Mastercard’s global index ranks India high on digital payments’ front

In what could give a bit of boost to the Modi government’s digital drive, India has been categorised as a country with a high potential in terms of digital payments in a global index of 60 countries.

The country has been clubbed under the ‘Break Out’ segment, according to the Digital Evolution Index 2017 that was unveiled on Thursday by The Fletcher School at Tufts University in the United States (US) in partnership with Mastercard.

The ‘Break Out’ segment refers to countries that have relatively lower absolute levels of digital advancement, yet remain poised for growth and are attractive to investors by virtue of their potential.

The Digital Evolution Index tracks the progress countries have made in developing their digital economies and integrating connectivity into the lives of READ MORE

How Google search can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

An analytical tool that uses Google search data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, and could enable faster response to outbreaks, scientists say.

The research builds on a methodology previously developed by the team to track influenza in the US.
The mathematical modelling tool, known as “AutoRegression with GOogle search queries” (ARGO), revived hopes in 2015 that internet search data could help health officials track diseases after earlier systems like Google Flu Trends and Google Dengue Trends returned poor results.

Dengue, a mosquito-borne virus that infects about 390 million people each year, is often difficult to monitor with traditional hospital-based reporting due to inefficient communication, but dengue-related Google searches could provide faster alerts.

The researchers used Google’s “Trends” tool to track the top ten dengue-related search queries made by users in each country during the study period.
They also gathered historical dengue data from government health agencies and READ MORE

The free JIO 4G feature phone is out and here are its key highlights

Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Industries has launched the JioPhone for free during the 40th annual general meet that was held in Mumbai on July 21. The feature phone with smartphone alike features will go on testing beta phase starting August 15 and the preorder will begin starting August 24.
The phone will go on sale in September to users who prebook the device. ( The details on how to pre-book with device have yet not been shared by RIL).

Even though the phone is effectively free, there is a catch in the form of one-time security deposit fee of Rs 1,500, which is refundable only after 36-months, that the user need to pay.

In a bid to bring the 50 crore feature phone customers of India on to  Reliance Jio network, the company launched the phone with cost-effective tariff plans. Reliance Jio is offering free voice, data, Jio apps and SMS to its users at a monthly recharge of Rs 153.
Jio will also offer a weekly Rs 54 plan valid for 7-days and Rs 24 plan valid for 2-days with the purchase of the phone. Both these plans come with free voice, data, apps and READ MORE

Swiggy revamps app to enable faster orders, quicker delivery

Online food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy on Wednesday said it has launched its revamped application to enable easier discovery of restaurants, faster order placing, and a seamless tracking experience.

The new app, available across Android and iOS platforms, provides a snapshot of trending offers, new options from the neighbourhood, and personalised suggestions for restaurants and dishes, Swiggy said in a statement.
Commenting on the development, Swiggy Vice President – Design Srinath Rangamani said: “We redesigned the app in such a way that the full menu could be accessed with a single vertical swipe.”

Shopmatic rolls out entrepreneurship program for Shopmatic users

Shopmatic announces entrepreneurship program for merchants using the online platform provided by the Singapore-based e-commerce company Shopmatic on Wednesday said it has launched a month-long entrepreneurship program for merchants in India and Singapore.The program, from July 17 to August 16, is for any seller who has a business or read more

Facebook’s ‘Hello’ Button is causing a lot of trouble: Here’s why

The “Hello” button, rolled out silently by Facebook for some users as part of testing last month, has created trouble for some users as they are complaining about using it accidentally.

The “Hello” button allows users to get people’s attention by sending them a virtual “Wave”, similar to the infamous Facebook “Poke”.

Since “Hello” is placed right next to the “Add Friend” button, some users clicked on the wrong choice unintentionally, finding themselves in an awkward confrontation, reported on Wednesday.

“This could be particularly awkward if you were checking out the profile of someone you don’t know or — even worse — stalking an ex-partner,” the report said.

However, the users can undo their mistake by tapping the button again and hitting the “OK” option that pops READ MORE

Robots will make the best fake news

Imagine that tomorrow, some smart kid invented a technology that let people or physical goods pass through walls, and posted instructions for how to build it cheaply from common household materials. How would the world change?
Lots of industries would probably become more productive. Being able to walk through walls instead of being forced to use doors would make it easier to navigate offices, move goods in and out of warehouses and accomplish any number of mundane tasks. That would give the economy a boost. But the negative might well outweigh the positive. Keeping valuables under lock and key would no longer work.
Anyone could break into any warehouse, bank vault or house with relative ease. Most of the methods we use to keep private property secure rely on walls in some ways, and these would be instantly made ineffective. Thieves and home invaders would run rampant until society could implement alternative ways of keeping out intruders. The result might be an economic crash and social chaos.
This demonstrates a general principle — technological innovations are not always good for humanity, at least in the short term. Technology can create negative externalities — an economics term for harm caused to third parties. When those externalities outweigh the usefulness of the technology itself, invention actually makes the world worse instead of better — at least for a read more

MobiKwik, Samsung Pay to enable one-tap payment solution for e-wallet users

Digital payments company MobiKwik has partnered Samsung Pay, under which consumers will be able to make payments with a single tap using select Samsung handsets.

As part of the tie-up, MobiKwik wallet is now integrated with Samsung Pay Mini to enable one-tap payments at more than 1.4 million MobiKwik-powered merchants across the country, the digital payments firm said in a statement.
MobiKwik’s mobile wallet will also be available soon to Samsung Pay users, it added.

“The future of digital payments in India will thrive only by collaborating with various ecosystem partners to drive acceptance. More than 55 million users and 1.4 million merchants will benefit from this association,” MobiKwik Head of Growth Daman Soni said.
There has been a massive growth in number of transactions using digital platforms in the country, especially after the government’s move to scrap high-denomination notes in November.

The government has also introduced a number of schemes to promote adoption of e-payment methods like mobile wallets, debit/credit cards and Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
Samsung Pay, the mobile payments service of the world’s largest handset maker, was launched in India in March this year.

It allows users to just tap and pay using the debit/credit cards and wallets stored on their mobile devices. Currently, Samsung Pay is available for users of devices like Samsung S8,Samsung S7 Edge, S7, J7 Max and J7 Pro among others.
Samsung had unveiled a ‘Mini’ version of the platform that integrates UPI and mobile wallets to work on mid-range priced smartphones. It, however, read more