E-Wallet Paytm is finally set to announce by this week the launch of its Paytm Payments Bank Limited, two months after it got Reserve Bank of India's final approval. "We will announce midweek or by the end of the week a date for the launch of the payments banks," Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of One97 Communications, which owns the e-wallet, told Mail Today.
The operations were originally slated to begin around Diwali. It was then pushed to February but now it appears that the launch date could be in March or even later .
Sharma has said 2017 will be the year for Paytm to expand into banking. The company will have to build distribution, reach and customer base. In August 2015, RBI gave its in-principle nod to 11 companies to start payments banks.
Tech Mahindra, Cholamandalam Finance and Dilip Shanghvi-IDFC Bank-Telenor joint venture have opted out. Of the remaining in the fray, Airtel and state-run India Post started payments banks operations on a pilot basis in November and January, respectively.
A payments bank is essentially a scaled down version of a bank. It can accept deposits up to Rs 1 lakh and pay interest on them, but cannot offer loans. While these banks will offer debit cards and ATM cards usable on ATM networks of all banks, their aim is to reach customers mainly through their mobile phones rather than physical branches.
Noida-based Paytm is yet to announce the interest rate it will offer customers on their deposits, while Airtel offers 7.25% and India Post 4.5-5.5% on savings account.
Recently, Paytm's plan to start a payments bank left users of its wallet confused about the terms of usage. Following rumours on social media, Paytm has clarified in a blog that all Paytm wallet users do not by default get an account with the payments bank. "This is just a transfer of ownership of wallet to a new company called Paytm Payments Bank Ltd.
Once we launch the bank, you will be given an option to open a separate bank account with us," the company said. It operates 160 million wallets. "If you have any balance in your current Paytm Wallet, it will reflect in your new Paytm Payments Bank Wallet. If your Wallet has been inactive for the last six months and has zero balance, it won't be transferred to the Paytm Payments Bank Wallet unless you specifically give consent for the same while logging into the app, web or by e-mail," the company added.
It also said that users are not required to open an account with Paytm Payments Bank to use the wallet. As much as 51% of Paytm Payments Bank is owned by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and 49% by One97 Communications Last week, the wallet announced it will invest Rs 600 crore over the next 10 months to expand its QR code-based paymentsnetwork. QR code or Quick Response code is a machine-readable label with information of merchants' account details. It allows customers to transfer money instantly to the merchant's Paytm account by scanning the code with their smartphones.
The venture said it wants to add 10 million merchants enabled with these codes across 650 districts by December. According to the company, Paytm gets 65% of overall transactions on its platform through QR codes. Users particularly favoured ewallets during demonetisation as an alternative to cash and card payments. But the model's cash back system came under fire from HDFC Bank chief Aditya Puri for not being viable. However, the bank also recently appointed payments tech company In-Solutions Global (ISG) to provide an end-to-end merchant acquiring platform which will give private banks a competitive edge in pricing deals with small shops as it will not be dependent on multiple service providers.

News source: Business Today

Posted On Monday, 27 February 2017 07:34


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is changing life in China’s Northwest Xinjiang Uyghur region, bringing something special to the region: seafood from Pakistan.

This little bonus is being shipped by container trucks through the corridor, which currently accounts for 2 percent of the total trade between the two countries; and more goods are expected to come through CPEC from the Middle East and Africa.

That’s certainly a good return for China’s enormous investment in the project, which some experts call the Marshall Plan for Pakistan.

“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been described as a Marshall Plan for Pakistan,” says Marko Dimitrijevic author of Frontier Investor. “It is a $51 billion, 15 year project that will ultimately create a 2,000 kilometer highway/railway/pipeline route from Western China to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, knocking over 10,000 kilometers off the current sea route for Middle Eastern oil to China; a high-speed railway from Karachi to Lahore to Peshawar; and over 26,000 MW of electric generating capacity.”

CPEC is part of China’s ambition to write the rules of the next stage of globalization and help Beijing sustain growth—a good prospect for investors in Chinese equities, which have been lagging behind those of neighboring India over the last five-year period.

News source: Forbes

Posted On Monday, 27 February 2017 07:32


India's largest software services exporter TCS says it is confident of maintaining leadership position in the domestic market that is witnessing strong technology adoption in private as well as public sectors.
The company is quite "enthused" by the commentary and discussions on expanding digital infrastructure in the country, Tata Consultancy Services CEO Rajesh Gopinathan said in an interview with PTI.
"We have always been the leaders in India and have been very proud of the fact that practically every single large national level IT transformation project has been executed by TCS," he said.
TCS is well-positioned in the Indian market, Gopinathan said, adding that it has "the largest share of revenues coming out of India among any of the industry participants".
"We expect to continue that as the offtake of technology across both private and public sectors in India continues," he said.
The Mumbai-headquartered company gets about 6 per cent of its global revenues from India, while for Infosys, the number stands at 3.4 per cent. Wipro gets about 10 per cent of its revenues from India and the Middle-East.
For Indian IT companies, America accounts for the lion's share of revenues at about 60 per cent, while Europe and the UK contribute about 20 per cent.
Asked about his vision of TCS five years from now, Gopinathan said: "TCS will emerge even stronger than what it is, with a much more diversified and holistic business model as technology itself evolves in business."
He added that the USD 16.5-billion firm is well-structured and will go through constant evolutionary change.
"We are at that kind of a point now where we have experimented with things over the last few years, we know the direction where we are going, all stakeholders believe in it.
So, the two key words now are scale and speed. Whatever we are doing, we will do it at scale and faster," he said.
Digital is one area where the company is placing big bets.
"We have a revenue run rate of USD 3 billion in digital ... We have been growing fairly rapidly. Five years from now, we will pretty much be majority digital. So, it's 16 (per cent being digital)-84 today, we are looking at inverting that ratio by the end of the next five years or so," he said.
Gopinathan said the transformation setting in technology is becoming an enabler instead of just being a cost factor.
"Technology is moving away from being a cost centre to a profit centre in many companies... the winners and losers are determined by how they leverage technology... So, it's a huge opportunity with their own challenges," he said.

News source: Business Today

Posted On Monday, 27 February 2017 07:29


India needs more scientists to harness technology for the benefit of the common man, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today while hailing the scientific community for the record launch of 104 satellites and the successful test-firing of a new missile.
"The attraction for science among our young generation should increase. The country needs more scientists. When science is harnessed keeping in mind the needs of the common people, it becomes the most valuable contributor to general humanity," he said in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio programme.
Referring to a recent competition organised at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, he said socially useful innovations were showcased and one of these was an application developed to help fishermen locate the most productive fishing zones and get updates about weather and sea conditions.
"There are times when a problem portrays the importance of science for finding a solution," Modi said referring to the 2005 Mumbai floods which led to development of a dwelling structure that saves its occupants and prevents water-logging.
Referring to the 38th successive successful launch of PSLV rocket that placed a record 104 satellite in orbit, Modi said ISRO scientists have brought laurels to the nation. He said the ISRO team had several young scientists, including women.
"After the successful mission of sending Mangalyaan to Mars, ISRO scripted a world record in the arena of space. ISRO has successfully launched 104 satellites simultaneously into space.
"These satellites belonged to various countries...India has created history by becoming the first country to launch successfully 104 satellites into space in one go," he said.
He noted that one of the satellites launched by PSLV is Cartosat 2D, which has become operational and will be of great help in mapping of resources and infrastructure and planning for urban development.
On the successful test-firing of a ballistic interceptor missile, he said that it destroyed an 'enemy' missile at an altitude of around 100 km above the earth surface. Hardly four or five countries in the world possess this capability, he said.
In his over 30-minute address, Modi also lauded the role of the farmers for record production of food grains this year.
"Our farmer brothers and sisters have toiled hard to fill our granaries. The hard work of the farmers has resulted in a record production of food grains. More than 2,700 lakh tonnes of food grains have been produced in the country this year.
This is eight per cent more than the last record set by our farmers," the Prime Minister said.

News source: Business Today

Posted On Monday, 27 February 2017 07:16


Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday India aspires to be a more open economy and stay away from protectionism. “An aspirational India poised to be more open and less protectionist,” Jaitley said in his lecture on ‘Transforming India: Vision for the Next Decade’ at the London School of Economics, adding that country’s “emphasis is on infrastructure and rural sectors”. The finance minister is on a five-day visit to Britain, during which he will meet his British counterpart, the chancellor of exchequer, interact with over 100 business leaders from the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) and attend a round-table with prospective issuers, leading investors and fintech leaders, among others.

On Sunday, Jaitley will attend a reception organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), the British Council and Indian high commission. On February 27, he will perform market opening ceremony at London Stock Exchange followed by the roundtable meeting with prospective issuers and leading investors and fintech leaders among others. Later in the day, he will interact with over 100 senior business leaders from the UKIBC followed by meeting with British foreign secretary Boris Johnson. He will also attend a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in the evening on that day. On February 28, Jaitley will meet the chancellor of exchequer. Thereafter, the finance minister will meet the CEOs at a meeting being organised by the Confederation of British Industry before leaving back for home in the evening on the same day and arriving in the national capital early morning on March 1.

News source: Hindustan Times

Posted On Monday, 27 February 2017 07:13
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