single integration that offers their customers the broadest suite of payment options in Africa and world-class security and fraud prevention.

Speaking on the merger, Peter Harvey, the Managing Director of PayGate said, “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the DPO Group in building the market-leading payments processor in Africa. The merger is a landmark transaction for PayGate and a reward for our dedication to building the best-in-class platform and maintaining excellent customer service for our merchants. This is also an incredible opportunity to support our clients’ expansion across the African continent through additional on-the-ground coverage across the Group’s countries of operation.”

“The PayGate team has grown a fantastic business, centred on providing the best online payments processing solution to its merchants,” said Eran Feinstein, the DPO Group CEO. “This merger allows the DPO Group to build a pan-African payments platform with a presence across eight countries and processing ability in a further 24 countries. Together, the Group will accelerate the growth of online payments in Africa, as we seek to empower every person and organization to have the option to pay and be paid online anywhere, anytime, and by any mode of payment.”

Offer Gat, the DPO Group Chairman added that “the merger with PayGate enables the DPO Group to offer a wider range of products and services across the whole of East and Southern Africa, and provides the Group with a strong foothold in the large South African e-commerce market. The Group will be in a better position to serve the growing number of African and global multinationals looking to serve consumers anywhere on the African continent.”

Following the transaction, Peter Harvey will continue to lead the DPO Group’s activities in the South Africa Common Monetary Area, and will work closely with Eran Feinstein to grow the Group’s business in its current markets and in new regions over the coming years.

Staff Writer

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Seniors more likely to be victims cyber crime- Kaspersky

Seniors more likely to be victims cyber crime- Kaspersky

Kaspersky Lab’s released a report outlining the dangers seniors might face while using the internet (image: Charlie Fripp)

The latest research from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International has raised concerns about the safety of over-55s online. The findings of the research, in a report entitled: ‘Older and wiser? A look at the threats faced by over-55s online,’ demonstrates that this age group can behave insecurely online and often become victims of fraud.

The findings are worrying, because the research, which questioned 12,546 Internet users across the globe, suggests that the older generation is actually a very attractive target for cybercriminals. When they are online, many over-55s shop, bank and communicate with loved ones without effectively protecting themselves, and the things that are most important to them, from cybercriminals.

Despite the fact that this age group is more likely to install security software on their computers, they are less likely to protect their mobile devices or amend their behaviour online to stay safe. For example, they use high privacy settings on social media and in their browser less than other age groups (30% vs. 38%). They are also unlikely to use the security functions that come with their devices (such as ‘find my device’) or VPN – 28% and 10% respectively compared to 42% and 16% respectively of users across all ages.

The older generation is using the Internet for many aspects of their lives – increasing their vulnerability to cybercriminals if they continue to go online without taking precautions. They are using the Internet to communicate with others – 94% of over-55s email regularly. They are also going online to complete day-to-day tasks. This age group is more likely than others to conduct financial transactions over the Internet, with 90% of over-55s shopping and banking online (compared to an average 84% of users across all age groups).

Yet despite all of this, only half of over-55s (49%) worry about their vulnerability when purchasing products online and the vast majority (86%) do not believe they are a target for cybercriminals. Worryingly, four in ten (40%) have put themselves at risk by sharing financial details in the public domain (compared with 15% across all age groups).

Their lack of cyber-savviness is making over-55s less prepared for the dangers of the online world. As a result, this generation is being victimised by cybercriminals. According to the report, 20% of Internet users overall have older relatives that have encountered malicious software, and 14% have older relatives that have fallen for fake prize draws online. In addition, 13% have older relatives that have shared too much personal information about themselves online and 12% have older relatives that have become the victim of an online scam, seen inappropriate/explicit content, or communicated with dangerous strangers online.

Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab, says, “On the one hand, it’s great to see that so many over-55s are using the Internet to shop, bank and stay connected with loved ones. The report shows clearly that this generation is embracing a connected life, and all of the opportunities that come with it. On the other hand, however, it’s clear that the over-55s are not doing enough to protect themselves properly. Worryingly, they don’t even believe they are a target for cybercriminals, but they are putting themselves in danger time and again.

“At Kaspersky Lab, we are urging older Internet users to become more aware of the dangers they face online, and to act in a more cyber-savvy manner. We are also encouraging younger Internet users to help their older relatives and friends to better protect themselves from the very real threats posed by cybercriminals. Being vigilant online, as well as installing reliable security solutions and ensuring high privacy settings on all devices used to access the Internet, will ensure a happy and healthy connected life,” he concludes.

Staff Writer

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Huawei Kathea Partnership Set to Change VC Landscape

Huawei Kathea Partnership Set to Change VC Landscape

Kathea and Huawei plan to hold joint multi-year training and certification programs to up-skill channel partners and enhance their strategic alliance.

