Paytm Gets RBI Nod To Start Payments Bank Services


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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Now, Book An Uber Ride Even Without App


The service is available as the ‘Dial an Uber’ feature across all 29 cities in India

Uber has announced the expansion of ‘Dial an Uber’ feature. The pilot for this feature was first rolled out in four Indian states—Nagpur, Kochi, Guwahati and Jodhpur—but it will now be available in all 29 Indian cities where the taxi-hailing firm operates. This new feature enables people to get access to reliable low cost UberGO rides without having to download the Uber app.

Announcing the expansion of Dial an Uber feature, company’s India Head of Engineering, Apurva Dalal said, “We began with introducing ‘Dial an Uber’ – an ‘India first Innovation’ in four cities, as a pilot to overcome the challenge of serving under all kinds of networks, especially low or poor connectivity. Buoyed by the overwhelming responses, we are pleased to announce a national roll-out. ‘Dial an Uber’ offers a convenient choice to customers looking to book a ride and is testament to our focus on using our technological edge to make mobility reliable and accessible for everyone.”

Here is how you can use this feature: Open on your mobile phone browser; enter your phone number to quickly login or sign-up; view pricing information, get a fare estimate, and request for your ride with a single tap; after requesting, instantly get connected with driver over call to coordinate pickup.

One must note, all rides requested via Dial an Uber must be settled in cash. Each cancellation will incur a fee which is charged on the next trip as is done in the full app.

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Why Upgraded MyAirtel App Was Long Due



Airtel has launched the upgraded version of its MyAirtel App and it will surprise you. In the new app, the firm offers almost all the solutions or services that Reliance Jio currently offers like TV, Music, On-demand video, Movies, radio etc. It also has integrated Bharti’s Hike messaging app in to the new MyAirtel App so that customers get all the service at one place.

And it was much needed.

What Was Wrong With Airtel

Airtel had this mobile app – MyAirtel – for a long time now, and the company also had the solutions like music, radio etc, but these were never offered in an integrated manner. Traditionally Airtel has been offering most of its solutions in individual packets – you might have downloaded its Wynk Music or Wynk Movies and used it in the past. But customers were not informed well by the operator what all services are available for them. Its own customers were even not aware of the offerings, keep aside the non-Airtel customers.

The entry of Jio might have prompted, rather forced,  Airtel to put all its offerings in one plate and serve it to the customers. And its good for Airtel. Competition teaches us the tricks of business, and of survival too, at times. Customers should get something to experiment, and until unless they find more tools to do that, they would loose interest. They may abandon you.

Why Good Move

Better late than never. Airtel could have done this or could have offered all these solutions much before Jio came in to the picture. Maybe, Airtel wanted to gauge Jio’s move before taking it’s own.

The new MyAirtel App have many things that customers can wish for. It gives free calling through the app, means you can make free voice calls, just like Jio, through its My Airtel app. Though at present it has been limited to make Airtel to airtel free calls and that too for only 50 minutes, we are informed by company insiders that it will be extended to more minutes and intra operators as well.

MyAirtel app also integrated Airtel Money, just like Jio Money in the MyJio app. Airtel Money was there even before Jio got its license to be a telecom player, but Airtel failed to make proper use of that. Though Airtel Money, like Vodafone m-Pesa is a growing trend in the country, along with other mobile wallets.

The new app also offers free storage in the cloud via its Airtel Cloud app and at present it offers storage of 2 GB to back up customers data.

Besides, MyAirtel app brings other solutions like Ditto Live for watching live TV ; Juggernaut for reading books on the move and Wynk Games with thousands of ad-free online games.

Reliance Jio offers all these solutions too.

What’s Left To Do

Is Airtel loosing some brownie points as compared to Jio? May be. What does Jio’s MyJio app have that MyAirtel App doesn’t? There are quire a few like JioMags, JioExpressNews, JioSecurity, AJIO and JioNet. Airtel does not have to emulate everything that Jio is doing but there are few things Airtel should take up on priority. Like JioNet.

