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Are Your Mobile Finance Solutions Compatible with Mobile Payment Trends 2018?

Feb 13 2018 by - Nitisha Jain

with mobile finance solutions becoming increasingly popular across the world, the conventional landscape of the consumer payments market is transforming completely at a rapid pace. smartphones are playing a vital role in the lives of consumers everywhere (according to newzoo’s global mobile market report, nearly one-third of the world’s population will use smartphone this year). the mobile app market is continue to expand, which brings with it an entirely new range of alternatives to the conventional payment methods of goods and services.the payment options today are no longer limited to cash or debit/credit cards. with the raging popularity of mobile apps, mwallets such as visa checkout, android pay, apple pay, paypal, and others have caused a huge shift in the way consumers think of making purchases.people today are not only using mobile financial solutions for making payments on a regular basis, but are also more inclined towards these options over the traditional ones like swiping out a debit/credit card or entering their bank details on the web. to match the pace with this revolutionary consumer behaviour, merchants and retailers who are looking to succeed in the next phase of digital or mobile commerce should pay keen attention to which mobile finance solutions their consumers are expecting.let’s have a look at mobile payment trends in 2018safer data while making mobile/online paymentsthe way we pay for goods and services is changing. e-commerce & m-commerce methods like in-app and one-click order are becoming more popular. also, the exponential growth of the iot is presenting an array of new payment use-cases, like the connected cars. retailers and merchants today must deliver improved and varied payment options in a challenging security landscape. read also - mobile financial services: the convergence of telecoms and banksfaster paymentsit is not only that card-based payments are evolving but also the account-to-account transactions like utility bills, salaries, and subscriptions are growing very rapidly. but these transactions still take a time span of multiple days to clear and settle, which something of a throwback is. in real-time transactions, funds must transfer in seconds and offer flexibility and convenience to banks and consumers both.better experiencesretailers today must utilize mobile wallets as a platform to deliver significant value-added services (vas) that consumers can use seamlessly. consumers are enthusiast about vas, but the involved complexities in redeeming points or activating coupons defer payments made using mobile financial solutions. by simplifying their vas offerings within the wallet, retailers can gain consumer loyalty, and can get ahead in the competition while driving great sales. mobile finance solutions offer merchants and retailers with the ability to get closer to their customers than ever before. the scope of marketing is in leveraging leading artificial intelligence (ai) techniques to deliver state-of-the-art solutions and for one-to-one interactions with customers. a digital wallet offering put retailers in the prime position to leverage the changing consumer behaviour and trends to offer personalized experiences.

