Big Tech Weekly: sanctions, partnerships

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Republic of Lithuania in the Baltic region of Europe asked Google and Apple to remove access to Yandex. The ride-sharing service app is owned by Russia’s Yandex.taxi and Uber, the transport and economy ministers said.

Yandex.taxi is not allowed in Lithuania. The service is provided by drivers who register through the app, the ministry said.

Some Russian consumers are giving up on Apple Pay and Google Pay

Sanctions against Moscow over its attack on Ukraine continue to take their toll on Russian bank customers who have been denied access by Google Pay and Apple Pay.

The banks that were affected are the Central Bank of Russia, VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank and Otkritie FC Bank.

Microsoft and Telefónica expand their partnership

Not all news is related to the war in Ukraine. Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica has announced an expanded global strategic relationship with Microsoft Corp. The deal aims to allow the tech giants to focus on accelerating joint projects into the mainstream market.

The initiatives will focus on developing and commercializing new ideas for the home, based on Telefónica’s network capabilities and technology platforms in different markets.

Microsoft partners with venture capitalists to unlock $500 million to support 10,000 African startups

At the same time, Microsoft announced plans to support 10,000 startups in Africa through 2027 by launching partnerships with incubators across the continent.

The company also said it plans to partner with venture capitalists to increase funding for startups in Africa by making $500 million available for potential investments.

Amazon launches 10 MW solar power plant in South Africa

Not to be outdone this week, Amazon launched a 10 MW solar power plant in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. This is the latest addition to its portfolio of more than 270 global renewable energy projects.

The most recent addition covers over 49 acres and 24,000 bifacial solar panels, giving them the ability to capture rays from both sides. The solar plant is expected to generate the annual electricity consumption of 8,000 South African homes.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: ACCOUNT OPENING AND LOAN SERVICE IN THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT

On: Forty-two percent of US consumers are more likely to open accounts with financial institutions that facilitate automatic sharing of their bank details upon sign-up. The PYMNTS study Account opening and loan management in the digital environmentsurveyed 2,300 consumers to explore how FIs can leverage open banking to engage customers and create a better account opening experience.