Kathea and Huawei have aligned to form a strategic partnership which will see Kathea become a specialised distributor of Huawei video conferencing (VC) and unified communications (UC) products. This will be the first time in 20 years that Kathea will adopt a multi-vendor strategy for VC.

“Kathea believes that this partnership will prove to be a game changer and Kathea is really excited about it. Kathea is looking to diversify its offerings in the ever expanding communications industry. With a solid track record of more than 20 years in the communications field, Huawei has developed multiple industry-leading converged voice, data, video and service flow technologies. Kathea’s experience in the communications space, supported by Huawei’s cutting edge technology, has all the ingredients to service the VC and UC market in a way that will prove beneficial to both parties but most importantly to the channel community,” says Richard Henn, CEO of Kathea.

From October 2016 onwards, Kathea will begin distributing Huawei’s industry-leading UC and VC solutions which feature mobility, converged video and cloud collaboration with an aim to help enterprises achieve more convenient communication, higher productivity, and more powerful sales and service delivery.

“The agreement is likely to disrupt the landscape of enterprise video conferencing in Southern Africa,” says Rodger van den Berg, unified communications and collaboration solutions manager of the Huawei Enterprise Business Group. “With Kathea being the largest dedicated team in Sub-Saharan Africa for video and related-services, we look forward to providing more flexibility to their existing 200 VC resellers by including cutting-edge Huawei products.”

“Huawei is making huge leaps and bounds in the ICT market, gaining recognition from industry customers across government, transportation, energy, electric power, finance, and large enterprise sectors. In 2016, Huawei Technologies rose to position 129 on the Global Fortune 500 from position 228 in 2015. According to IDC, Huawei is ranked number three globally in the enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence equipment market,” continues van den Berg.

Going forward, Kathea and Huawei plan to hold joint multi-year training and certification programs to up-skill channel partners and enhance their strategic alliance.


Staff Writer

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Smartphone shipments stall in Africa

Smartphone shipments stall in Africa

The shipment of smartphone decreased in Africa according to the IDC

Shipments of smartphones in Africa fell 5.2% to 23.1 million units in the second quarter of 2016, according to the latest figures from International Data Corporation (IDC).

These figures, presented in IDC’s recently published ‘Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker’, indicate that the boom in smartphone sales in Africa is slowing, despite the fact that overall mobile handset shipments were up slightly in Q2 2016, with shipments of basic feature phones rising 31.9% year on year to total 29.8 million units.

South Africa and the North African countries of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia remain the most developed handset markets on the continent. The northern trio showed continuing strong growth in the smartphone space, with Long-Term Evolution (LTE) handsets accounting for three-quarters of smartphones sold in the region. “The launch of 4G is giving a boost to the mobile business in North Africa, and telecom operators have made huge investments in new LTE networks,” says Nabila Popal, research manager for mobile phones at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “As a result of these investments, 4G services are now being offered at affordable prices to a growing band of customers.”

In South Africa, the most striking change was the continued growth of the low-price smartphone segment, with devices priced below $100 (retail price less VAT) now accounting for more than two-thirds of the country’s Android sales. This space has evolved after top-end sales became well established in the market courtesy of the country’s substantial postpaid segment, which is a rare feature of the operator environment in Africa.

In Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country and biggest handset market, there was a sharp slowdown in growth in Q2 2016, with total smartphone shipments down 6.8% year on year. Sales of 4G phones in Egypt, Africa’s second-largest mobile phone market, surged in anticipation of the impending launch of LTE networks. Such phones accounted for almost twice as many shipments as 3G devices during the quarter.

However, in the extremely price-conscious markets of Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa), 3G phones remain the predominant choice. Transsion’s principal brands – Tecno, Infinix, and itel – continue to perform very well in this region, dominating feature phone sales while collectively accounting for the second biggest share of the Sub-Sharan Africa smartphone market behind Samsung.

IDC believes that the smartphone market will continue to grow in Africa, particularly after the current commodities slump eases. However, sales are unlikely to reach the rates seen a year or two ago now that many urban markets are becoming saturated. Overall mobile shipments in Africa will top 200 million units in 2016, equating to year-on-year growth of 7.0%, with smartphones accounting for a marginally higher share of the market than was the case in 2015.

“Outside the cities, network connectivity is often basic, data speeds are much lower, and rural disposable incomes are often very low,” says Simon Baker, senior program manager for mobile phones at IDC CEMA. “As a result, feature phone sales are proving to be resilient across Africa, and this will continue to be the case going forward. Despite downturns in many economies, Africa retains significant long-term growth potential when compared with other developing regions, particularly as smartphone penetration across the continent remains relatively low.”


Staff Writer

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Alcatel unveils Windows powered 2-in-1 device

Alcatel unveils Windows powered 2-in-1 device

ALCATEL’s first 2-in-1 device powered by Windows 10 is one of the few connected 10-inch 2-in-1s on the market

Increasing its offering of Windows devices, ALCATEL announced the launch of its PLUS 10 2-in-1 device, running on the latest Windows 10 operating system.

“The 2-in-1 ALCATEL PLUS 10 provides the optimal balance between productivity and entrainment.” says Ernst Wittmann, Regional Manager for Southern Africa at Alcatel.

“It’s a fun conversation starter that people look at with envy and a great way to stay connected. The multiple ports, including standard USB, micro USB and micro HDMI, make adaptors a thing of the past,” he says.

3 Modes, 1 Irresistible Price

Mobile office: With its compatible 4G/Wi-Fi-connected keyboard, PLUS 10 offers a complete mobile desktop experience. It can be used in laptop mode to type documents or create spreadsheets, and in dock mode to display presentations or slides. With its multiple ports — rare to see in this device category — PLUS 10 further shows its hard-working sensibility, by enabling connections to a hard drive, mouse, USB key, secondary screen and more.

In addition, PLUS 10 has a default memory of 32 GB that can be ramped up with an external SD card for extra space for holding pictures, videos etc.

Entertainment center: PLUS 10 can be used in dock mode to view videos or movies. To top it off, the dual front speakers, with immersive 3D sound, coupled with the high-resolution (1280 x 800) IPS screen technology, make film watching and gaming an extra pleasure.

Travel companion: Exceptionally convenient to carry, PLUS 10 is compact and 40 percent lighter than an average laptop. When used in tablet mode, without the keyboard, it is even more portable and is an ideal companion for travel or commutes, to browse the Web, play games or serve as an e-book reader.

Powerful Battery, Wi-Fi Hotspot and Cameras Add Functionality

PLUS 10 is equipped with a double battery. The tablet and 4G LTE keyboard offer a total of 8,410 mAh, which lasts a full 8-hour working or playing day. The unique, connected 4G LTE cat 4 (150Mbps) keyboard works double-time to serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 15 users.

To complete PLUS 10’s long list of functionalities, it has both a front and rear-facing camera, with front flash which is ideal for video calls.


The ALCATEL PLUS 10, 2-in-1 LTE device is available in silver from Vodacom at the recommended retail price of R3559.00. ALCATEL PLUS 10 is also available with a free 1 Year Office 365 licence for R329 pm x 36 on 5GB Data Price Plan or R429 pm x 36 on 10GB Data Price Plan.

Staff Writer

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Samsung to resume sales of new Note 7 phones

Samsung to resume sales of new Note 7 phones


Samsung said Thursday it would resume sales of new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in South Korea this week, hoping to turn the page on the troubled device after an ongoing global recall prompted by battery explosions.

The company on September 2 suspended sales of the oversized “phablet” and recalled 2.5 million units shipped worldwide after faulty batteries caused the phones to explode while charging.

With the recall underway in 10 nations where the device had been launched, 60 percent of users in Samsung’s key market, the US, had swapped their handsets for replacements provided by the company, as of Tuesday.

Eighty percent of Note 7 customers are expected to complete the exchange this week in South Korea, where sales of new phones equipped with fault-free batteries will resume on Saturday, Samsung said in a statement.

The new Note 7 will gradually hit stores in other markets, including some European countries on October 28, the company said.

The unprecedented recall, the first involving Samsung’s flagship smartphone, has dealt a blow to the reputation of the South Korean electronics giant — also the world’s largest smartphone maker.

With photos of charred phones flooding social media, Samsung is desperate to avoid a full-blown disaster that could cost billions and damage its image further.

But customers have reportedly complained that the replacement devices were overheating during calls and its batteries draining too quickly, a sign that the company’s troubles are not over yet.

A Samsung spokeswoman acknowledged the concerns but said they only amounted to “a few individual cases”.

“We would like to reassure everyone that new Note 7 phones are operating properly and pose no safety concerns,” she said, adding the firm was working to address the complaints.

The Note 7 was meant to kick start growth this year as Samsung struggles to boost sales, squeezed by Apple in the high-end sector and Chinese rivals in the low-end market.

But the recall has piled more pressure on the company, sparking alarm among global air carriers and safety regulators, which banned the device on flights.

Samsung is also facing a class-action lawsuit in the US state of New Jersey over complaints that some of its washing machines had exploded in their owners’ homes.

The company said Wednesday it was in discussions with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to address the concerns of affected customers.

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