Instant Mobile Payment Service Coming To Seven Indian Banks

Mobile Internet is catching up with Indian users at a rate which Desktop internet has not been able to match yet. According to a recent report, the Indian youth finds mobile Internet as one of their favorite pastimes.

Given the massive growth of Mobile users in the country, The National Payment Corporation of India is launching an instant mobile payment service   (IMPS) that will enable retail customers of seven banks to enjoy inter-bank funds transfers – 24 hours a day & 7 days a week.

Soon, Long queues of customers at bank branches to transfer money may become a thing of the past. If IMPS catches up with the users like Facebook did, then in the long run, customers may not have to worry at all for change to pay auto/ taxi fare and the neighbourhood vegetable vendor. The mobile phone will take care of everything.

As of now the seven banks which will be able to provide it’s customers with IMPS are State Bank of India, Bank of India, Union Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and YES Bank.

Apart from these 7 banks, 22 more banks are in the preliminary phase of getting ready to provide their customers with the IMPS. Utmost care has been taken to make sure that the mobile banking application runs on all handsets – be it low-end or high-end.

Image Courtesy Varunverma.org

Nokia To Include Fishery & Poultry Sectors In It’s Life Tools Suite

Nokia Life Tools is a service from Nokia that offers a wide range of agriculture information and education services through SMS to Indian users. Lot of farmers and mid-level businessmen in India have been benefiting from Nokia’s Life Tools services. This service has been now a hit among users and Nokia is getting encouraging response from both urban and rural consumers across the country regarding it.

In order to make Nokia Life Tools more useful to it’s consumers, the company (Nokia) is working closely with various Central Government and State Government departments to extend the Life Tools service in a lot of new sectors such as the fishery and poultry industry in India. Nokia is also in close talks with the Spices and Rubber Boards in Kerala to bring the Life Tools service to these industries too!

According to Mr Natesh B.V. (Director Emerging Markets Services for Nokia Mobile Solutions), around five million users across the India are already using the Life Tools service which was introduced during June in 2009. He feels that the ever-growing handset market in India will be a big reason for increase in the mobile consumer base in the coming years.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

India Leads Mobile Ad Impressions Volume In Asia

Mobile advertising network InMobi has come up with some very useful metrics and reports that will definitely help mobile content providers to think about better strategies to monetise their mobile content. InMobi conducted a market research in association with comScore and the results of which are very surprising. The report reveals that over 72% of Indian consumers are comfortable with mobile advertising and over 50% of the users are ready to receive personalised advertisements.

This piece of data will in particular stun advertisers who are generally picky about including mobile advertising in their market strategies as well as budgets. The report of the research results also point to the untapped potential of the entire mobile space which is mainly consumer driven. In terms of volume of impressions for mobile advertisements, India leads the Asian region with over 6 billion impression served for Mobile advertisements. Next in line is Indonesia.

Among other things Nokia still dominates both the OS and manufacturer market share in India. Nokia’s OS platforms alone account for 65% of the OS share of ad impressions that were taken into consideration for the survey / report. Samsung stands second in the region with 17% of the market share. This survey was conducted by interviewing over 3,500 consumers in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Australia on grounds of overall comfort with mobile ads, perceived benefits and willingness to have ads.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Now Available In India For Rs.26,900

We have already told you about the Blackberry Bold 9780. This phone from RIM looks similar to the BlackBerry 9700 Bold and is rooted as the most possible successor to the 9700 Bold.   Bold 9780 also runs RIM’s latest operating system – BlackBerry OS 6. More hands-on videos and images of the Blackberry Bold 9780 can be found here.

This device is already available in various mobile outlets all across India. Although there has been no official word from Blackberry regarding this, but a few advertisements for the BB Bold 9780 has been spotted in major Indian newspapers. According to Mahesh Telecom the retail price of the device is Rs. 26,900. Below you can see the official advertisement for the Blackberry Bold 9780 in India.

via Fonearena

70% Indian Youngsters Spend Over 30 Mins. Daily On Internet: Survey

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recently conducted a survey about the internet usage among the indian youngsters and has found out some good statistics which can help rising internet startups in India to understand their consumers in a better way. According to the survey 85 per cent of the Indian youth uses Google as their only search engine and are also active on social networks.

The survey has been titled as The Web 2.0 Generation Survey 2010. It also reveals that more than 70 per cent of the Indian youth spend approximately more than 30 minutes daily on the internet. This survey was conducted by TCS by polling over 10,000 school going children in the age group of 12-18 across 11 cities in India.

