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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>

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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.

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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.

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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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8 Ways Unified Communications can take your efforts to the Next Level

Mar 02 2017 by - Kavita Parmar

unified communications is the integrated communication service that is used by many organizations to optimize the business processes. marketing team plays a vital role in generating profit and revenue for the business, and impressive communication and alliance are crucial for team’s success. marketing people are every day in contact with the clients, agencies, suppliers, etc. and to get the effective work result, they have to coordinate with the sales and product development team and as well as depend on the details from their communications channels to weigh the marketing campaigns success.unified communications (uc) plays an imperative part in those operations by providing low cost communication and collaboration between different channels likes email, chat, video, voice, conferencing, messaging and more.other ways in which unified communications can streamline the collaboration and communication between the various departments of your organization - 1. sales and marketing team’s collaborationusually, marketing and sales teams work individually, even though their customers and prospects are same. improving the collaboration between these two teams can give high values to your business like increased revenues, faster deal closing, etc.marketing team runs different campaigns to generate sales leads and generate content that encourages prospects through increasingly complex sales cycles involving many decision makers. it is essentials for the sales team to understand the marketing campaigns and give their feedback so that they can improve the campaign’s performance. with unified communications and collaboration, both teams can run deliverable campaigns and have a content delivery system to convert the prospects into sale.uc supports sales and marketing team by making it easier to collaborate and share information through telephony, video conferencing, file sharing, email, instant messaging and voicemail. 2. data shared within crm (customer relationship management)uc supports the integration of crm software with the phone devices. the marketing team can easily access the client details, sales records in response to marketing and sales initiatives. this will help them when they are planning to do campaigns like email marketing or telemarketing. shared crm data helps the sales and marketing to align the process and in ensuring that both of them have a same view of the customers.see also: unified communications & collaboration – the what and the why….3. easy campaign managementwith uc, marketing and sales team can easily plan and manage the marketing campaigns together. for example – the product launch. a product launch is a very crucial task, it involves coordination between different teams like marketing, product experts, sales manager, research experts and designers. unified communications make the collaboration easier with audio, video, telephony and web conference. all the persons can easily connect with each other through their laptops, pcs, voip enabled mobile phones from their respective locations. all they want is just an internet connection to access the voip network for joining the meetings. uc helps employees by allowing them to work effectively from any internet accessible location and today that’s the key driver for any person’s productivity.currently, there are so many communications tools available to manage the teamwork, but sometimes it becomes difficult for team members to track all the project details and updates. it becomes easy to exchange and collect the details via email, voicemail, text, etc. uc helps them to track all the data with the feature called unified messaging. it provides a functionality to collect all the messages in a single inbox, so no need to check the project updates on different platforms.4. streamline agency meetingsthe on-time meetings between the marketing team, external vendors/agencies and suppliers can be hectic and time-consuming, especially for the everyday communications. with uc, it is very easy to set up a multimedia conference to discuss the changes, updates and review the design campaigns or other important things. with uc’s screen sharing functionalities, participants can easily view and review the files, graphics, presentations, video and other content.5. regularly communicate with the clientsto nurture prospects, generate brand awareness and build a strong & long-term relationships with the clients, regular communication is required. also, the broadcast messaging feature, makes it easy to maintain the communication.broadcast text messaging is an easy, cost-effective way to send the promotional offers, new products details and upcoming event details to your customers. by just one simple instruction, you can broadcast the same message to the thousands of people.6. easy to collect customer feedbackwith uc’s broadcast functionalities, you can automatically set up a telephone survey systems to collect the customer feedback by phone. it will help you to get the initial feedback for any products, promotional offers, etc. with no extra effort, you can set up an automated phone survey with thousands of the customers.7. evaluate campaign resultswith the call analytics functionality of unified communications, you can get the customer behaviour insights which can help in future product campaigns.with uc, you can allocate the virtual numbers to your different marketing campaigns or sales initiatives and all the calls coming to this virtual numbers are forwarded to your business. by analysing all the call data, you can measure the user response for the different campaigns and can take a further step for the next initiatives. also, all this call analytics data is integrated with the crm systems, so you can use this data for future lead nurturing and other marketing campaigns.8. improve individual productivityunified communications can also help the busy marketing professionals to improve their productivity. with the follow me feature, calls can be forwarded to mobiles, voicemail or other contact numbers, making it easier to reach the people. so, the employees who are away from their desks can easily take a call from any location.in these ways, unified communications help reduce the communication gap between the teams and enhance the work efficiency of the employees through an effective communication and collaboration system.  panamax’s bridge2call offers a complete suite of unified communication and collaboration for order processing, service configuration & activation, authentication dynamic interactive voice response (ivr), and more.

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Mobile Wallet: The Buzz Word of Payment Options

Jan 24 2017 by - Usha Choudhary

from the onset of the smart device revolution, we moved from ‘i don’t buy stuff online’ to ‘i prefer this app over that, for shopping.' in this fascinating and dynamic economy, adoption of finance technology is rapidly increasing. in this scenario, if you have not already embraced the change, it is high time for you to start thinking about implementing a robust digital finance strategy for your business.today the buzz around mobile wallets is rapidly increasing, and we can see the rise of a mobile wallet culture across the landscapes. mpayment using mobile wallets is getting main-stream and has become the popular mode for making cashless transactions, thus slowly transporting the culture of making card payments out of fashion and into oblivion.using mobile wallets is simple. it allows an individual to pay using a mobile device, with a single touch, swipe or tap.the chief reasons why consumers have shed all inhibitions and are using mobile wallets:• redemption of store coupons and discount offers at participating businesses• easy identification and availability of location specific or real-time offers or discounts• availability of search directories and ratings of nearby restaurants and shops• freedom from keeping credit/debit cards organized and safe• availability of best offers on products and merchandiseplus – your data remains highly secure and confidential!above all, mobile wallet solution wins globally over others in a single case! unlike credit/debit cards, a mobile transaction restricts the exposure of the confidential data, bypassing any risk of document forging, this makes the process of making payments, highly reliable and secure.besides, mobile wallets allow merchants and brands to capture user behavior and customer information, enabling them to weigh in those factors carefully to provide real-time customized and targeted marketing to their customers via mobile devices, thus proving to be a highly versatile solution.at present, the mobile payments market exhibits enormous potential. however, the finance-processing world is not content with just collaborating with the emerging technology for mobile payments. they are taking a step further, creating their own applications and services, thus competing for a widespread market acceptance. among them come the traditional credit card processors, online payment solutions, brick-and-mortar retailers, and even the telephone network carriers.some of the top players/adopters in the industry are: apple pay with ios (and the apple watch), android pay for android, and samsung pay for galaxy mobile devices.during a survey in 2016 in the united states, 18 percent of respondents were reported to have used android pay in the previous year. let’s look at the stats below:what ties all of these competing services of mobile wallet together is the strategy behind them. they’re all designed to integrate with the platforms of their respective companies. the idea is to change the relationship between retailer and consumer by offering a more personalized experience. for instance, instead of walking into a coffee shop to buy a cup of coffee, users will receive an offer for a better deal, such as 12 cups of coffee for the price of 10, which they can purchase in advance and redeem whenever they like.however, there are still some players and stakeholders who are resistant to adopting the technology, as they are still skeptical about the security and safety while making mpayments using mobile wallets. with numerous digital wallet options available, retailers and consumer product companies are uncertain on what approach to pursue. nevertheless, they need to decide soon whether to switch to a complete mobile wallet platform, wait or risk being left behind.

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How Telecom Operators Can Transform their Networks through IMS & LTE

Dec 05 2016 by - Chetan Khatri

long-term evolution (lte) is a technology network with very high-speed network communication for mobile phones and internet data devices. it is based on its previous generation of technologies like gsm or edge and umts & hspa network technologies, the core part is same but has huge capacity in transmitting signals and insta-speed using a different radio interface with core network improvements. the ip multimedia subsystem or ip multimedia core network subsystem (ims) is designed for delivering ip multimedia services. historically, mobile phones have provided voice calls on a pstn network, rather than strictly over an ip packet-switched network. voip (voice over internet protocol) is an alternative to those legacy methods of delivery calls. it is grooming rapidly because of its crystal clear quality of service, but they have not become standardized across the industry. ims as a core network can provide ip based network communication for any telecom operator, it is also a proven network with all standard requirements.every country now is moving towards all-ip network for all kinds of communication because – using legacy physical networks like pstn – circuit switch network infrastructure consumes a large amount of investment in building a strong network availability. with the evolution of ims & lte, all communications will be on data network i.e. internet data and this will immensely reduce the cost of infrastructure and increase network availability. to provide full fledge ip connectivity for ld and nld, sbc (session border controller) platform can provide switching, routing, rating and billing.panamax imax is one of the best sbc products available in the market to provide a solution for ims & lte services. with the implementation of lte network, many new features will get added and qos (quality of services) will also increase.sbc solution (panamax imax) can provide vast and vital features like hd voice, video conferencing, sip security, sip encryption, nat traversal support, media flow encryption and more. it also offers bandwidth download stream/rate 300 mbits/s and mobility on frequency speed from 350km/h to 500km/h. it performs aaa (authentication, authorization & accounting) in real time with sip message forwarding and routing, interworking of ipv6-ipv4, and manipulation of sip messages/headers.lte is commonly marketed as 4g lte as it is considered to be a part of 4th generation of the networks evolved, but as per the standards of 3gpp – lte does not meet the technical criteria for 4g wireless services.advantages of 4g network: feature/property 3g network 4g network throughput rate =2 mbits/s >100 mbits/s spectral efficiency =1 bits/s/hz/cell =6 bits/s/hz/cell spectrum use generally 5 mhz scale up to 20 mhz multiple access cdma ofdma user network latency >200 ms <10 ms protocol stack circuit switch and packet switch packet switched only control plane latency (idle to active) > 500 ms <100 ms call / session control access network specific protocols (e.g., umts) ip-based (sip) access network to core network dependency fully dependent on strong and tight network independent opportunities for mobile operators with ims: • ims as service control infrastructure.        - enables the usage of best-in-class application servers through ims control over the network • infrastructure building is more on virtual (ip) as ims builds a logical world within the network interconnected with other service support functions. • ims as interconnect network, intermediate/transit routing :        - enables the support of pstn emulation/simulation.        - addresses the growing market of interconnect by enabling the support of voip & volte with user specific services for transit calls. • one ims based service infrastructure for fixed market, mobile market, (hosted) enterprise market, transit/interconnect market will provide a converged communication world. • ims as central core in 3gpp (mobile, wlan), tispan (fixed), packetcable2.0 (cable) ensures interoperability and long-term investment protection. • can there be any future without voip? probably not.conclusion:operators / service providers are looking for ims architectures to implement in their network. this requires a huge investment in sbcs that should be compatible to ims. separation of signaling and media transmission is also required to make smooth interconnection. today, sbcs provide many great features which can confine ims designed network requirements. the sbc solutions in ims framework architecture are also well-versed with the support required for signaling and media separation.

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How FinTech Can Lead The Way during Demonetization Phase?

Nov 22 2016 by - Preety Paranjape

india is the third-largest economy in the world, in terms of purchasing power parity (ppp). hence the recent announcement by its prime minister about the demonetization of rs. 500 and 1000 notes sent shock waves and left experts speculating.this is not the first time that a country has walked the demonetization path. several countries across the world have tried demonetisation – i.e., discontinuing existing currency and introducing new currency as a replacement. this is done to counter hoarding of black money, and widespread circulation of counterfeit notes that eat into the economy. however, these times can be trying for both, the government and the people.today as india is set to sail through this transition, the monumental change seems to be scarred by the hardships that people are facing due to cash crisis. how can these troubles and hassles be eased out?  the first thing that immediately comes to the mind is net banking, using digital wallets, and using credit/debit cards to make payments at stores. however, is this solution feasible for people in rural areas?  well, there are ways in which fintech can bring in respite to people in both urban and rural areas, and enable them to withdraw cash or transfer money without actually going to the bank and make payments without having cash at hand.the urban and rural indiait is first essential to understand that there is a huge difference between the urban and rural population. hence solutions need to be tailored for them and a ‘one solution fits all’ approach will fail. according to gsma, around 65% of indian adults have an account with a financial institution; this means that almost 35% indians are unbanked. a majority of these unbanked are from the rural populace. in rural india, smartphone penetration is low, internet connectivity is scarcely available and there are many who do not have bank accounts. however, the silver lining is the fact that rural india has access to mobile phones (if not smartphones) and the number of users and active sims in rural regions is more than that in urban areas. both ‘penetration’ & ‘tele-density’ (as compared to urban india) is 218.9 million rural versus 188.4 urban mobile subscriptions.how banks can help people surf through the demonetization wave!the concept of branchless banking or an agent led model of banking is one way of providing services to customers outside the commercial premises. this concept backed by strong ict and infrastructure makes it really easy and cheap to allow transactions. at places where banks/atms are not available in near vicinity, an agent led branchless banking facility can be of great help. banks can engage customers through agents and ease the immense crowds at branches and atms for getting cash – and this also happens at a reduced cost of delivering services. as a quick fix set up in the present situation, agents can drive only money withdrawal, exchange, and deposit, in villages and help people in distress.according to hardik kantharia, a fintech expert with panamax, “merchant management is a perfect example of how banks can allow mobile money users to make payments. here various access channels like mobile applications, web portals, ussd, sms, ivr, and pos can be used. merchants can receive credentials on their user’s behalf and process transaction.”recently we have seen that people can withdraw cash from petrol pumps, similarly, this concept of micro atm should be penetrated in rural areas. a feet-on-street personal with a pos, can reach out to people in rural india, and allow people to withdraw money from a system similar to pos. by building a system that authenticates identity by way of aadhar card, this service can also be taken to senior citizens and specially abled people to their doorsteps.in cities, or say urban india, banks can appoint agents for corporate firms and other offices, and providing cash withdrawal (with a cap) to the customer’s workplaces. this way again, the mad rush to banks and atms will reduce.peer to peer payment is another aspect that will tremendously curb the need for cash on hand and yet allow people to carry out transactions. in urban areas where internet and smartphone use is high, it is easy to implement this mode of payments. however, in rural areas, where people have basic handsets and not smartphones, it is possible to allow peer-to-peer money transfer via sms. it is time for india to get digitized and this is an excellent opportunity to do so. i also see nfc as the future of digitization when people will just tap in their smartphones and make payments.  that will be truly revolutionary.to sum it up we can say that digitization, mobile banking, and financial inclusion can play a tremendous role in any country to help its people sail through such difficult times, and implement a smooth demonetization process.