International Remittances - Connecting Nations

Jan 08 2018 by - Manasi Mulasi

be it a monthly expense to ageing parents from a child from a big country, or the higher education expenses to a child in developed country. international remittances have existed ever since people have started moving to different countries, albeit the forms have changed over time. the number of expats in different countries are at an all-time high, thanks to the booming economies and world turning into a global village. according to world bank, by 2016 more than 250 million people or 3.4% of the world population lived outside their country of birth. this has resulted into a record inflow of remittance taking place between nations. by 2015, approximately $601 billion in usd was transferred between countries, $441 billion of which was received by developing countries. the countries receiving the largest share of remittances are china and india, making asia the highest remittance receiving continent. according to 2015 estimates, india and china received $72.2 and $63.9 billion dollars respectively. remittances also make a sizeable part of the gdp for certain countries majorly the small and developing countries like tajikistan and kyrgyzstan. have a look at the incoming and outgoing remittances across the world herealthough remittances hold crucial value in the economy of smaller countries, they are not entirely a sanctity. in recent times, there is an increment in the number of incidents involving money laundering or terror funding which can be directly linked to the ease of remittances. to keep a tab on such issues, the costs associated with international remittance has gone up which has affected the companies facilitating remittance and the people who use the services. nonetheless, microsoft co-founder and remittance regulation activist bill gates has mentioned that if remittance costs were cut in half, an extra $15 billion a year would be available for countries in the developing world. according to a 2010 survey of central banks of several countries, it was established that not all countries report the remittance data in a globally accepted format and miss out on details around remittance flows via money transfer operators, post offices or local money lenders.  how does it work?remittance through banks directlybanks offer direct transfer of money to other bank accounts. this can be done both online or offline. the rates charged by banks are subjective to the respective bank while the time frame involved is typically 3-5 days.remittance through bitcoinsbitcoin is the latest rage in the financial world and also a preferred medium for fund transfer across borders. while some may argue about the liquidity of the cryptocurrency lately, there’s no denying that bitcoin holds a high position in the financial market. bitcoin has been blamed for higher rates during international remittances. this is primarily due to the two stages involved in converting bitcoin to source and target currencies. read also - story of bitcoin – the other kind of moneyremittance through money transfer servicesseveral companies like western union, money-gram, etc. offer exclusive remittance services but they too come with a hefty price tag. the time required to make the transfer is comparatively lower which makes it a preferred medium among the users.  remittance through mobile walletsa popular way to transfer funds, mobile wallets too allow international remittances. due to the constantly growing prevalence of cashless transactions, the number of mobile wallets is on an upward trajectory. it only makes sense to include remittance as a service here. since the medium is already popular, additional services for remitting money does not involve any extra operational cost. with remittance being into spotlight, panamax’s e-wallet platform mobifin recently came up with an upgraded version which offers both advanced international and domestic remittance services. apart from the exquisite real-time remittance services, mobifin acts as an all-inclusive wallet which facilitates international remittance of bitcoin along with bitcoin buying and selling. both the fiat and bitcoin wallet can be maintained on the mobifin platform with ease. mobifin also conveniently interfaces with multiple exchanges to pick the best rate while buying and selling the bitcoins. why restrict to just money transfer? mobifin also allows sending goods to the near and dear ones internationally in the form of vouchers.  mobifin remittance solution allows rolling out the domestic and international remittance service through a cost effective, cashless model. this solution can be easily integrated with global remittance providers like money-gram, western union, ria etc. the solution also allows full traceability and transparency with built-in kyc and anti-money laundering features to meet regulatory requirements.case studiesmobifin optimized vps tanzania limited's business processcashless africa

Blockchain-Chaining the Blocks of Telcos

Dec 21 2017 by - Anil Das

blockchain - enabling real-time revenue sharing between roaming partners.the blockchain infrastructure has the potential for instant value transfer, reconciliation and settlement of cryptographically secured transactions through smart contracts between all parties involved.let me put forward one of the compelling economic use-case in telecom roaming billing and settlement which shows the true potential of "decentralization and disintermediation" capability of blockchain.before we move to the use case, let us try to first understand abbreviations used in this article.hpmn: the home public mobile network is the network from the operator by which a mobile subscriber has a subscription.vpmn: the visited public mobile network is the network used by a mobile subscriber while roaming.tap: transferred accounts procedure (tap) is the procedure that allows vpmn to provide billing records of roaming subscribers to their respective hpmn.rap: returned accounts procedure (rap) defines the format for returning information on errors found within transferred tap files/events.dch: data clearing houses are external bodies interface between different roaming partners to help them to exchange their cdrs, setting up roaming agreements and resolving any dispute.nrtrde: near real time roaming data exchange (nrtrde) is cdr interchange to monitor customers’ activities in the vpmn networks.cdr: call data record.as-is business process: billing and settlement between the roaming partners.below diagram depicts flow for exchanging roaming billing records (of a mobile roamer) between two roaming partners.let us understand the series of event depicted in above diagram:1: vpmn rates the call and event records for subscriber of home network who visited into foreign network.2: vpmn create tap(out) file based gsm standards and sends to dch based on agreed frequency and within number of files specified by standard.3: dch validates the tap(out) files and generates the rap(in) files, sends to vpmn if there is errors found in the tap(out) files as per the agreement.4: vpmn also send the nrtrde files to dch for monitoring subscriber activities in visitor network.5: dch sends the tap(in) files to hpmn to rate the subscriber for using the foreign network services.6: hpmn validates the tap(in) files and generates rap(out) files , sends to dch if there is errors found in the tap(in) files as per the agreement.7: dch also send the nrtrde files received in step-4 to hpmn dch for monitoring subscriber activities in visitor network.disadvantages of offline transfer account procedure:1: both hpmn and vpmn has to pay hefty fees to dch as central authority to execute the contract for roaming services.2: roaming rated cdr being exchanged in terms of tap files in offline mode.3: there is high chances of disputes being raised between vpmn and hpmn since the exchange of billing records are offline.4: the dispute resolution process is also offline executed by dch by validating the cdrs and contracts of both the partners.5: the offline process of tap leads to delay in billing and hence revenue sharing among the roaming partners.block chain alternative solution:a permissioned blockchain could be implemented between every pair of operators which have a roaming agreement. let us understand the series of event in above diagram:1 : every time a subscriber triggers an event in a visiting network, the vpmn broadcasts the cdr information as a transaction to the hpmn.2: designated nodes from both operators act as miners to verify the sanctity of each transaction broadcasted on the network as per the roaming agreement.3: the roaming agreement is implemented between the hpmn and the vpmn as a smart contract that is triggered when a transaction containing the cdr data is broadcasted on the blockchain network.there could be several contracts on the network each representing function to be implemented.    * validation of cdr sent by vpmn to hpmn based on defined agreement.    * early detection of fraud by monitoring services used in vpmn based on agreement.    * inter operator tariff application/validation of usage in vpmn.after all the contracts have been executed and the charge for that call/usage has been computed, the final output is sent as a transaction to the hpmn.4: the hpmn can thus automatically initiate the transaction to pay the charges for the services rendered and pay that particular transaction ( in real time or on scheduled frequency) to the vpmn.advantages of near-real-time blockchain transactions:1: the instantaneous settlement using blockchain-based smart contract takes away the offline billing information exchange between roaming partners through dch.2: csps can also do away with the dch acting as middleman, resulting in further cost savings.3: automatic triggering of roaming contract based on call/event data which enables near-instantaneous charging and reduction in roaming fraud.4: repository of verifiable transactions between operators, allowing for quick dispute resolution.5: this blockchain based implementation can be scaled to any number of partners and any number of contracts between the partners.what could be other advantages of this blockchain based implementation ?what do you think about the feasibility of this application ?let me know your view on above questions... happy reading!!!source: linkedin pulse

Session Border Controller for a Secure and Improved Communications Network

Dec 05 2017 by - Preety Paranjape

the competition is intense, arpu (average revenue per customer) is declining, and technology is evolving each day. service providers are now rethinking their business models and are in search of innovative ways to gain mileage commercially.these service providers are looking for sip trunking, 4g roaming, ims/volte services, etc. and are moving termination services to an all ip interconnection. in this scenario, a session border controller plays a pivotal role.what is a session border controller?a session border controller is deployed in voip networks; it regulates the ip communication sessions and all types of real-time communications like voip, ip video, text messages and other collaboration sessions.out of the many reasons to deploy an sbc, security, interoperability and quality of service are the important roles played by an sbc. other than these, migration to another network or infrastructure is also made easy by session border controller.let us discuss this in detail.• securitythere are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the use of sbc in peer to peer communication. some defy the concept of sbc because they think that sbc lengthens the media paths and slows down communication. however, a session border is crucial because it protects voip networks from malicious activities. while a firewall only controls network data, sbc focuses on scanning and regulating sip enabled traffic and audio/video streams. sbc offers a stricter protection and fortifies your network to prevent eavesdropping, identity theft, and ensures fair usage of resources by protecting over usage and pattern based blacklist/whitelist of customers.• interoperabilitya session border controller is an excellent way of ensuring that sips work smoothly with one another. now one may argue that when there is gateway why use sbc? gateway does the job of voice transcoding efficiently. the answer to this is that, while gateway provides conversion between a circuit session and a packet switched network, sbc works as a border between two packet-based networks. sbc has the expertise to provide interoperability function from network layer to application layer and enable communication between heterogeneous end points/peers.• quality of service an sbc implements the qos policy for a network and handles the prioritization of calls. this means that an sbc defines and monitors the quality of service (qos) status for all sessions and can prioritize emergency calls above others using functions like traffic policing, resource allocation, rate limiting, call admission control, tos/dscp bit setting, etc. sbc also helps in routing calls to the best quality destination and enables call handover process between access networks whenever the call quality drops below some threshold. the call priorities are not set based on the whims of managers for voice, data or communication, instead, the quality of service profiles are configured and marked on the data path - impartial decisions are taken by sbc.• migrationyou may need help for migrating to a sip-enabled unified communication infrastructure, need interoperability with a different ip-pbx solution or have a co-existence scenario. in any case, an sbc provides translation, and allows unabridged communication during the transition period and beyond.the emergence of sip as the preferred signaling protocol!many service providers are now offering sip trunking solutions because enterprises are increasingly migrating to a sip-enabled unified communication infrastructure. sip has emerged as the preferred signaling protocol for ip communications. it is a cost-effective and a flexible alternative to the conventional circuits. it not only reduces expenses but also eliminates vendor lock-ins and offers wider choice in provisioning users.an sbc enables secure sip trunking, consolidated voip and uc networks, allows access to cloud and hosted ip communications services and provides higher security for communication across ip contact centers, remote work locations, and branch offices. thus security, interoperability, migration, call quality control and media policy enforcements are some reasons that make the use of sbc inevitable.next generation session border controllers provide robust security and simplified interoperability to service providers. they deliver great service quality for applications like sip trunking and unified multimedia communications. for more information on sip trunking and unified communications solutions by panamax. 

PSD2 brings Innovation by Challenging Traditional Banking

Sep 14 2017 by - Rohit Sanghani

what is psd2? eu second payment services directive (psd2) has been a focal point for the financial services industry over the last couple of years and its adoption is set to modernize the payment ecosystem in europe. new entrants, innovative technologies and increased regulation are already posing major challenges to traditional banks as they need to do more than ever before to retain their revenue streams, meet growing customer expectations and counter the erosion of their competitive edge. psd2 calls for banks to open their data infrastructure to third parties (aisp – account initiation service provider or pisp- payment initiation service provider) so that the latter can provide better products and payment services to customers. this is unprecedented and many traditional banks perceive psd2 to be disruptive, but in fact these new payment offerings have been sprouting for quite some time, powered by the fintech industry. what are the challenges to traditional banking? opening up an api to 3rd party (aisp – account initiation service provider or pisp- payment initiation service provider) is a great challenge for banks as it might pose concerns around security and personalization of customer data. one big challenge for bank it teams is that their central applications were not designed with api access in mind. for legacy applications – often based on mainframes – adding api access directly into these systems would be expensive, risky and involve all sorts of unknown scalability issues. re-engineering applications with api support is possible, but increasing the amount of hardware infrastructure to provide these capabilities represents an expensive way to add this functionality. it also does not deal with the fact that most customer data is spread across multiple silos associated with different accounts. the right solution will surface the way for engagement with both internal and external developers, business insights, analytics, security, and protection. this means it has never been more essential for banks to offer their customers digital products and services that are effective and delightful. banks that fail to act on big shifts like psd2 will lose the primary relationship with clever start-ups, or even worse: to other banks. either way, they lose, and are reduced to playing a backstage role at best. means of innovation for bank banks that are capable of innovating and executing promptly, have the potential to deliver great new products and services, and become a one-stop finance shop to enrich their omni-channel banking experience. the new regulation represents an opportunity for banks to partner with fintech companies and third party providers (3pp) to bring synergy that welcomes change and innovation which will eventually enhance the customer relationship with banks from monthly chores to weekly or even daily meaningful dialog. banks can take advantage of this regulation to provide their best customer experience by launching new product and services. they can also monetize the api economy by developing a data strategy. interestingly, the payments segment has arguably led the charge in adoption of the api economy in financial services. stripe, recently valued at $1.75 billion, is a payments provider that has api integration as the core component of its business model. it provides a payments infrastructure that is accessed through api calls and is used by household brands in emerged markets. the api economy has become very profitable for some firms and many commentators and analysts see the profitability accelerating. salesforce.com, for example, generates half of its usd 2.3 billion annual revenue through its apis. analysts estimate that the api economy will become a usd 2.2 trillion market by 2018 and that during the next two to three years, the number of enterprises having an api program could rise by 150%. psd2, with its widespread scope, is regarded as establishing a baseline for the future of banking, rather than being a mere regulatory piece. it is a game-changing initiative that will bring along numerous opportunities to facilitate access to payments and help deliver a better customer experience. psd2 could be transposed into national law by member states before 13 january 2018, which means that the legal provisions will apply from this date. the next five or so months will be challenging for businesses as they navigate their way towards psd2 compliance. panamax mobifin solution helps financial organizations in many areas including data management, advanced analytics, behavioral profiling, and customer intelligence.