According to Ajoy Mukherjee (VP,   Global HR) of   TCS nearly half of India’s total population has a age of below 20 and has been classified under the youth category, creating a group of over 459 million. This happens to be more than the population of USA. He also said that this survey will not only help TCS to find the best students but will also guide them to better communication with the youth. More survey results can be found here.

Discovery To Air It’s Content Via Mobile TV in India

Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific plans to provide content from all it’s five channels Discovery  Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Turbo, and Discovery Science to it’s Indian viewers on the mobile platform. And for this Discovery has tied up with Apalya Technologies – a firm that provides mobile TV service.

This tie-up to broadcast Discovery channels on mobile  TV by leveraging new technologies will help it’s five channels create additional touch points for it’s current and  prospective viewers. The viewers will now be able to catchup with their favourite programmes even while on  the move.

Users who want to see these pro-grammes   on their mobile devices will need an always on internet connection like GPRS or 3G and have to download a mobile TV application first. The content is paid and will be offered by almost all service providers such as Idea, Vodafone, Airtel, Aircel, BSNL, MTNL, Reliance, Docomo & Tata  Indicom. Customers can choose from pay as you go plans ranging from Rs.7 per day to Rs.150 per month.

Image Courtesy

Google Opens Help Center For South Indian Adwords Customers

Google has opened an all new help centre at Hyderabad, India where Google’s support team will provide assistance to Google AdWords customers in person. This help center aims primarily at helping customers in four regional languages — Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. Google already has a similar help centre at Delhi where experts from Google help AdWords customers in Hindi and English. Google India also plans to set-up more such help centres for providing assistance in languages such as Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi and Oriya.

Google India also has more plans to educate small and medium enterprises about the benefits of online presence and   using the web to generate business leads. Some of Google’s plans include:

  • Conduct around 100 workshops and seminars across 25 cities in the country.
  • Provide a free of cost programme, called Google Engage, which will offer training and support   for   businesses regarding Google AdWords and other Google products.

According to Sridhar Seshadri – India Head of Google’s Online Sales and Operations:

India has about 35 million small and medium enterprises out of which only one million have an online presence. We at Google want to help all the SMEs in the country and get them benefited by using our AdWords programme,

Image Courtesy

Facebook Places Launched In India

Facebook Places, a service from Facebook that lets you tell your friends on Facebook about your current location has gone Live in India. This service was earlier available to just US, UK and Japan. Although it will take some more time before it get eventually rolled out to all Facebook users in India.

All employees of Facebook in India have been able to use Facebook Places right from the day of it’s inception and now other Facebook users will also be able to use it finally. Facebook Places works in a similar manner to that of Foursquare, your current location is automatically determined   and you are shown a list of nearby places. If you can’t see your place listed, then you can add it right from your phone.

The Places application is available in India only on the Facebook apps for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. Although there is another option to access Facebook Places via touch.facebook.com but that is not available in India as of yet.

Image & Tip via DI

PS: I can access Facebook Places via my BB but it is still not available on my Android phone.

Yahoo! India To Publish Content In Six Indian Regional Languages

Yahoo! is running it’s media and news portals in India for a long time. Although Yahoo has been publishing content in the Indian regional language – Hindi, but it is time for them to look towards catering the online content needs for other languages in India which are catching up fast with the web world.

Internet giant Yahoo! has finally decided to host content in six Indian regional languages apart from Hindi and English, by next year. Currently Yahoo is looking for content partners who can create content for Yahoo! in these 6 regional languages, the names of which have not yeet been revealed by Yahoo!

Currently Yahoo! India has a partnership with the publishing house  Dainik Jagran which helps it offer content in Hindi across it’s media portals. Another interesting fact is that Yahoo’s Hindi news traffic has taken over the traffic for Yahoo India’s English content traffic.

India has about 50 million Internet users currently and given the current pace at which new Indian users are getting onboard the world on Internet, this number is likely to go up to 240 million in the next five years. And given the fact that 73 per cent of all Indian Internet users have access to Yahoo!, regional content naturally becomes very important for the company.

India Gets Twitter’s Location Based Trending

Almost a year back we had told you about Twitter’s location based trending that allowed people to see a trending topic for their country or city. Back then, this feature was not available in all countries and India was one of them. And now almost a year later, Twitter has rolled Location Based trending for a couple of more countries including India.

Although, no Indian city has been included in the “City based trending list” but this is good for the starting I feel. In order to try out the location based trending for India, I enabled it from my dashboard. And as expected, Eid Mubarak was top on the trending topics list for India. Other India specific trending topics for the day are Ratan Tata and Gravita India. You can see a screenshot below: