Paytm Payments Bank Integrates UPI to Simplify Transactions

Paytm has announced that the Paytm Payments Bank will adopt the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to simplify transactions. The Paytm Payments Bank account holders will be able to send and receive money using an @paytmbank virtual payment address. Merchants that support UPI will also be able to accept payments from Paytm Payments Bank customers via this mechanism.

The company has not stated when this will be enabled, but it’s a somewhat moot point, as the bank is still only available via invitation – most people will not have an account as of now. Unlike the wallet, the Paytm Payments Bank can offer interest – and is in fact offering 4 percent interest on deposits – and can also issue debit cards, which can also be used for cash withdrawal from ATMs.

Wallet customers are not being automatically onboarded as bank customers. Paytm’s wallet does allow you to reload money using the UPI. When you go to the add money page, along with common options such as debit and credit cards, and netbanking, there is also a UPI option where you can enter your existing VPA, to send a cash request.

The Paytm Payments Bank on the other hand will allow you to create a new VPA, linked to that account or any other bank account that supports UPI, and allow you to send and receive money using your VPA.

Paytm Payments Bank Integrates UPI to Simplify Transactions
Airtel launched the first payments bank in India earlier this year, which offers 7.25 percent interest but does not have a debit card, so you can only cash out at certain Airtel retail stores. The company also stated that it plans to integrate with UPI, but has not so far.

“We will soon enable seamless creation of UPI IDs on our platform so that users can send and receive money to each other, and for merchant payments,” says Renu Satti, CEO, Paytm Payments Bank. “It will be one of the most important components of our payments platform and enable us to bring cost-efficient digital payment services to every Indian. Our significant consumer base makes us well-positioned to become a large issuer of UPI handles, driving its adoption in the country.”


Microsoft, Accenture Partner on Blockchain-Based Digital ID Network for UN

Accenture and Microsoft are teaming up to build a digital ID network using blockchain technology, as part of a United Nations-supported project to provide legal identification to 1.1 billion people worldwide with no official documents.

The companies unveiled a prototype of the network on Monday at the UN headquarters in New York during the second summit of ID2020, a public-private consortium promoting the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal of providing legal identity for everyone on the planet.

The project aims to help individuals such as refugees prove who they are in order to gain access to basic services such as education and healthcare.

Blockchain, first developed as a public ledger of all transactions in the digital currency Bitcoin, is increasingly being used to securely track data in other fields.

“Without an identity you can’t access education, financial services, healthcare, you name it. You are disenfranchised and marginalized from society,” David Treat, a managing director in Accenture’s financial services practice, said in an interview.

Microsoft, Accenture Partner on Blockchain-Based Digital ID Network for UN

“Having a digital identity is a basic human right.”

The new platform will connect existing record-keeping systems of commercial and public entities through blockchain, allowing users to access to their personal information wherever they are.

For example, refugees who have fled their country leaving behind birth or education paper certificates would still be able to provide proof of those credentials through the system.

One of the main advantages of blockchain is that it allows systems of different organizations to communicate with each other, Yorke Rhodes, global business strategist at Microsoft, said in an interview.

The prototype was built on top of an existing Accenture platform, which powers the biometric identity management system used by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Accenture and Microsoft, which worked on the prototype with managed service provider Avanade, are inviting other companies to join their project.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and Cisco Systems are among the organizations involved in ID2020.

“What ID2020 is truly focused on is bringing together an alliance of stakeholders to ensure the technology that is being developed is responsive to the needs of individuals,” Dakota Gruener, executive director at ID2020, said in an interview.

“Technology is only one piece of this.”


Bingo T30 Smartwatch With Calling, SMS Launched at Rs. 1,099

Consumer electronics company Bingo Technologies on Monday launched the Bingo T30 smartwatch at Rs. 1,099. The new Bingo T30 supports calling and SMS, though the company does not mention cellular data support in its release. The smartwatch is available in Silver, Black, and Rose Gold colours via e-commerce platforms such as Amazon India, Flipkart, Paytm, and Snapdeal.

Bingo T30 sports a 1.56-inch square, LCD display with 240×240-pixel resolution and NANO toughened glass to protect from scratches. Packing a MediaTek MTK6260 chipset (with 128MB RAM and 64MB ROM), the smartwatch supports microSD cards of up to 16GB capacity, 2-megapixel camera, and weighs 75 grams. Its 380mAh battery offers 3 hours of talk time and 180 hours of standby time. It can pair with the users’ phones via Bluetooth 3.0 and direct SIM-enabling.

Bingo T30 Smartwatch With Calling, SMS Launched at Rs. 1,099

As for features, the Bingo T30 smartwatch has an integrated pedometer that allows users to count steps, and monitor sleep. It can deliver notifications from the users’ phones to their wrists, store contacts (up to 500), play MP3 or MP4 files via Bluetooth, power saver, thermometer, and has an e-reader functionality. There’s also a world clock, weather alerts, calculator,

“The all new Bingo T30 smartwatch is power-packed with features and its trendy design makes its a must have fashion accessory,” said Abhinaya Pratap Singh, Marketing Manager, Bingo Technologies, in a statement.

Commenting on the launch, Mr Abhinaya Pratap Singh, Marketing Manager, Bingo Technologies Pvt Ltd, said, The all-new Bingo T30 smart watch is power packed with features and its trendy design makes it’s a must have fashion accessory. Backed with Bingo’s quality assurance, the T30 will certainly be welcomed by our customers.”


Google for Jobs Starts Rolling Out in Search on Desktop and Mobile

Google is trying to turn its search engine into an employment engine, with a feature called Google for Jobs.

Beginning Tuesday, job hunters will be able to go to Google and see help-wanted listings that its search engine collects across the Internet. The feature is available only in English, on both desktop and mobile. The results will aim to streamline such listings by eliminating duplicate jobs posted on different sites. Google in its announcement post says “People from all walks of life, experiences and backgrounds have undergone a job hunt at some point in their lives. Whether you’re a young adult looking for your first job, a veteran hoping to leverage your leadership experience in civilian life, or a parent looking for a job with better pay to support a growing family, we hope this new experience on Google will help make the job search simpler and more effective.”

Google for Jobs Starts Rolling Out in Search on Desktop and Mobile

Google will also show employer ratings from current and former workers, as well as typical commute times to job locations. Google for Jobs will further let job seekers filter job openings based on category, date posted, and full-time or part-time employment, and other options.

This detailed jobs information is a departure from the way Google’s main search engine has traditionally shown only bare-bones links to various help-wanted sites.

Google is teaming up with a variety of help-wanted and employer-rating services, including LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp, DirectEmployers, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, and Facebook.

First announced at Google I/O 2017 in May, the Google for Jobs feature will be initially limited to the US market. There’s no word as to when the feature will be rolled out to other markets.

By the end of May, the Google for Jobs feature had become available for limited users in the US.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai had at the I/O 2017 Keynote revealed the motivation behind the new feature – according to the company, almost half of US employers were having issues filling open positions while job seekers weren’t even aware about a job opening.


Hyderabad City Wi-Fi Project Launched With Over 1,000 Hotspots

The Telangana government on Tuesday launched ‘Hyderabad City Wi-Fi’ project, providing the wireless networking technology at over 1,000 public places in the city.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Mayor B Rammohan, who launched the project, said it will eventually cover around 3,000 hotspots in the city.

Telangana IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said 3,000 public locations were identified in the city. The network has now been installed at 1,000 hotspots with an assured bandwidth of 5-10Mbps offering 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi. The remaining 2,000 places will be covered in next three months.

The entire project is being rolled out at a cost of around Rs. 300 crores, he said adding that the money has been invested by the industry.

In June 2015, under the ‘Digital Telangana’ umbrella, the government had launched the pilot version of the ‘Hyderabad City Wi-Fi’ project.

Based on its success, the government decided to scale up the project to cover over 3,000 locations across Hyderabad, through industry participation.

Hyderabad City Wi-Fi Project Launched With Over 1,000 Hotspots

The project will be also be extended to Telangana’s Warangal, Karimnagar and Khammam districts, Ranjan said.

“We will stabilise it first in Hyderabad and based on how it is working, we will extend it to three other districts,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the event.

Asked about the security aspect, the IT secretary said, “Misuse is also happening…there is a need to ensure that such things don’t happen.”

“There is security apparatus and there are some empanelled companies which provide security coverage against unauthorised usage of Wi-Fi. We will be talking to them and work on how the whole city can be covered,” he said.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) is the technical adviser to the Telangana government in the project.

COAI Director General Rajan Mathews said the government and the industry worked together for this ambitious project.


Google Search, Maps Updated With Focus on Arts and Culture

Google on Tuesday announced updates for its Search and Maps apps that will be aimed at enriching the cultural and art knowledge for users. As a part of the update, Google will start featuring new insights and more relevant results for the art-related search queries, powered by the Google Arts & Culture platform. In addition, the Internet giant has also added a Panoramic View feature that will let you know key insights about the artworks when you visit virtual tours of museums. The update is available to download right away for Google (Search) App and Google Maps.

The update to Google Search is a result of the collaboration of Google Arts & Culture team and Google Search engineers to ‘improve systems understanding in recognition of artworks’ for over 500 million art-related searches made. Besides, it also involves machine learning to recognise the places that you can see in person, the artists who made the artworks, the materials they used, and the art period they belong to.

Google Search, Maps Updated With Focus on Arts and Culture

If you make a search query for an artist like M.F. Hussain, Google Search will show an interactive knowledge card that will further let you to explore various options like the artist’s works. Additionally, you can also scroll further to virtually visit the museums to glance at the artist’s paintings on the wall, a few of which are also available in high resolution straight from Google Arts & Culture.

Coming to Google Maps, it will start showing virtual tours of some of the renowned museums like Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai or National Museum in New Delhi. You will be able to browse different lobbies and rooms inside the virtual tour of the museums where you can also clearly see the paintings and hangings along with proper annotations right next to them. As you click on the annotations, a new page will appear that will consist of more relevant information and high resolution images with zoom support.

Google says it has made use of visual recognition software to index the museums from all over the world along with over 15,000 works by various artists.




ProtonMail Launches VPN Service for Everyone, Includes a Free Tier

Switzerland-based ProtonMail has officially released its VPN service, ProtonVPN, which includes a free tier for users apart from paid options. The new virtual private network (VPN) service comes from the provider of end-to-end encrypted email app, ProtonMail, which was made available last year to all on Android and iOS through an app. To recall, ProtonMail was developed by researchers at MIT and CERN.

As expected from a VPN service, the ProtonVPN is developed to let users browse the Web without being tracked as well as also bypass online censorship.

ProtonMail Co-Founder Andy Yen on the launch of new VPN service said, “In the past year, we have seen more and more challenges against Internet freedom, now more than ever, we need robust tools for defending privacy, security, and freedom online.”

ProtonMail Launches VPN Service for Everyone, Includes a Free Tier

ProtonVPN’s free tier offers servers in three countries, and allows usage on one device though bandwidth speed isn’t guaranteed. The Basic tier of the service has been priced at EUR 4 per month (and EUR 48 annual fee), and offers access to all ProtonVPN servers across 14 countries as well as high speed bandwidth. It also allows usage on two devices. The Plus tier has been priced at EUR 8 per month (EUR 96 annual fee), and offers features like high bandwidth, connection to up to five devices, access to Secure Core, and Tor servers. The ProtonVPN Visionary tier offers top tier features like up to 10 devices allowed, highest bandwidth on offer, secure core and tor server access, and ProtonMail Visionary included as an add-on. The Visionary tier has been priced at EUR 24 (or EUR 288 annual fee).