Story of Bitcoin – The other kind of Money

Sep 04 2017 by - Manasi Mulasi

bitcoin is no alien concept to the global money market right now, yet it has managed to remain elusive to a big population. with the digital currency gaining momentum, this cryptocurrency is being discussed amidst certain segments of the society.  for the novices, here’s some background on what is a cryptocurrency – this is a form of digital currency which involves encryption techniques regulating the generation of units of currency and verifying the transfer of funds, operating independently without any governing bank. bitcoin was the first to be declared a decentralised cryptocurrency in 2009. currently, several cryptocurrencies are available in the market. these are frequently called altcoins, a combination of bitcoin alternative. other such cryptocurrencies are ethereum, dash etc. coming to the history of bitcoin, a man named satoshi nakamoto began working on the bitcoin concept in 2007. the concept was published in the year 2008 and released it as open-source software in 2009. the research paper submitted can be read here. while he is on record living in japan, it is alleged that nakamoto may be a pseudonym for a group of people than just one. how it works  bitcoin’s system is a direct peer-to-peer transfer with no requirement of an intermediary. the universe of bitcoin is built on a system called blockchain, making it a decentralised database or more popularly, distributed ledger. any transaction carried out on bitcoin is recorded on the blockchain’s replicated database network and this can be visible to anyone within the network. to explain the concept of buying and selling of bitcoins, whenever a transaction is initiated by a user, it is cryptographically encoded and grouped in a block that contains all other transactions that happened in past 10 minutes. post this, the miners (bitcoin users with computing skills) compete among each other to validate the transactions by solving a code problem. the miner who is able to solve the problem first and validates this block, receives a ‘reward’. reward is a bitcoin in this scenario. the validated block is then timestamped and added to a chain of other blocks in chronological order. this chain is constantly updated and the history of ledger is maintained. every member is thus able to see who owns how much at any point.       how and where to use there are several exchanges for bitcoin transaction in every country, so plenty of options to choose from based on the facilities offered by the platform. make sure that bitcoin’s rates fluctuates just like stock market or gold, one must therefore keep a track of it before planning to buy some. bitcoins can be bought from websites like coinbase, spectrocoin, bitcoin, zebpay, localbitcoins etc. since bitcoin is still in its nascent stage, not many companies accept it currently. however you can see the list of companies that accept bitcoin here. why bitcoin? lower transaction fee involved – when making payments through bitcoins. this saves atleast 1-5% cost of the retailers, depending on the payment mode they currently use. instant transaction – when the world is becoming so closely knit, it is imperative that the financial transaction are closed in the shortest possible time. bitcoin ensures just that hence saving time and effort for its users. no third party involvement – bitcoin safeguards direct peer to peer transaction cutting down on any brokerage and security concerns during the transaction process. just like the digital payment modes, bitcoin is favoured due to the ease of access. all you need is an internet enabled mobile phone and you are good to go. with the algorithm that bitcoin is based on, there is least chance of counterfeiting hence ensuring complete privacy of transaction. challenges acceptance – not many outlets accept bitcoins. since the concept is in its nascent stage, one cannot know at this point if there occurs a flaw in the system. frequent fluctuation in valuation – the price of bitcoin undergoes massive fluctuation. it was valued at $1 in january 2011 and is a whopping $4363 as i write this in 2017! this tends to show the unreliability of the currency. still evolving – to make bitcoin more secure and accessible, new features, tools, and services are currently being developed. this clearly means there is still time before bitcoin can come to its full potential. uncertainty in regulatory compliance – presently there are certain norms for bitcoin trading in different countries which might further undergo government intervention. no centralised banking – a central bank manages fractional reserve lending that allows a national economy to expand. the supply of bitcoin is limited by algorithm, therefore it is difficult for an economy running on bitcoin to accommodate a larger population or natural resource base. what should you do? i would say what you would have heard before buying mutual funds! buy at your own risk! when putting in your money on bitcoin, make sure you researched well and are ready for the lows as much as you are for the highs. it is important that only a calculated risk is taken instead of using it as another medium of investment. panamax’s mobile financial solution mobifin is leaping towards establishing a link with bitcoin’s blockchain to facilitate bitcoin transaction. this will help the clients with international money transfers through mobifin’s reliable payment gateway while making profits through conversion rates between currencies. we aim to expand our services to include other cryptocurrencies along with bitcoin in the near future.