One of the important solutions that Airtel is loosing out of Jio is the equivalent of JioNet which is being offered as the WiFi hotspots for Jio customers. What JioNet does is it automatically connects to Jio’s WiFi network whenever the customers is around that, helping the customers save his mobile data. Also, its a seamless process – the JioNet does not ask for any security key or password to connect, as it has been sorted out at the time of purchasing the data package. The JioNet can detect the individual customer ID and the smartphone registered to that network, and automatically connects to it.

Airtel, on priority, should offer this solution. Airtel customers, through MyAirtel app, should be able to connect to its WiFi network, wherever its available. It helps the customers save their mobile data and it also saves the operator from congesting its network by WiFi offloading.


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MobiKwik Brings UPI On Its Platform



Mobile wallet firm MobiKwik Wednesday said it has launched unified payments interface or UPI on its platform. MobiKwik users can now load their wallet with e-cash using UPI. The company already has options of netbanking, credit & debit card and the exclusive cash pick up & cash deposit service for wallet loading.

“MobiKwik users now have an additional option for real time wallet loading with UPI. Users can use their MobiKwik e-cash at over 100000 online and offline merchants across India,” said Mrinal Sinha, Chief Operating Officer at MobiKwik.

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an additional layer of payment architecture built upon the IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) mobile payments system which allows customers to transfer money across different banks with the use of a single identification and password.

MobiKwik is also the only wallet in India that has a cash pick up facility, with which users can get their MobiKwik wallet loaded with e-cash from their location within 25 minutes in major Indian cities. They just need to request for cash pick up on the app, and a company representative will reach their location to help them with instantaneous cash loading. The company also has cash deposit facility available at over 100000 locations in 10000 cities.

With MobiKwik, users can shop seamlessly across 100000 merchants including Myntra, Shopclues, Big Bazaar, Big Basket and Grofers, or book their next vacation using bus booking on MobiKwik, on MakemyTrip or OYO rooms.

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Now Enjoy Vodafone Play App Free Till 31 December

vodafone play

vodafone-playReliance Jio had made time till 31 December pretty interesting for Indian consumers. After it announced free services like data, voice, music etc, almost all the operators started offering some kind of freebies to their customers. The latest is Vodafone that today announced to give free access to its Vodafone Play app till 31 December where customers can access unlimited movies, music and other services.

The Vodafone Play app has over 180 Live TV channels including popular film and entertainment channels- Sony, Colors, Zee, B4U, Zee Cinema, MTV,  leading news channels – Aajtak, IBN7, India TV, CNN News 18, CNBC Awaaz,  ET Now, BBC World News in Partnership with Ditto TV . The app also has 14000+ movies including classics and block busters in several popular languages and a huge catalogue of video and music content across all genres are available to choose from and watch at convenience are available to choose from, in partnership with Hooq & Hungama Movies – Vodafone Play is truly your window to the world of entertainment.

“People are increasingly watching more videos and listening to music on their smartphones. Instead of downloading multiple apps, all they need is to download and use Vodafone Play that offers the best of content digitally for all their entertainment requirements. It is truly a single window to the world of entertainment with a rich portfolio of content across genres and languages. We will continue to enrich its portfolio by adding more quality content and features on Vodafone Play to make the consumer experience more enjoyable,” said Sandeep Kataria, Director – Commercial, Vodafone India.

Vodafone Play app has features like Play and Pause on live TV, DVR capability, show timings display, show start reminders and responsive streaming of live TV channels. The company believes these features combined with the free offer will create interest among its consumers.

The Vodafone Play app can directly be downloaded from the Google Play & Apple App Store on smartphone, or by sending an SMS ‘PLAY’ to 199.

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Keypoint Launches Intenticons For Xploree Keyboard


keypoint-technologiesKeypoint Technologies, the creators of the Adaptxt, on Friday added a new feature to its very popular Xploree keyboard for smartphones. The new feature is called Intenticons, a combination of ‘intent’ and ‘icons’, and the icons automatically pops up when the user writes something like food, shopping, cinema etc.

