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Paytm Gets RBI Nod To Start Payments Bank Services

paytm-payments-bank

Paytm today got permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start rolling out payments bank services in the country. Earlier it, among 10 others, had received in-principle approval from the apex bank to start a payments bank. Final approval was awaited.

“Today, Reserve Bank of India gave permission to formally launch Paytm Payments Bank. We can’t wait to bring it in front of you,” wrote Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma in the company’s blog.

Among the 11 licensees only Bharti Airtel has started offering the payments bank services. A payments bank offers almost all the services offered by a traditional bank except the credit related solutions like loans or credit cards.

“At Paytm Payments Bank, our aim is to build a new business model in banking industry, focused on bringing financial services to 100’s of millions of un-served or underserved Indians,” Sharma says.

“With power of technology and innovation-at-scale, we aim to become a benchmark in world of banking,” he adds.

And we believe he can do this. We already have a bright example in Paytm.

The mobile wallet was started exactly three years from today but because of dedication to offer the best mobile wallet service coupled with Sharma’s vision and leadership, Paytm, in India, has created a benchmark in digital payment. It’s almost synonymous with digital or cashless payment.

“From villages to cities, from corner vegetable stalls to milk booths, small shops to large retailers, everyone embraced the new way to pay by Paytm,” he adds.

With the grant of the final approval from the RBI, Sharma is just steps away from the formal launch.

“This is our chance to build something that every Indian can be proud of. No other role or responsibility means as much to me as the privilege of building Paytm Payments Bank, and I intend to take a full-time executive role in the Bank,” he writes further in his blog.

 

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Apps

Five Apps You May Need For Your Christmas Planning

top5-christmas-apps

With Christmas round the corner you probably are perplexed with ideas how to make the event big for you and your family members. Fret Not! Plethora of Christmas apps are there to ease your task and these have solutions for all your requirements. From sending greetings, finding best attire, preparing your favorite Christmas cake to listening Christmas carol’s or to book a Christmas eve, here is the list to plan your Christmas with these interesting apps.

1. Bobble : Start your Christmas spreading blessing with selfie based GIF greetings. Bobble

Bobble is an Android and iOS app to make mobile conversations more expressive and personal. Users can click a selfie, and get unlimited stickers with their face. Bobblehas an iMessage app too. Bobble is the only app from India to be featured in the iMessage Store in dozens of European and Asian countries. All iOS 10 users can now enjoy real-time personalization of content with their own faces and text. Bobble will soon go live inside Simeji, Japan’s #1 keyboard. Simeji is a product from Baidu, an internet giant from China. Baidu has renamed their keyboard as Facemoji, and will highlight Bobble as the USP of their product. Bobble has also worked with major brands including Tinder, Zomato, YourStory, media houses like Eros Now, and numerous IPL teams. All these branded stickers are available in the app.

2. Fashin

Get your best attire for this Christmas with just a click away. Came across a video recently and want the exact same dress for any of the wedding celebrations? Perhaps the red and white attire for Christmas in some Bollywood song attracts you. Download Fashin, an AI-enabled fashion app by Gurgaon-based Staqu Technologies that allows you to extract fashion from YouTube Videos and Image Search and compare prices.

Simply play a YouTube video in the Fashin app (has a collection of over 10,000 videos between 2014 and present) or upload the image of a particular dress that you like. Fashin will identify the fashion trends from the video, and provide you with a collection of all the ecommerce sites providing the same (and similar) dresses. Besides, the app also compares prices between different top-notch sites, hence making the entire process of discovering and owning fashion simple and damn quick!

3. 271 Cake recipe

Be creative and prepare Christmas cake on your own with the simple DIY cake recipe apps. Amazing Cake Recipes features hand-selected delicious and easy to prepare cake. Included are 271 best recipes. Every recipe is described in two sections: Ingredients; Directions; Easy as that. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated and we help you to prepare great cake, with simple ingredients.

4. Gaana.com

Download you free Christmas Carols with this interesting musical app. Gaana.com is a commercial music streaming service providing free and licensed music. It was launched in April 2010 by Times Internet and provides both Indian and international music content. The entire Indian music catalog is available to users worldwide, but only users in India have access to international music. Gaana.com features music from 21 languages including the major languages such as Hindi, English, Bengali, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and other Indian regional languages.

5. Book my Show

India’s Largest Entertainment Central. Movie Tickets, Event Tickets, Concert Tickets, Theatre Tickets and Sports Tickets. Book an event to make your eve more beautiful with the help of BMS.

So, get going with all or any of these Christmas apps and you are sure to find solace, and instead of scratching your head on how to plan and what to do, you are all set to enjoy Christmas. Merry Christmas!

