Profile Uploads On matrimonial Sites Increased to 1.27 million in May 2013 – IAMAI

ecommerceAccording to the latest Internet Economy Watch Report by IAMAI, the number of resume uploads has gone up from 2.82 million in May 2013 as compared to 1.36 million in May 2012, registering a YoY growth of 107 percent. According to the data, the number of profile uploads on matrimonial sites increased to 1.27 million in May 2013 when compared to 0.78 million in the corresponding month last year.

The report found a y-o-y growth of 15 percent in online booking of railway tickets when compared with the numbers of corresponding month last year. Railway tickets booked online in May 2013 were 7.15 million as compared to 6.22 million in May 2012. The online bookings of air tickets witnessed a marginal increase of 12% with 1.87 million bookings in May 2013 as compared to 1.67 million bookings in May 2012.

According to the data captured from major e-tailing sites in the monthly tracker, online visit to branded apparels and designer label segments have increased by 103 percent and 90 percent respectively, when compared to the numbers of corresponding month last year. A significant increase has been registered in the online users visit to mobile segment. The number of visits has increased to 11.38 million in May 2013 from 5.15 million in May 2012, 120 percent YoY growth. The online users visit to spa and restaurant segment increased from 1.02 million in May 2013 to 0.52 million in May 2013, a y-o-y increase of 96 percent.

The monthly tracker further indicates 39.43 million people accessed various e-tailing sites. There were 1405.59 million page views in the category. The user reach for job and matrimonial websites is 22.05 million and 19.43 million respectively with 1195.63 million and 590.62 million respective page views. Online travel segment has reach with 21.98 million reach and 1690.31 million page views.

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By 2015, Internet Economy Of India To Reach US$ 100 billion

internetIndia’s Internet Economy that stands at 1.6% of GDP is slated to US$ 100 billion by 2015, according to a report “Good to Grow: The Environment of Asia’s Internet Business” by Economist Intelligence Unit & sponsored by Asian Internet Coalition.

The report found that one of the key factors that will drive the internet economy in India is digital & mobile advertising. At present, advertising revenue in India is at 7%. But, of the US$ 410m being spent online, 60% goes to Google and Facebook, with only the remaining 40% going to other online players. While online advertising in Asia is forecast to grow at a modest pace (from 24% of worldwide online advertising in 2010 to 26% by 2015) the mobile advertising market is really taking off. By 2015 Asia is expected to account for one-third of the mobile advertising market globally.

At the same time, the report also reveals the dark side of India’s online payment and credit card penetration. On both fronts, India stands at an abysmally low penetration of 2% compared to South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. The Report also comes down heavily on internet censorship that is acting as an impediment to growth.

The report states, “Asia is still finding its way with respect to governance and regulation of the Internet. In some markets such as Vietnam regulation is mostly undeveloped, which can be seen as a blessing since it allows companies to move quickly and freely. In others, such as South Korea, there are stricter regulations which operators say hamper their business. The one area where ample regulation is in place is around liability for carrying content that either contravenes laws or is otherwise frowned upon. These often poorly worded or confusingly interpreted pieces of legislation create uncertainty for business owners, as well as high administrative costs in order to put safeguards in place. India, Thailand and Malaysia stand out as places where censorship is on the rise.”

Speaking at the launch of the report, Laurel West of Economist Intelligence Unit said, “India’s regulatory environment has considerable room for improvement. While the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is responsible for the frequent issue of laws relating to Internet governance, there is no specific regulatory body for content and platform creators. Some, particularly smaller operators, take this as a good thing, since it means fewer barriers to entry, particularly compared with manufacturing and other over-regulated industries. But the downside is that there is no central avenue for communication with businesses that will be affected by changes in the law”.

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Mahindra Comviva Announces The Global Launch Of Its mobiquity payPLUS Solution

mahindra-comvivaYesterday, Mahindra Comviva announced the  global launch of its payPLUS  solution, powered by its award-winning mobiquity platform. payPLUS is an integrated payment solution, that works as a one-stop-shop for all requirements of businesses and enables merchants – small and medium businesses and service professionals, to convert their mobile phone into a Point-of-Sale (POS) device and drive transaction volumes by accepting cards anywhere, anytime.

The payPLUS solution not only equips businesses with an app and a mini-card reader to accept secure card payments but also harnesses the power of cloud technology to extend a range of compelling services to support evolving business requirements.

With built-in cash register capabilities that can be customized as per the business needs, mobiquity payPLUS solution fulfills the need for a quick and reliable user interface that supports and simplifies POS, billing and reconciliation related activities.

Commenting on the global launch, Srinivas Nidugondi, Head of Mobile Financial Solutions at Mahindra Comviva said, “We are excited to launch payPLUS with a clear objective of helping merchants improve customer service and store productivity tremendously. We have built this solution for retail chains, insurance sector, supermarkets, restaurants and any business that has mobility as a driver for retail sales. With the growth of cashless transactions globally, this solution would contribute in accelerating the shift towards cashless economy.”

Key features of the payPLUS solution are:

  • Advance platform compared to a traditional POS, allowing customization or integration with merchant systems
  • Mobility – ability to accept credit/debit cards on the go for merchants
  • Built-in security to protect customers’ card information
  • Cost effective for the acquiring banks/ merchant aggregators
  • Great way to improve customer experience by complementing existing payment systems with-in stores.
  • Multiple complementary services to help merchants enhance their business performance
  • Customizable cash register capabilities to support POS, billing and reconciliation related activities
  • Merchant self-care and support options

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LocalCircles to Connect 50 Delhi Neighborhoods Free of Cost Through Delhi Government's Bhagidari RWA Program

localcirclesCommunity based social network LocalCircles has announced that its patent pending – real identity based online local network – will be available free of cost to the first 50 Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) that are currently enrolled in Government of Delhi’s Bhagidari RWA program. Launched by the Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit in March this year, LocalCircles has already made the platform available to over 75 different neighborhoods in Delhi/NCR.

This local network designed to easily link up residents of a particular neighborhood/s and their respective Resident Welfare Association/s, enables all members of that neighborhood to stay in touch through internet and smart phones – at all times. Such connectivity is particularly useful in case of an emergency situation (e.g. safety, fire, medical, outages etc.) or when there is a need to address any pressing or common neighborhood issues.

Sachin Taparia, Chairman and Managing Director of LocalCircles said,”From issues such as addressing dog menace, to easily finding emergency ENT assistance within minutes in the neighborhood, to residents discussing ideas to making the neighborhood more secure, citizens of Delhi/NCR are already using the platform in many unique ways.

Some Key Highlights are:

  • Connecting residents and RWA members in Delhi/NCR Neighborhood through internet and smart phones.
  • Makes managing a neighborhood easy.
  • Enables residents to quickly seek daily life information and emergency assistance from each other.
  • 50 RWAs of the Delhi Bhagidari RWA program to get this technology free of cost.

LocalCircles will be accepting sign-ups for the Bhagidari Resident Welfare Associations under its free program at the e-SLA camps organized by the Government of Delhi on June 30th, July 7th and July 14th or via email.

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Starbucks Joins Forces With Foodpanda Malaysia

foodpandaIn a bid to provide a greater variety of food delivery choices to Malaysians, Foodpanda Malaysia has tied up with leading international food chains including Starbucks, Tony Roma’s, Old Town White Coffee and Morganfields. This provides an additional sales channel for these restaurants and a digital way to reach out to their customers.

foodpanda.my has become the biggest food delivery service in Malaysia. “We are proud to be working alongside these brands and delivering a greater variety of food delivery choices to Malaysians” says Claudio Abitante, Managing Director of foodpanda.my. He adds “We are still working hard to bring in more brands and better food variety, expect to see all leading international food brands in Malaysia on foodpanda in the next few months.”