For example when the user types “Flight” – a pop-up image of Tour operator Intenticon can suggest flight deals, or when the user writes  food – Grocery Intenticon can help him/her find nearby grocery options. Similar option or Intenticons are available for multiple topics.

This new feature merges users’ conversational context with predictive imagery. These images – Intenticons – are predictive visual manifestation of users’ needs even as the latter gesture, converse or type on the keyboard. The images have been pieced together on the guiding principle of making information discovery on mobile more purposeful, sorted, and self-explanatory during the conversation.

“With Intenticons, we have introduced a novel visual trigger to assess and consume information at the tap of a finger. At that very precise moment within a conversation, which we call mobile interlude, it becomes utmost important to be able to switch to the information you need and come back to where you original are. With increasing usage of imagery language comprising of emojis and stickers, we see ‘Intenticons’ serving this very purpose for the Xploree consumers,” said KeyPoint Technologies CEO Sunil Motaparti.

The Intenticons illustrate the combination of intents and imaginative icons through pre-defined images. They are intuitive and indicative, capable of guiding users towards relevant content, offers and services – in the same frame, at the tap of a key. The Intenticons will help and guide the Xploree user in multiple ways, believes the company.

As of now KeyPoint has introduced Intenticons across 150 categories covering food, restaurant, grocery, fashion and travel. The company sees endless possibilities for delivering useful content to its users with the help of these images.

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Xiaomi Launches Mi Pay In China


xiaomi-Mi-payXiaomi, one of the fastest growing tech startups in the world, Thursday launched a smartphone enabled payment system -Mi Pay – in China in association with UnionPay, the country’s largest payments network.

The Mi Pay payment system allows users to make payments at various merchandise establishments just by using the Mi Wallet app of their Xiaomi phone. At the back-end, the Mi Pay system integrates with the users’ bank debit or credit cards.

At present Mi Pay supports credit cards from 20 banks and debit cards from 12 banks including those from Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications and China Merchants Bank.

Not only that, Xiaomi said it has also forged a similar association with China’s public transport system so that commuters can pay for their journey tickets using the Mi Wallet. This facility is available at six Chinese cities at present.

“We believe that Mi Pay will be a key driving force in promoting the development of China’s mobile payments industry, and deliver much more convenience to our users,” said Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun.

Mi Pay uses NFC (near field communication) technology to enable a contact-less payment. All Xiaomi smartphones with NFC (for example, Mi 5) have a built-in NFC chip and are capable of offering Mi Pay service.

Instead of having to swipe a card when making payment, users just have to hold their device near China UnionPay’s QuickPass-enabled POS terminals at the stores and the bank card details will pop up. After fingerprint verification, the device is then activated and can be used as a bank card. Users can complete their transactions just by holding their smartphone near the POS terminal with a finger on the fingerprint scanner.   Up to eight cards can be tied to any one device.

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nexGTv Acquires Digital Rights Of MBC TV For Odia Content


Video-App-Player-NexGTv-Announces-Global-ExpansionDigivive’s popular TV streaming app nexGTv has acquired the worldwide digital rights of Odia general entertainment channel MBC TV. The content created by this channel can now be accessed by users of nexGTv worldover, either through the mobile app or directly visiting its website.

The move is a part of nexGTv’s long-term strategic partnership with SelectNext Digital, and underlines its commitment to curate and deliver the best regional entertainment content to its users across the globe.

SelectNext Digital Media Pvt. Ltd. is an emerging digital content aggregation and syndication company. It started operations in 2016 and, within a short span of time, has acquired exclusive rights for more than 17k audio songs and 5k videos across various genres. SelectNext Digital has a huge content repository of Indian as well as International content which targets young audiences.

“nexGTv, today, has firmly established its position as one of the leading players in the Indian OTT video/mobile TV industry. This leadership position has been achieved due to our focus on enabling the most relevant entertainment solutions for our users. We are delighted to add MBC TV to our platform, and are confident that Odia speaking users around the world will appreciate the greater selection diversity available to them as a result of the addition,” said Abhesh Verma, COO – nexGTv.