One of the biggest highlights of the ProtonVPN is its secure core architecture which the maker claims routes users connection through encrypted tunnels. “ProtonVPN’s advanced security features ensure that an attacker cannot eavesdrop on your connection. It also allows you to access websites that might be blocked in your country. This means an advanced adversary who can monitor the network traffic at the exit server will not be able to discover the true IP address of ProtonVPN users, nor match browsing activity to that IP,” says the maker.

ProtonMail reveals that the secure core servers for the ProtonVPN are located in hardened data centres in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden. ProtonVPN was being tested for few months ahead of final launch by the ProtonMail community consisting of over 10,000 members.




Nikon Coolpix W300 Rugged Compact Camera With 4K Video Recording Launched in India

Image result for Nikon Coolpix W300 Rugged Compact Camera With 4K Video Recording Launched in India

Nikon India has launched the Coolpix W300 rugged compact camera which is weatherproof and can survive drops from up to 2.4 meters. The camera will go on sale from June onwards, which is when we should get the final price and exact availability details. In the US, it’s priced at $395 (roughly Rs. 25,500). The camera boasts of being waterproof from up to a depth of 30 meters and can withstand extreme cold temperatures up to -10 degrees Celsius. It will be available in four colour options.

The Nikon Coolpix W300 features a 16-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch sensor with 5x optical zoom. The aperture ranges from f/2.8 at the wide end to f/4.9 at the telephoto end. The camera uses a contrast detection autofocus system with an ISO sensitivity range of 125-1600 (expandable to 6400), about 7 frames per second burst shooting, and various shooting modes. Despite its compact and rugged nature, the W300 also supports up to 4K video recording at 30fps and full-HD recording at 60fps. There’s a 3-inch LCD screen around the back with a 921K-dot resolution. The camera also supports Nikon’s SnapBridge photo sharing feature via Bluetooth and you even get Wi-Fi and GPS built-in.


“With an ever-growing interest in adventure sports and activities, Coolpix W300 is the perfect camera for all photography expeditions & family holidays.” said Kazuo Ninomiya, Managing Director, Nikon India. “The camera is waterproof and has been designed with a rugged body to withstand extreme temperatures to enable all enthusiasts to continue exploring their passion without any hurdles,” he added.

Nikon also announced three new lenses for the Indian market. The first is the AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens, designed for shooting landscapes. This ultra-wide-angle lens features a stepping motor for smoother focus and built-in vibration reduction for DX format cameras. The AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED is the first Nikkor fisheye zoom lens with a minimum focus distance of 0.16 meters. The lens adopts two aspherical lens elements to effectively reduce sagittal coma flare thereby enhancing the reproduction of point light sources located at the peripheries, even with the lens’ aperture set to the maximum. Finally, we have the AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED which is designed portraits and landscapes. The lens also has a fluorine coating to repel dust, water, and dirt.

Microsoft, Intel, Nvidia Invest in Canadian Startup Element AI

Tech giant Microsoft, chip-maker Nvidia and Intel have made the investment for a Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) startup “Element AI”, the media reported.

According to a report in Investopedia on Thursday, Microsoft made the investment through its venture capital arm Microsoft Ventures, while Intel did it through Intel Capital.

Element AI, that came on the scene eight months ago, is a platform to help companies of all sizes build AI into their businesses and it has raised $102 million (roughly Rs. 658 crores).

Element AI will use the funding to hire more employees, to invest in big AI projects and to acquire startups in the space.

Microsoft, Intel, Nvidia Invest in Canadian Startup Element AI

“Artificial Intelligence is a ‘must have’ capability for global companies,” Jean-Francois Gagne, CEO Element AI, was quoted as saying.

“Without it, they are competitively impaired if not at grave risk of being obsoleted in place,” he added.