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Big Data - Blessing for Carrier Companies

Nov 15 2016 by - Vikas Desai

big data, is the talk of the town and has emerged as the boon for carrier companies but before we discuss the impact of big data on carriers; let’s know what exactly big data is. in simple words big data is a set of data that is large and complex, set of data that is not easy to manage, process, store, share or transfer.big data technology is relatively new but this technology has made it possible to manage and process the volume of data that was considered impossible a decade before. “facebook” big data is being used in domains like social media, advertising and facebook is utilizing the big data for both.telecom noc:carrier / telecom operators register subscribers on network that serves voice, sms, data; and subscriber initiates a service from his terminal (handset). the terminal connects the subscriber to core switch through access network over radio signal. this core switch establishes a connection with other subscriber, which may be on another network or on a gateway. during this process, the subscriber’s carrier / telecom operator monitors the performance of the network and subscriber behaviors using an operation support system.subscribers are also free to activate / de-activate services, the activation / de-activation of services can be initiated via voice call, sms, ussd short codes, email.data can be streamed into a big data analytics server to dig out useful information like subscriber profile, services rendered, new service activation, de-activation of old services for telecom network monitoring, network performance & trends.earlier offline bi tools were used by carriers to dig out useful information on subscriber profiling or network performance; but the analysis carried out of data in offline mode was affecting the subscriber by the next billing cycle.with the advent of technologies like apache (kafka, strom, spark, hadoop) and aws kinesis; it is now possible for carriers to dig out information in real time and improve customer experience by being proactive in offering them best billing plan or package that exactly suits subscribers. the proactive approach also helps carrier in customer retention, boost customer loyalty and decrease loss of business. the real-time scenario of big data utilization by carriers is for subscriber satisfaction.• battery saver:we all are known with the fact that using 3g data service on mobile handset consume more battery; when high bandwidth is used more battery power is consumed. typically, these settings of using high bandwidth or low bandwidth are manual and selected by user only. through big data analysis telecom operator can monitor subscriber usage in real-time and can push carrier settings to mobile handset for switching it back to low bandwidth when mobile is not used for data services and push high bandwidth setting when subscriber is using data services that require high bandwidth on mobile handset.• customer service:major challenge faced by operators is call drop, poor network coverage, quality of voice call, data connectivity. all these problems are noticed by operator when subscriber starts complaining about the same. with advent of big data technology, operators are in position to monitor quality of service in real-time, based on signaling, and exchange of data. they can investigate root cause of each problem even before subscriber complain about the problems, and issues like coverage, congestion can be resolved. even if subscriber is facing problems because of wrong plan selection or mobile handset; the same can be identified and subscribers can be offered alternate plan or replacement of handset to improve overall experience.• roaming:most of the time it has been observed that while on international roaming; subscriber limit oneself from using mobile for various services that are being used extensively when at home location. by using real-time analytic carrier can identify that subscriber is not in home location and also from subscriber historical data and events; they can also predict that subscriber shall be on international roaming along tentative duration of stay. by knowing these details; carrier can offer best calling and data plans to subscriber that can create win-win situation for both subscriber and telecom operator. the said approach help operator to minimize potential loss and will enable subscriber to continue using all services that are been enjoyed at home network.• network optimization:network optimization can be achieved by son – self-organizing networks. self-organizing networks (son) is a collection of functions to automatize – configuration, optimization, analyze and healing of cellular networks. son has gained popularity with advent of lte (long time evolution). the most important objective is load balancing. by analysis the data congestion in network can also overcome. due to congestion on radio access station (ras) it starts underperforming. son help carrier to diagnose congestion on ras and through automatized configuration and optimization of ras, load is diverted to neighboring ras.• network outages forecast:the most critical parameter for any carrier / telecom operator is to prevent outages of network components.carriers can avoid outage or at least minimize impact just by running algorithms on current data reported by network examination; comparing them with the available historical data. analysis past outages with current network conditions that could probably led to outages.conclusionbig data analysis is more critical in telecom industry as compared to any other; as here subscribers are going to use various services together. also, investment (capex & opex both) on infrastructure is huge on various network components. most importantly services provided by carrier / telecom operator needs to be uninterrupted and seamless. real-time analytics and recommendation in support system enables carrier / telecom operator to enhance not only services to subscriber but will also enhance network performance.