MBC TV will be made available as a part of the paid packages on nexGTv, and can be viewed seamlessly on its web and mobile platforms. The content can either be accessed through, or through the nexGTv mobile app which is available on both Android and iOS platforms, the company said in a statement.

The company claims nexGTv  mobile app runs seamlessly across 2G/EDGE/3G/4G and Wi-Fi networks across platforms such as Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Tizen, enabling consumers to stay entertained irrespective of bandwidth limitations and the operating platform. The app has a user base of 23 million, the company claims.

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TerraPay Closes Pay2Global Acquisition


terrapay-mahindra-comvivaMahindra Comviva incubated payment network firm TerraPay Monday announced it completed the 100% acquisition of  UK-based Pay2Global for an undisclosed amount.

Pay2Global is an international money transfer company having license to operate or to facilitate financial transaction in the European Economic Area (EEA).  The acquisition helps TerraPay instantly scale its service footprint in the 32 countries of the EEA, accelerating growth by expanding the reach and the range of its money transfer products.

Following the acquisition, Pay2Global will be rebranded as Terra Payment Services (UK) Limited and will commence services to key markets in Asia and Africa within the current financial year.

According to some industry study, approximately 50 million people or one in five migrant workers live and work in Europe, making the region home to a quarter of global remittance flows.

Of the total $ 110 billion of remittances sent by migrants living in Europe, an approximate two-thirds ($ 73 billion) are sent to developing countries outside Europe, creating a sizeable addressable market for TerraPay.

“We are now open for business in the UK and the EEA, among the world’s top markets for remittances. Strategically, the acquisition provides a smooth passage into key European markets and would drive increased adoption of the TerraPay platform globally,” said Ambar Sur, Founder and CEO TerraPay.

TerraPay is a global payment network company that interconnects other mobile wallet service providers. It has created an infrastructure for low-value cross-border transactions across mobile wallet service providers, financial institutions and money transfer operators in key send and receive markets.

In this respect, the EEA markets are highly complementary to TerraPay’s international money transfer network in Asia, Middle East and Africa and will add new source and receive locations and some of the world’s largest and fastest growing corridors.

“We are delighted to have contributed to TerraPay’s ambition to provide low-value cross-border remittances in full compliance with the AML/CFT regulations. We look forward to linking up with other participants of the scheme to terminate transactions and providing our customers with low-cost convenient way to send and receive money,” said Clive Shelton, Director Pay2Global.

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WhatsApp To Run Ads Now But With Your Permission!


WhatsApp-logoIn a significant development, WhatsApp today announced it will integrate with other ‘businesses’ to offer customised solutions to its billion plus users. What it means is the world’s largest messaging app will now run ‘ads’ on its platform.

“We want to explore ways for you to communicate with *businesses* that matter to you too,” WhatsApp wrote in its official blog.

“In the future, we will explore ways for you and businesses to communicate with each other using WhatsApp, such as through order, transaction, and appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications, product and service updates, and marketing. For example, you may receive flight status information for upcoming travel, a receipt for something you purchased, or a notification when a delivery will be made. Messages you may receive containing marketing could include an offer for something that might interest you,” the app’s new policy guidelines read.

The ‘ads’ could be in the form of some information from the users’ bank, other merchants or airlines. “

“Whether it’s hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight, many of us get this information elsewhere, including in text messages and phone calls. We want to test these features in the next several months, but need to update our terms and privacy policy to do so,” WhatsApp clarified in the blog.

However, it also categorically said that there will be no third party ads on its platform.

“We still do not allow third-party banner ads on WhatsApp,” it added.

The messaging app that got acquired by Facebook said the firm is modifying its ‘terms and conditions’ and ‘private policies’ to integrate the said businesses and offer the solutions to its customers.

“Today, we’re updating WhatsApp’s terms and privacy policy for the first time in four years, as part of our plans to test ways for people to communicate with businesses in the months ahead,” it said.

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