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[科技报道]南非推行手机打的

2014-04-22    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.
 
Getting a taxi ride in New York City is as easy as standing along a street and raising your hand high in the air. In Johannesburg, getting a taxi ride just got even easier, thanks to a new software application. SnappCab lets users call a taxi simple by touching the screen of their smartphone.
 
Anton van Metzinger is the managing director of SnappCab. He and two partners launched their smartphone app in September. He explains how it works.
 
"You open the app. And you literally with two clicks of a button you can order a cab. Using your GPS, you click the button, you electronically hail the cab, it connects you to the closest cabs in the area. So I get the cab driver's name, I get the cab driver's company ID he or she works for, their vehicle registration details and the vehicle description. So I know, as the passenger I know exactly which cab is coming to me and I can now track it on my smartphone," said van Metzinger.
 
When the vehicle arrives, the app sends a message to the passenger. When the ride is done, He or she can either pay the driver directly, or pay using the smartphone.
 
"We've been in the market only for about a month now and we already see that the credit card payment option is very popular, in fact more popular than we expected initially... People are getting used to the idea of online shopping, they're getting used to the idea of mobile. We predict that a year down the line, the majority of our transactions will be by credit card," said van Metzinger.
 
But critics say the move to financial transaction through mobile apps has been slow. Arthur Goldstuck is managing director of World Wide Worx, he also marks as a writer who specializes in South African technology. He says many South Africans are not get ready to make online purchases by telephone. He says they lack trust in the technology.
 
"There's a phenomenon in this country and probably across Africa, that we call the digital participation curve. And it shows that the average Internet user needs to have been online for five years or more before they're ready to start transacting online," said Goldstuck.
 
But there have been success stories. An app called Powertime was launched in 2009, it sells pre-paid, or pay-as-you-go electricity. Before Powertime, power users would have to go to a fueling station or store to buy pre-paid electricity.
 
"What I find that is working in South Africa, is if you build an app that is relevant to the country because it solves a local problem. Kind of a local app for a local problem. And I think that was part of the success of Powertime. It was a very, very significant issue in South Africa to buy pre-paid electricity,"said Lacour.
 
With the group of dependable customers, Powertime has now moved into paying for other services, like water bills and airtime for mobile phones.
 
There are an estimated 14.7 million smartphones registered with South African telecom networks. That number is sure to grow as local smartphone prices drop below $100 and as South African technology companies began launching smartphones of their own.
 
And that is the Technology Report from VOA Special English. I'm June Simms.

文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2013-11-18


这里是美国之音慢速英语科技报道。

在纽约市打的很简单,只要在街边招招手。在约翰内斯堡,因为一款新的软件应用,打的更容易了。SnappCab使用户只需触摸智能手机屏幕就可以打的了。

Anton van Metzinger是SnappCab的董事长,他和两位合作人在9月推出了这款智能手机应用。他解释了如何操作。

van Metzinger 说:“打开该应用,通过GPS系统,仅须双击某按钮就能电子化打的了。它将联系该地最近的的士,然后你就能知道的士司机名字、所属公司、车辆登记信息和车况。所以作为乘客,我清楚知道过来接我车的情况,现在还可以在手机上追踪它。”

车辆抵达后,应用会向乘客发送信息。当车抵达目的地后,乘客可直接付款或通过智能手机支付。

van Metzinger 说:“我们进入这个市场只有一个月,我们了解到信用卡支付选项很受欢迎,事实上比我们之前预期的还受欢迎……人们习惯上网购物,习惯了手机。我们预测接下来的一年,大部分交易将为信用卡支付。”

但是有批评称通过移动应用进行金融交易的进展将放缓。Arthur Goldstuck是World Wide Worx的总裁,也被认为擅长撰稿南非科技。他表示,多数南非人还没做好准备通过手机进行网上消费,并称南非人缺乏对科技的信任。

“这一现象存在于南非且可能存在于整个非洲,我们称之为“数字化参与曲线”,它说明了一般网民需要5年或以上网龄才具备进行网上交易的条件。”

但是也存在成功案例,一款名为Powertime的应用于2009年推出,该应用出售预付电费。在此之前,电力用户不得不到加油站或商店购买预付电费。

Lacour 说:“我发现在南非如果开发的软件接地气就会成功,因为这能解决当地问题。地方性软件才能解决本地问题。我想这就是Powertime成功的部分原因,在南非购买预付电费是极其重要的事情。”

凭借这群可靠客户,Powertime现在已经转向可支付如水费和手机话费等其他服务。

大约1470万手机用户在南非电信网络注册。随着当地智能手机价格跌破100美元以及南非技术公司开始推出自己的智能手机,这个数字还会继续增长。



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