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Apps

Twitter Live Video Gets New Update

twitter-live-video

Twitter live video got some new updates today. With these new updates, users do not need to download Periscope app in their phones to stream live videos, they can do it directly from the Twitter app itself. Till yesterday, when the feature was announced the app used ask users to download the Periscope to use the live video feature.

This update is being rolled out in all markets including India and is available on both Android as well as iOS.

Twitter yesterday had launched its own live video broadcast feature, just like Facebook, where anyone can broadcast live video directly from the app. Facebook had launched this feature, called Facebook Live, earlier this year.

The live video feature in the social media app is powered by Periscope and allows people to share and experience everything from significant moments to daily life together with an audience – all through a Tweet.

Members of the audience within a live video on Twitter can interact with the broadcaster by commenting and sending emojis like hearts to show their support. Tweets that contain live video can be Retweeted, liked, and shared anywhere that people can share a Tweet.

“We started Periscope because we wanted to give people the superpower to share live video with an audience. Bringing this capability directly into the Twitter app is an important step because it brings that superpower to the hundreds of millions of people who use Twitter,” said Kayvon Beykpour, CEO of Periscope.

The company said Periscope was the first to popularize live video and you’ve been able to view live video in Twitter since January. This update brings the creation and engagement aspects of live video into Twitter natively.

“Twitter’s already the place where people go to see what’s happening. With this update, anyone can now broadcast what’s happening live,” he added.

The Twitter live video feature is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

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Apps

Twitter Follows Facebook Live, Launches Live Video Feature

Twitter Live Video Broadcast

Twitter today launched its own live video broadcast feature, just like Facebook, where anyone can broadcast live video directly from the app. Facebook had launched this feature, called Facebook Live, earlier this year.

The live video feature in the social media app is powered by Periscope and allows people to share and experience everything from significant moments to daily life together with an audience – all through a Tweet.

Members of the audience within a live video on Twitter can interact with the broadcaster by commenting and sending emojis like hearts to show their support. Tweets that contain live video can be Retweeted, liked, and shared anywhere that people can share a Tweet.

“We started Periscope because we wanted to give people the superpower to share live video with an audience. Bringing this capability directly into the Twitter app is an important step because it brings that superpower to the hundreds of millions of people who use Twitter,” said Kayvon Beykpour, CEO of Periscope.

“Twitter’s already the place where people go to see what’s happening. With this update, anyone can now broadcast what’s happening live,” he added.

The Twitter live video feature is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

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Apps

Facebook Launches Parent’s Portal To Help Kids

As a part of its safety policy Facebook has launched a parent’s portal which will guide the elders in teaching their kids and younger ones on how to use the social media. It will also answer the parents’ questions about how the social media works once their kids join.

“To help parents get the most out of their experience and help their child navigate their experience, Facebook has launched the Parent’s Portal in collaboration with parents, teens and safety experts around the world. It has recently updated its Safety Center and Bullying Prevention Hub and today it introduced a Parent’s Portal, which provides parent specific advice as part of the Safety Center,” said a statement of the social media major.

“Keeping our community safe is core to everything we do. People will only come to Facebook if it’s a safe place to connect and share with the people they care. The Parent’s Portal responds to feedback we have received about a knowledge gap among parents about our safety policies, tools and resources. With the new Safety Center and Parent’s Portal, we worked with safety experts and local partners to develop content that resonates with our community,” said Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director, India, South and Central Asia, Facebook.

The Parent’s Portal includes guides for parents about how the social media works, tips for talking with your kids about staying safe online and resources from experts around the world. It includes guides for parents about how Facebook works, tips for talking with your kids about staying safe online and resources from experts around the world.

The world’s largest social media network said parents come to Facebook every day to ask for advice in Groups, share pictures of their kids or just stay connected with family in different places. And for many parents, they also have questions about how Facebook works once their kids join.

Dr. Anjlee Prakash, MD, Learning Links Foundation: “As parents we need to take the time to understand how our children are using technology and how we can help keep them safe online. We’re pleased to partner with Facebook on the latest addition to its Safety Center – a Parent’s Portal which includes guides for parents about how Facebook works and tips for talking with your kids about making the right choices online. Starting a conversation and building mutual trust with your children is critical to keeping them safe online.”

The Facebook Parent’s portal is available in 55 languages including 11 in India and has step by step video guides. Here’s the link for the portal.

 

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Apps

Pokemon Go Comes To India In Partnership With Reliance Jio

pokemon-go-reliance-jio-partnership

Pokemon Go, the hugely successful augmented reality enabled game, finally comes to India thanks to Reliance Jio The company has forged a strategic partnership with the game’s developer and publisher Niantic in this regard. The hugely successful game will be available from 14 December on Reliance Jio services.