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The API Led Evolution of Fintech – An Insight

Nov 01 2016 by - Pratik Maheriya

the world has more than 25,000 operational and active banks presently. as mobile money and other financial institutes have innovated ways which substitute banking, it has become very crucial for banks to offer all possible services to its subscribers with visceral and intelligible ways. considering all these aspects, fintech is going to be the most booming and innovative domain in upcoming years.there is no doubt, that technology will play a crucial role in all these innovations and ameliorate old legacy systems in financial institutes. one of the key factors to look out for would be the apis (application programming interface). apis are allowing organizations to build products swiftly and in such competent ways that can win over other rivals in the fintech domain. banks have come up with the concept of open apis which they are offering to institutes and startups that work with them closely and help them to increase revenues in secure ways. let me explain with an example - the european union has agreed to adopt a proposal for revising directive on payment services (psd2). this proposal will enable new services which can be referred to as banking-as-a-platform which enhances consumer protection and aims to boost the growth and use of innovative online and mobile payments. the use of public apis would speed up the digital strengthening of banks that is sparked by the rise of fintech companies, and propel them into an era of open banking.the banking industry is vast and disconnected due to countries and their independent regulations. however, the cards issued by the banks are not bound by such restrictions. most of these cards are associated with visa or mastercard, thus allowing cardholders to make transactions from anywhere in the world. bank holds the control of its customers with limited services, however, visa and mastercard has successfully amalgamated the e-commerce and payments domain. with the help of open apis, visa and mastercard are ready to float out their function as fintech providers. for example, visa has made 150+ distinct services available through open apis platform, which covers the technology to create web interfaces, physical card scanners, get real-time forex from visa and many other tools for developers to apply their ideas, while developing exciting new fintech products.taking a cue from visa and mastercard, if banks open up their apis, it will allow businesses and customers to have access to their accurate financial data in real-time. open apis will enable customers to analyze and save on their accounts and retrieve more personalized resources for taking the right call when it comes to banking.while apis are the key to change the financial industry, there is also a flip side. one known issue is that, for each different software language used in the product, api is duplicated and hard coded at times. it incurs multiple code management, versioning, and additional efforts. another limitation could be different apis work on different speeds depending upon the function and processing of data required to accomplish the task. businesses should be aligned in a proper way with respect to apis and their operational behavior in order to deliver an efficient and a hassle-free experience to end customers.in conclusion, i would say that although technologies like apis have some bottlenecks, they improve with time. they are the next big thing to open up the fintech domain to participants like banks and payment aggregators. the open apis will lead fintech domain to a marketplace where financial and other businesses can easily catch out and employ needed api-based solutions, free of hindrance.

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