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We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… Apple is working on an AI-powered platform that might make mobile ads even more annoying,  EU dials up scrutiny of major platforms over GenAI risks ahead of elections, Security and Trust in Africa’s Digital Financial Inclusion Landscape, and much more…

Apple is working on an AI-powered platform that might make mobile ads even more annoying

Tech Radar

Apple is reportedly testing an AI-powered tool to optimize App Store ad campaigns, potentially to compete with Google’s Performance Max platform. The tool automates ad placement within the App Store and is being examined by a select group of advertisers. While Apple claims the tests are aimed at improving Apple Search Ads’ performance, rumors of a product launch in the near future suggest broader implications.

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EU dials up scrutiny of major platforms over GenAI risks ahead of elections

Tech Crunch

The European Commission has issued formal requests for information (RFI) to several major tech companies, including Google, Meta, Microsoft, Snap, TikTok, and X, regarding their management of risks associated with the use of generative AI. This action is taken under the Digital Services Act (DSA), which imposes obligations on very large online platforms (VLOPs) to assess and mitigate systemic risks. The requests specifically inquire about the companies’ measures to address risks related to generative AI, such as the spread of false information (“hallucinations”), the dissemination of deepfakes, and automated manipulation that could influence voters.

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Global cellular IoT connections to grow by three billion in next four years

Computer Weekly

A study by Juniper Research predicts a significant increase in the global number of cellular Internet of Things (IoT) devices, from 3.4 billion in 2024 to 6.5 billion by 2028, representing a surge of up to 90%. However, managing this growth and capitalizing on it will require the deployment of new services to enable efficient automation of IoT device management and security. The report highlights federated learning as a key approach for operators to minimize security risks. Additionally, intelligent infrastructure management solutions are identified as crucial for handling the large increase in cellular data, with global cellular IoT data projected to grow to 46 petabytes (PB) by 2028, up from 21PB in 2024. This growth is expected to drive further investment in IoT automation services.

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Security and Trust in Africa’s Digital Financial Inclusion Landscape

Carnegie Endowment 

Africa leads the world in mobile money adoption while cyber attacks and fraud are rising. How are new efforts faring to increase security and trust in digital financial inclusion? In Africa, particularly in sub-Saharan regions where an estimated 400 million people lack access to financial services, there’s a growing emphasis on leveraging financial technologies like mobile banking, mobile money, and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers to promote financial inclusion. Digital finance is seen as a crucial tool for poverty reduction, providing low-income households with access to affordable and convenient financial services. For example, Kenya’s M-PESA mobile money system has been credited with lifting households out of poverty. These technologies enable digital payments from governments or businesses to individuals, facilitating quicker transmission of pensions or welfare, among other benefits. Digital payments are considered more efficient and secure than cash payments, helping consumers establish a financial history that improves access to loans and other financial services.

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China’s Alipay and WeChat Pay ease the way for foreign travellers to make payments in world’s largest cashless society

South China Morning Post

In response to new guidelines from the General Office of the State Council aimed at improving payment services for foreign visitors in China, leading mobile payment providers Ant Group and Tencent Holdings are enhancing their operations. Ant Group, owner of Alipay, has raised the single-transaction limit for foreign travelers using Alipay from US$1,000 to US$5,000. This move is part of efforts to make it easier for foreign visitors to pay for goods and services in mainland China, which is known for being the world’s largest cashless society.

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Mobile gaming market to reach $190bn by 2030 – GlobalData


According to GlobalData’s thematic intelligence mobile gaming report, the global mobile gaming market is projected to reach $190 billion by 2030, a significant increase from $124 billion in 2023. This forecast includes revenue generated from smartphone and tablet gaming. GlobalData highlights that mobile gaming already surpasses the combined revenue of console and PC gaming. Rupantar Guha, principal analyst at GlobalData, noted that despite experiencing a decline in 2021, the mobile gaming market showed signs of recovery in 2023, with total revenue increasing by 6% compared to 2022.

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EU regulators aim for frictionless age verification, interoperability

Biometric Update

The age verification landscape is undergoing significant scrutiny and change, with legislators, regulators, and providers grappling with evolving requirements. A recent on-demand webinar, hosted by Biometric Update and Goode Intelligence, delved into age verification and estimation, drawing lessons from UK deployments and regulatory developments. However, the discussion extends beyond the UK, encompassing Europe and other regions. The euConsent project, funded by the European Commission, has released a feasibility study exploring potential modifications to enable interoperability among age verification providers (AVPs). Currently, euConsent operates on a distributed interoperable model based on eIDAS architecture, facilitating secure information exchange between nodes. This framework allows AVPs to leverage previous age checks conducted by other providers within the euConsent network, fostering efficiency and consistency in age verification processes.

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Time to tap into Africa’s mobile money boom

Money Week

The UK economy is facing a shortage of workers despite record levels of net migration and high employment figures, with nearly a million open roles remaining unfilled. Economists and policymakers attribute this issue to two main factors related to economic inactivity: a significant increase in retirement and individuals leaving the workforce due to long-term health issues. This trend is expected to persist, as forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility indicate that economic inactivity due to ill health and old age could dampen economic growth over the next three decades. Moreover, the ageing population and prevalence of health-related challenges pose significant challenges to government finances, with a diminishing workforce supporting an increasing number of individuals reliant on state support.

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Reels and influencers key drivers for mobile game discovery in India: Meta GWI study

Indian Express

A recent study commissioned by Meta and conducted by audience research company GWI reveals the increasing prevalence of gaming in India, with six in 10 smartphone gamers engaging in daily gaming sessions. Particularly noteworthy is the surge in gaming popularity in non-metro areas, where nearly half of casual gamers and 43% of real-money gamers reside. The study highlights the significant role played by social media platforms like Meta in fueling this gaming frenzy, with over three-quarters of casual and real-money gamers discovering and purchasing new games through social media. Notably, 90% of these discoveries occur on Meta’s platforms.

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