“With this partnership, thousands of Reliance Digital Stores and select partner premises in India will appear as ‘PokeStops’ or ‘Gyms’ in the Pokemon GO game beginning Wednesday, December 14, 2016,” Jio said in a statement.

On Jio’s social messaging app, JioChat, Pokemon players have access to an exclusive Pokemon Go Channel. The Pokemon Go Channel will enable Pokemon Go players to collaborate and be part of an exciting community of players with daily tips, contests, clues, and special events. The Pokemon Go Channel on JioChat a fun way to socialize with other players and level-up faster.

“We are delighted to partner with Jio to launch Pokemon GO in India.” said John Hanke, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Niantic. “It’s exciting to see Pokémon fans in India step out and explore their neighbourhoods in search of Pokémon and Jio’s disruptive high speed 4G LTE Network will be an excellent way to experience the game.”

The two companies will work together to bring Indians a richer and more enjoyable mobile entertainment experience for Pokémon GO, including activating Jio retail locations and charging stations as PokéStops and Gyms within the game and allowing Indians to catch, train, and battle at any of Jio’s outlets throughout the country.

“With over 500 million downloads globally, we are excited to launch Pokémon GO officially in India on the Reliance Jio network,” said Mathew Oommen, President Reliance Jio. “Our partnership with Niantic not only brings access to the Pokémon GO app but also opens the door to more opportunities for our customers to enjoy content on Jio’s one-of-a-kind mobile broadband network.”

Reliance Jio services including the Pokemon Go app can be availed free on Jio network till 31 March, 2017 under its Happy New Year Offer.

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Apps

FreeCharge Is Giving Away 100% Cashback

Freecharge

To avail the offer, you would need to make a purchase today

To promote the usage of digital payment methods in the wake of the government’s move to incentivize cashless transactions, Freecharge announced a 2-day cashback bonanza for consumers across its merchant network. The sale went live yesterday, and today is its last day.

To avail the offer, you must complete a purchase via FreeCharge wallet. You will get the choice to pick up your stuff from any of the 100,000 merchants. One must note, the payment should completely be made using the FreeCharge wallet. The offer is not applicable on payments made via QR code or send money option.

You can garner a FLAT 100% cashback for 2 transactions in a day by paying through his FreeCharge wallet. This 100% cashback offer won’t look as enticing to many if you’d read the fine prints. FreeCHarge has put a cap of Rs 100 cashback in a day. However, the good thing is that FreeCharge has not set a minimum purchase amount. So, if you buy something worth Rs 100 or less, you will get back the entire amount. Sounds interesting right?

There is also an offer of flat cashback of Rs 20 on all mobile recharges worth Rs 20. You can avail this offer at merchants across categories like foodpanda, Domino’s, Swiggy, Zomato, Haldiram’s, Mcdonalds, Cafe Coffee Day, Barista for Food; bookmyshow, ticketnew.com, Hungama music for entertainment; Hypercity, Snapdeal, Crossword, Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, Vishal Mega Mart for shopping and redbus, goibibo, Meru, Jugnoo, OYO for travel.

The cashback will be credited within 24 hours, calculated on the net order amount post partial cancellations or refunds. The cashback will be credited in the form of e-voucher in the FreeCharge account which will be valid for a period of 6 months. The offer won’t be applicable for transactions on Helpchat and IRCTC.

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Apps

FreeCharge Partners With ICICI Merchant Services

freecharge-icici-partnership

Over 1 lakh ICICI merchants across 700 cities will now accept payments made through FreeCharge wallet

FreeCharge has entered into a partnership with ICICI Merchant Services. As part of this partnership, over 1 Lakh ICICI Merchant Services merchants across 700 Indian cities and towns will now accept payments made through FreeCharge.

Powered by First Data, this partnership will ease the payment process for merchants and consumers both by introducing a swifter and secure way to make cashless payments. Customers can use their mobile phones to make payments and complete the transaction with a secure On-The-Go-Pin in less than 10 seconds. With this arrangement going live, more than one lakh merchants using ICICI Merchant Services PoS terminals can now accept the the mobile wallet at their establishments.

The addition of these one lakh ICICI merchants has further expanded FreeCharge’s footprint in the country. It is already being used as an acceptable payment platform by retail and food brand merchants like Shoppers Stop, Hypercity, Pantaloons, Vishal Mega Mart, Café Coffee Day, Barista, McDonald’s, Haldiram. More than 53,000 fuel pumps across the country also take payment via this mobile wallet.