Over the last few weeks, Foodpanda has teamed up with market leading restaurant partners all over Asia. Besides Starbucks in Malaysia, the list of foodpanda’s partner restaurants includes Pizza Hut in India, KFC in Pakistan, Subway, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, NYDC, BreadTalk, Tokyo Deli in Vietnam and Scoozi Pizza in Thailand. Further, Foodpanda Singapore has merged with Singapore Dine, making it the number one food delivery service in the country.

To celebrate this tie-up, foodpanda.my will be offering free delivery for these brands from 1st to 8th July 2013.

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Bharti Airtel Partners With Google To Launch 'Free Zone'

airtelBharti Airtel has partnered with Google to launch a service ‘Free Zone’, wherein subscribers will be able to access Google services such as Gmail, Google+ and Google search on their mobile phones without any data cost.

Commenting on this partnership, the company stated,”Free Zone powered by Google, will give Airtel mobile customers access to mobile web search and feature phone friendly versions of Gmail and Google+ in India. The first page of a website linked from search results is provided at no data cost.”

When the users leave the Free Zone to navigate deeper into a website or download an attachment they are informed about the data charges and given the option to purchase an appropriate data package.

Users can have unlimited access to Gmail from their mobile browser but if they click on a link or attachment within the email they are directed to a page where they can purchase a data package. Subscribers can search Internet and access the first page of websites from the results for free. However, if they click further into a website after that, they are directed to a page where they can purchase a data package.

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Mobile Commerce Transactions To exceed $3.2 trillion by 2017-Juniper Research

mobile-commerceAccording to a recent report by Juniper Research, the value of mobile commerce transactions conducted via mobile handsets and tablets will exceed $3.2 trillion by 2017, up from $1.5 trillion this year. The increasing popularity of mobile devices for bill payment is reflected in the fact that the mobile banking sector accounts for the lion’s share of transaction values over the next five years. However, to put global mCommerce into context, total financial transactions in the US alone exceeded $4,400 trillion in 2012.

The report – Mobile Commerce Markets: Sector-by-Sector Trend Analysis & Forecasts 2013-2017 – observed that a number of key industries – retail, airline, financial institutions – were emphasising the importance of the mobile channel as an engagement, delivery and payment mechanism. It cited the activities of Visa and MasterCard with regards to NFC certification and the airline industry’s wider eTicketing initiative as key developments in this regard.

Furthermore, it observed that the introduction of mobile wallet services was providing first time financial access in many emerging markets where the proportion of unbanked adults exceeded 50%. In the same markets, partnerships between OTT storefronts and network operators – enabling payment via carrier billing – were enabling greater access to the digital economy.

However, the report noted that a number of hurdles still needed to be overcome if mCommerce were to achieve its potential in the coming years. According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “A significant minority of retailers have yet to optimise their sites for mobile. Unless retailers ensure a seamless, user-friendly mobile shopping experience, they will fall behind competitors who are already using mobile channels to enhance customer relationships.”

The report also pointed out that lengthy POS (Point Of Sale) infrastructure replacement lifecycles were hampering NFC deployments in both the retail and transport sectors, with players understandably reluctant to upgrade infrastructure without a demonstrable return on investment.

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Mobile App Revenues To Reach $27 billion in 2013 – ABI

abiAccording to a recent report by ABI Research, the mobile app market will value at $27 billion in 2013, as mobile apps continue to be a critical factor in the battle between the mobile OS. As per the report, BlackBerry and Windows are slowly augmenting their apps catalogue as they compete for the 3rd ecosystem, but are still far behind Apple and Android.

Commenting on the insights, ABI senior analyst Josh Flood said,”iOS continues to lead the way, and the OS is projected to generate over two-thirds of the revenues for smartphone and tablet apps in 2013. Although Google’s Android OS recently surpassed Apple in terms of total app numbers, iOS users continue to prove they’re more willing to depart with their cash. The revenue gap between the two leading OSes looks unlikely to close over the next 18 months.”

