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Virus boosts digital payments in India where cash ban failed

Virus boosts digital payments in India where cash ban failed

Finance
By Vrishti Beniwal and Suvashree GhoshThe coronavirus outbreak may finally accomplish what India’s shock demonetization four years ago failed to achieve: Use of digital payments is soaring for everything from groceries, electricity bills and cab fares. The value of transactions on the Unified Payments Interface, a platform created by India’s largest banks in 2016, reached an all-time high last month as people feared to handle banknotes amid the pandemic. Electronic fund transfers from banks, which had dropped in April as economic activity slowed almost to a halt, have also rebounded. “People who have never paid a bill online are paying online, people who have never bought groceries online are buying online,” said Nityanand Sharma, chief executive officer of Get Simpl Technologies Pvt Ltd.,
India blocks TicTok, WeChat, dozens of other Chinese apps

India blocks TicTok, WeChat, dozens of other Chinese apps

World
June 29 (UPI) -- Citing cybersecurity concerns, India blocked Internet access to 59 apps originating in China, including TikTok, WeChat and other entertainment and messaging applications, the government said Monday. The apps on iOs and Android platforms are suspected of stealing data and violating privacy of Indian users, the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information said in a statement. The apps "are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, [the] defense of India and the security of state and public order," the ministry said. Advertisement TikTok, owned by ByteDance, pairs music with short videos. The app is popular with Indian users, who have downloaded 611 million TikTok installations, or about 30 percent of the 2 billion total worldwide, according to marketing websi...
Will ensure banks pass on rate cut benefits to consumer: FM to India Inc

Will ensure banks pass on rate cut benefits to consumer: FM to India Inc

Finance
NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has assured that she will ensure banks pass on the rate cut benefits to consumers, so the interest burden on them eases, industry body PHDCCI said on Friday. She was addressing members of the PHD Chamber of Commerce through a video conference here. "Hon'ble @FinMinIndia @nsitharaman assured that she will personally ensure that #banks transfer benefits of the #ratecuts to end consumers at the earliest," PHDCCI said in a tweet. Last month, the RBI slashed the benchmark repurchase (repo) rate, the price at which banks borrow from the central bank, by 40 basis points to a historic low of 4 per cent. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had said monetary policy transmission to banks' lending rates has continued to improve. "The 1 year median marginal c...
Less than 4% of Covid-19 patients in India have insurance

Less than 4% of Covid-19 patients in India have insurance

Finance
BENGALURU: In the coronavirus era, policymakers are worried that the number of Covid-19 health insurance claims in India is only about 8,500 with a claim amount of Rs 135 crore. This is against total cases of 2.17 lakh - which means only 4% of people getting admitted have health insurance, as per data being submitted to the Union finance and health ministry on June 4, 2020. The life insurance industry has also been reporting claims to the ministry and so far has reported 100 death claims of 6,088 people who died of coronavirus in India -- which is just 2% of total deaths. This has led to a debate between IRDAI and insurers that life insurance in India could be under-penetrated in comparison to health; and whether public policy in the era of Coronavirus has to be reframed to ensure adequate...
WhatsApp gets a raw deal from India in payments

WhatsApp gets a raw deal from India in payments

Finance
By Andy MukherjeeMoney is many things, but it’s not fake news. So why block WhatsApp from spreading it around? India is the laboratory of choice for Western tech firms to test out their mobile payment capabilities so they can be rolled out from Bangladesh to Nigeria. Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg entered the fray two years ago by enabling the popular messaging service WhatsApp to send and receive money in India. But the beta version, limited to 1 million users, keeps getting blocked from becoming a full-fledged service. Meanwhile, rivals such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google Pay, Walmart Inc.-owned PhonePe and Softbank Group Corp.-backed Paytm are dominating India’s mobile transfers landscape. The troika led with 75 million, 60 million and 30 million customers transacting last month, respecti