Commenting on the partnership, Govind Rajan, Chief Executive Officer, FreeCharge said, “We are pleased to partner with ICICI Merchant Services for enabling FreeCharge to go live on an additional 1 lakh merchants as a payment option. The partnership will help us expand our footprint and enable merchants and consumers from Tier I & II cities to be part of the digital payments ecosystems.”

Swarup Choudhury, MD of ICICI Merchant Services & First Data India further added, “Accepting FreeCharge wallets on our terminals will enable merchants to increase their revenues, reduce cash handling costs and offer a better shopping experience to their customers. With our strong presence across the country, we look forward to offering FreeCharge wallet consumers the benefit of cashless payment as per their convenience.”

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Apps

Mobikwik Conducts Roadshow On Doing Cashless Business

mobikwik

Mobikwik, a top mobile wallet firm, has started its awareness campaign on educating people as well as merchants on how to do cashless transaction for their business. The company started the campaign from Gujarat.

Shri CR Paatil, MP from Gujarat and Ms Upasana Taku, cofounder of Indian mobile wallet major, MobiKwik hosted an awareness roadshow in the city. Under the initiative; residents, shopkeepers and other business owners were invited for a session where they were informed about the benefits of cashless transactions and were educated on using MobiKwik wallet.

“MobiKwik is committed to support the government of India’s mission of a cashless economy, that is free from the plague of black money and corruption. We are thankful to Shri C R Paatil for taking this initiative to spread awareness about mobile wallet at the grassroot level by interacting personally with masses to address their inhibitions,” said Upasana Taku, cofounder of MobiKwik.

The roadshow started from Chikli, which is one of the most talked about Adrash Villages in Nawasari, constituency of Shri CR Paatil. From there, the roadshow travelled to every corner of the city, enabling the transformation of this cash dependant trade city into a cashless city.

The mobile wallet claims to have over 40 million users and has registered over 2.5 lakh merchants. The company said it has registered an enormous 400% growth in Surat since demonetisation. People in big markets, malls, petrol pumps, highway tolls, small street vendors are all getting enrolled with the app for cashless transfers.

On November 8, PM Narendra Modi announced a historic decision of demonetisation to enable and promote a cashless economy in India. Since then, MobiKwik has been in the forefront of promoting wallet transactions and helping masses overcome the challenges of cash crunch.

Last week the company had launched a lighter version of its mobile wallet called Mobikwik Lite that can be used even a slow data plan and the app takes less than 1 mb storage space on users’ smartphone.

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Apps

Google Allo Now Comes In Hindi

google-allo

Remember? The virtual assistant app that Google had launched couple of months back? Allo? The app, that people started using very funnily when it launched, just to check how it works, has now come up with its Hindi versions.

So, now, people who cannot use English as a language to interact with the virtual assistant app, can talk to it in Hindi, and perhaps in the same manner, funnily.

Towards that, Google is introducing Hindi language capabilities to the Assistant and Smart Reply in Google Allo. Starting today, these new features will begin rolling out on Google Allo on Android and iOS and they will be available to all users over the coming few days.

So, how do you use Google Allo, be it in Hindi or English? Use it to get any kind of information you want, it can help you accomplish tasks, chat with friends, play games and do lots more – all in one chat window, without you ever leaving the conversation.

So whether you want to pull up a YouTube video of your favorite SRK song or simply want to pass time by with your favourite game, Google Assistant is your constant companion. With today’s launch, the Google Assistant in Allo will now understand and respond in Hindi. Chat one-one-one with your Assistant in Allo, or just type @google to bring your Assistant into any group chat. To start using the Assistant in Hindi, just say “Talk to me in Hindi” or adjust the language setting on your device.

“Since it’s launch, Google Allo has received tremendous response, especially in India, which has one of the highest number of Google Allo users. The Google Assistant, in particular, is one of the most loved features in Google Allo – one in every 12 messages in group chats are messages to the Google Assistant. We are enthused by this and today’s launch enables us to extend these features to the next millions of users in a language of their choice,” said Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager, Google.

Another unique Allo feature is “Smart Reply”, which make it easier for users to respond quickly, even when on the go. We found that every day more than half of people on Allo use Smart Reply. Powered by Machine Learning, Google Allo not just understands text, but can also help with suggested responses to images sent by friends and family — all in Hindi.

Smart Reply will recognize the language you’re chatting in and begin to show suggested responses in that language. If you’re chatting in English, it will continue to show English responses. But if you start chatting in Hindi, it will show you suggestions in that language. You can also adjust the language through your device settings. So, now you can respond to your friends question “kya haal hai” with “Sab theek Hai” with a single tap.

Google Allo is a smart messaging app available on Android and iOS. Launched in September this year, Google Allo allows you to say more and do more right within your chats including making plans, finding information, and expressing yourself more easily.

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