How to Stop Losing Revenue due to Mobile Money Fraud?

May 31 2017 by - Preety Paranjape

ifc the international finance corporation in a 2012 report said that mobile money has the potential to deliver financial inclusion and will transform economies. today, the widespread use of mobile to carry out monetary transactions, make merchant payments, etc., has proved their prediction right. consumers have lapped up mobile wallets, and can now transfer money and make online payments with a scan, swipe or a tap. banks too have braced themselves up and joined the bandwagon providing their customers a wide range of mobile and online offerings.            click here to see how panamax led financial inclusion in gambiathe trend of mobile money is catching up, and simultaneously the risk of fraud and financial scams is also lurking large. loss of money to a consumer due to money laundering, scam or a fraud has a deep impact on the reputation of the mobile money service provider. deloitte (industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services provider) states that “globally, the cost of fraud in telecom industry amounts to around 2 percent of its total revenues i.e. roughly us $46 billion. from the revenue generated by phone-based banking around 2 to 3 percent is lost to fraudulent activities.”organized ransomware attacks like wannacry have also escalated. the financial services industry experiences the highest number of data breaches and fraud cases. in addition to intrusion and cyber-attack - phishing fraud, access to wallet through unauthorized sim swap, fake kyc and commission fraud by agents is also on the rise. in this scenario, mitigating risks has become the primary objective of a fraud management strategy for mobile money - the key to this is setting up effective layers of control within the system.the first set of control layers include: • access control mechanisms and encryption to protect customer information• setting up layers of approvals based on segregation of duties • reduce the threat of money laundering and terrorist financing by setting threshold limitsit is very crucial to detect every possibility of fraud and build a security wall beforehand. hence it is important to have a detective control layer that includes:• monitoring activities on system access • detection and analysis of suspicious activity if any• creation of a successful escalation management framework and robust customer listening• monitoring agent transaction activities• review and management of high-value transactions minutely• management of a system that sends timely alerts and notifications to customerssecurity from internal frauds using bi and data analyticswhile the aforementioned control layers are imperative, mobile money systems should also have business intelligence and very strong data analytics to prevent or at the least identify a fraud. threats of frauds need not be external; internal frauds like commission fraud by agents and application manipulation by authorized users can also engulf a system from within.here is an example of how an unsecured platform was exploited by internal forces to gain benefit and as result – billions of shillings were lost to fraud!the key trait that saves clients from losing millions of dollars is - a prompt response/support from platform developers and the implementation of stricter controls for specific risks. also, a layered approach of considering all entities as suspects is effective. using data mining and analytics reports suspects are whitelisted and the list is filtered. further, the interrogation of remaining suspects plays a crucial role in detecting and eliminating the possibility of fraud.all this boils down to the fact that the underlying technology is pivotal in building a robust system for the mobile money. it is possible to bring down the cases of account misuse, fraud or account hacking from within the system, to zero, if the system allows -• minimal storage of data on device• no storage of transaction passwords, pin or credit card numbers on device level• storage of product level info and profile in not less than 128 bit aes encryptionpanamax’s mobile financial solutions (mfs) product mobifin covers all the industry level security requirements, is pa-dss certified and has a pci-dss compliant infrastructure. we have a proactive consultancy approach and even a minor threat or attempt of a security breach is treated with utmost urgency and seriousness. <center>what is mobifin? watch the video for an overview</center><center ><iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cwno0ryznam" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></center>

Beacons – Paradigm of New Generation Customer Engagement

Apr 19 2017 by - Dipak Patel

today your newspaper, mobile, emails, social media etc are flooded with ads, most of them rather irrelevant, making no sense or serving no purpose. have you thought how it would be to receive personalized ads or handy information at your fingertips exactly when you need them? well, the days are not too far, we are slowly but surely moving towards achieving it – valuing your privacy and sharing right information at right time.  yes, i am talking about beacons, if you guessed it right, you are on track and for others this blog is the right place to start with.beacons are not new to us; they have been around for quite some time in different forms and factors; long back they were used as war signals – the lord of the rings, a series of beacons alert the entire realm of gondor when the kingdom is under attack. navigational beacons – radar reflectors, radio beacons, sonic and visual signalsvehicular beacons – emergency vehicles such as fire engines, ambulances and police carsbeacons are small, cost-effective, battery powered device that work on bluetooth low energy (ble) technology to periodically transmit signals to nearby devices. signals can be ble packets that contain targeted information about brick-and-mortar stores, promotional offers, events, transit system, enterprises, educational institutions communication, sports etc. within a range of about 300 feet. because of the technology used, it is a marathon runner and remains active for almost a year without a battery change.    chuck martin in a business review called beacons “the missing piece in the whole mobile-shopping puzzle.” nexgen beacons came first in limelight in 2013, when apple introduced ibeacon technology only for ios devices, followed by google announcing eddystone technology in 2015 offering open source implementation. major difference being, ibeacon only interacts with mobile apps on smartphones, eddystone with an edge to even transmit urls to mobile devices, which can then be opened in mobile browser and share information.  according to forbes, beacon helped increase retail sales from $4 billion in 2015 to whooping $44 billion in 2016, and the opportunity is endless with new use cases building around the technology.  brick-and-mortar stores  find exact location of your preferred item in the store help consumers gain more information on product / goods even before purchaseno need for dedicated resource to guide customerstargeted offers and promotionshelp marketers gain detailed customer insights and behaviours help increase sales of merchandise, fmcg productstravel and transportreal time information of flight / gate no. / time table etc. to travellerstargeted offers and promotionsairport terminal map and lbsbus / train / metro timetable and route details universities and educational institutionsinformation on classes / tuitionsmass communicationmuseum – information on artefacts through audio / video modeshowever, there are certain limitations in the worldwide implementation of the technology. some of these are listed below:since the technology works on bluetooth, consumers must have their bluetooth enabled in-order to take the advantagedepending on business requirement, at times specific application needs to be downloaded on device to enable certain features increases overhead operational costpersonalizing beacons matching surrounding or theme can be a tricky affairidentifying and managing faulty beacons, manually checking beacons to ensure they're charged and working properlysignal mapping and overlapping store next doorbeacons can also raise privacy and security concerns, sending spam messages, access contacts, asking user to download application etc.several layers of permissions or compliancesbeacon technology is still at a nascent stage and there is a huge scope for innovation. industry giants like google and ios are working aggressively on developing this further. below are few unique live use cases of beacons around the world: according to wired, beacons are guiding blind commuters through london's tube system.starwood hotels is running a pilot program to replace hotel room keys with beaconsamerican airlines is one of the growing number of airlines leveraging beacon technology to improve connections with customers at airportshere is a splendid video based on the next generation beacon technology by cnet:we at panamax have been working on nexgen near field payments and location based services (lbs) using qr, nfc, beacons etc. and have delivered state-of-the-art services to our clients across the globe. do write back to dipak.patel@panamaxil.com if you want to know more. happy reading.

Artificial Intelligence and Bots - The Next Step to Achieve Automation

Mar 30 2017 by - Hardik Kanthariya

the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 have been a phase dedicated to artificial intelligence (ai). all major internet giants are launching voice assistants for the users. sample this – the google from google, cortana from microsoft, siri from apple and most recently alexa from amazon. by the end of 2017 many, more big brands will come with their own assistants or bots which will not only do task as per the directions but will learn from the user, data and behavior.ai and bots are the future and the paving stones for a virtual robotic world. wouldn’t it be great if someone reminds you of some important information you are missing or is even capable of doing something on behalf of you? applications for artificial intelligence in fintech industry are likely to boom in next couple of years where the entire fintech industry and banking system would be adding these kinds of applications to their solution. some examples of automated tasks can be the ones below.sending reminders to pay your bills, kids’ allowance or sending money to your hometracking your credit card, wallet, banking usage and notifying when a certain limit is reachedautomatically reviewing loyalty and promotional schemes as per your transactional data and reminding you to avail benefitsapart from the intelligence tool, ‘bots’ which is an abbreviation for ‘robots’ can be used to provide support where you can ask bots to do certain tasks for you. like when you call a support number to block/unblock credit card it can be done via ivr or messenger. you can ask to get a call when a certain amount of transaction is done against your account. one can also use bots for upselling a service i.e. when you book a flight, bots can suggest an international credit card which provides benefits for international travelers.the core of such technology is in deep prescriptive analytics of data gathered, and machine learning technology which captures details from your behavior and adaptive interaction. the dedicated r&d team of panamax is working to achieve this automation in their wallet solution. very soon we will be adding such intelligence services in our wallet solution where panamax core solution can learn the behavior from mobile-wallet, message history, call records, or browsing data and can suggest best available benefits according to your need. you can also communicate with the voice and chat assistant within the application and do a transaction just like siri.

Unified Communication - Gateway to New Business Opportunities for Telcos/ISPs

Mar 21 2017 by - Chetan Khatri

unified communication is the combination of real-time communication methods like instant messaging (im), sip telephony (residential voip), audio / video calls with conferencing, file/data sharing, call control & speech recognition. it also includes non-real-time communication features/services like voicemail, e-mail, sms (short message service) and fax. unified communication caters a wide range of products and provides flexibility of product shaping according to the needs of business services. with the rolling out of new lte 4g services, unified communication features are now more strengthened in terms of connectivity, crystal clear voice clarity and fast switching with low bandwidth consumption. whenever communication & collaboration means of products are mentioned, telcos play a very important part in rolling out new communication mediums to attract new subscribers. the future generation is moving towards wireless communication with stronger, effective and feature rich ways of communication. internet of things plays a major role in changing the ways to communication and so as the product lines and solution for telcos. uc is totally dependent on internet of things (iot) and enables isps have great opportunities to club the uc services with their data plans for enterprises & end subscribers. with unified communications products like hosted ip pbx, ip telephony, sip trunking, calling card and virtual number (direct inward dial) with mobile dialer, applications specific to services can be provided adding more value to the service. these products can be build up with minimum infrastructure and do not involve huge operations cost. iot based deployment is really easy and can be done in just hours/days instead of months. here is the comparison of epbax & cloud based pbx to help understand the changing face of communication through unified communication. the enterprise businesses are growing with overseas collaborations and this kind of cloud based pbx model has become the need of the hour for them. telcos/isps having huge database of customers/subscribers can roll out cloud based pbx services with not just pbx service but telcos can also get the opportunity to draw business from long distant clients. this becomes a single point of the business contact for such corporate/enterprise clients. businesses today are keen towards unified communication and infonetics has the most aggressive outlook, the market is expected to reach $80+ billion in 2018 for unified communication services. diane myers, principal analyst for voip, unified communication, and ims at infonetics research, has this to say: business voip services has grasped well beyond early stages challenges into mainstream, strengthened by the exponential growth & adoption of sip trunking and iot cloud based services worldwide.keeping in pace with this current telecommunications industry trend, panamax offers an indigenous unified communication & collaboration (uc&c) suite, a combination of non-real-time and real-time communications including ip & voice telephony, instant messaging, video conferencing, data sharing and others in one interface. our uc&c platform helps companies adapt to market changes quickly, increase productivity, gain a competitive advantage, and deliver a rich-media experience across all the workspaces.

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