Microsoft has earlier also backed a company that focused on AI. In May, it co-led a $7.6 million (roughly Rs. 49 crores) venture capital round of funding for Bonsai, the Berkeley, California-based AI startup, and invested in Agolo, a New York City-based AI startup.

Nvidia is in the early stages of transitioning from a maker of PC graphics chips to a leader in AI, which could drive future growth, said Citi analyst, Atif Malik.

“Element AI will benefit by continuing to leverage Nvidia’s high performance GPUs and software at large scale to solve some of the world’s most challenging issues,” Jeff Herbst, Vice President Business Development at Nvidia, said.


Paytm Pre-GST Sale Offers: iPhone 7 and Other Great Deals

Paytm Mall is hosting a three-day long Pre-GST Sale, with cashback offers on products such as smartphones, televisions, laptops, cameras, and more. The Paytm Pre-GST Sale comes with cashback of up to Rs. 20,000 on select products such as DSLRs, up to Rs. 15,000 on laptops, and up to Rs. 10,000 on LED TVs. The Paytm sale started June 13 and will end on Thursday, and is an effort to push products before they become more expensive when GST kicks in.

Paytm Pre-GST Sale Offers: iPhone 7 and Other Great Deals

Paytm Pre-GST Sale offers on phones
Those looking for Paytm sale deals on phones will get flat 15 percent cashback offer on Vivo and Oppo phones with 5-inch or bigger displays, as well as those with 12-megapixel or above camera resolution. Similarly, there’s a flat 15 percent cashback on Gionee and Intex 4G phones, as well as Micromax and Gionee phones with battery capacity of 3000mAh or more. Spending Rs. 1,000 or above in the Paytm sale automatically makes the user eligible to win an iPhone 7 as part of a contest. The effective price of Google Pixel 32GB comes down to Rs. 34,339 in the Paytm sale courtesy the Rs. 6,060 cashback applicable on it.

The Paytm Pre-GST Sale page doesn’t ‘officially’ include deals on iPhones, but the company is providing cashback offers on iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 5s. Those buying iPhone 7 32GB will get Rs. 5,450 cashback, bringing down the effective to Rs. 40,733 from the listed Rs. 46.183. The 128GB iPhone 7 model gets Rs. 6,400 cashback, resulting in effective price tag of Rs. 46,788 instead of the Rs. 52,713; the 256GB iPhone 7 on Paytm comes with Rs. 7,000 cashback, meaning effective price of Rs. 50,900. All three variants of iPhone 7 Plus come with Rs. 7,000 cashback, meaning best price of Rs. 51,499 for 32GB, Rs. 58,799 for 128GB, and Rs. 72,698 for 256GB.

iPhone 6s 32GB carries cashback of Rs. 4,250, resulting in price tag of Rs. 32,416, while the 128GB iPhone 6s has 12 percent cashback on price tag of Rs. 54,999, meaning Rs. 48,400 effective price. iPhone 5s is available at effective price of Rs. 15,001 on Paytm with the Rs. 1,800 cashback available on the phone.

Paytm Pre-GST Sale offers on other products
As for Paytm sale deals on tablets, there’s up to Rs. 7,000 cashback on iPad models, and up to Rs. 1,500 cashback on iBall and Micromax tablets. Kindle e-readers also carry up to 15 percent cashback in the Paytm Pre-GST Sale.

The sale also has discounts on ACs (up to Rs. 8,000 cashback), and refrigerators (up to Rs. 10,000). Paytm’s Pre-GST Sale also has discounts on televisions from brands like LG, Samsung, and Sony. You can also get deals on Apple, Dell, and Lenovo and laptops. Additionally, other products such as Bluetooth speakers, footwear, and accessories are being sold at up to 50 percent off with additional 25 percent cashback. There’s 70 percent discount on offer on power banks (with up to 25 percent cashback) and up to Rs. 6,000 cashback on gaming consoles.