The report found that app revenues generated from smartphones have significantly dwarfed app revenues from tablets. However, tablet revenues are quickly catching up and it is projected tablet app revenues will overtake smartphones by 2017. The inclination for tablet users to pay more for apps than their smartphones because of the larger screen size and better user experience for gaming and reading are the primary drivers.

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IT and Telecom minister, Kapil Sibal Launches e-governance App Store

egov-app-storeOn Friday, IT and Telecom minister, Kapil Sibal launched an e-governance application store, hosted by the DeitY and designed and developed by the NIC. This appstore will allow citizens to receive information in an efficient and a much-simplified manner.  Core and common applications that have high demand and are replicable across the central and state levels would be available on the e-Gov Appstore, which shall be hosted on the National Cloud.

The appstore will start with 20 apps, of which ‘roughly half’ will be directly accessible to the public (g2c). The number is expected to rise to 100 within three years. They are categorized into ‘runnable’ and ‘downloadable’ apps in which citizens can directly use all he runnable apps but maybe restricted in using the downloadable apps. The ‘government to government’ (g2g) apps can be open to the public if it is made runnable by the concerned department.

The criteria for the applications included a ‘citizen-centric focus’ with high transactional value in which private players are allowed to host. Broadly the downloading of apps is categorized into ‘freely-downloadable apps’, ‘downloadable with cost apps’ and ‘restricted apps’, which can only be used by the government and the judiciary.

Sharing of applications, search for applications, basic information about an application when selected, user feedback and rating of an application, downloading of an application after authentication of user and a ‘two level approval process’ for contributing applications are some of the features provided in the appstore site.

This e-Gov Appstore will be augmented to include applications and components developed by various departments and agencies at Centre and States and by private players; and a complete eco-system will be established (including mechanism for funding, charge back, contract management, SLAs) and will become a part of the GI Cloud initiative under Government of India.

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Amazon Announces Login with Amazon to Reduce Sign-In Friction

amazonOn Wednesday, Amazon launched Login with Amazon, a new service that will enable the over 200 million active Amazon customers to securely and simply login to apps, games, and websites. Login with Amazon will allow developers to easily reduce sign-in friction for their customers, leading to higher engagement and order conversion.

Login with Amazon reduces sign-in friction by eliminating the need for users to create an account and password, and instead allows them to sign-in using their existing Amazon account information. Amazon customers can choose to share certain attributes of their account profile with apps, games, and websites by using Login with Amazon.

As early adopters of Login with Amazon, Zappos and Woot, both Amazon subsidiaries, saw significant customer adoption. Zappos saw 40 percent of its new customers choose to sign-in to Zappos.com with an Amazon account. Woot found that new customers picked Login with Amazon two times more often than any other social login on their site, and those customers had the highest rate of order conversion.

Login with Amazon is available at no charge to developers of apps, games, and websites. The service is easy to integrate, as developers can typically go from registration to launch in a matter of hours. It is based on the OAuth 2.0 authorization framework, allowing developers to leverage a widely-adopted open protocol.

Login with Amazon is the latest offering in an array of services that make Amazon the most complete end-to-end ecosystem for developers building, monetizing and marketing their apps and games. These capabilities include:

  • The ability for app developers to use Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) technology platform for their infrastructure needs. Building blocks such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon DynamoDB allow developers to focus on what differentiates their app rather than the undifferentiated heavy lifting of infrastructure.
  • GameCircle, which includes capabilities like Achievements, Leaderboards, Friends and Whispersync for syncing games across devices, and leads to better engagement with games.
  •  In-App Purchasing on Kindle Fire, Mac, PC and web-based games. This enables developers to offer items in their apps and games while allowing their end users to simply use their Amazon accounts to make the purchase.
  •  A/B Testing, which helps developers improve app functionality with the ability to simultaneously test two different in-app experiences to determine which is more successful prior to launching to a broad audience.
  •  Game Connect, which lets developers list their virtual goods for sale on Amazon, increasing discoverability of their games and making the purchase of virtual goods as easy and convenient as possible for customers, leading to increased monetization for developers.
  •  Amazon AppStore submission for distribution to nearly 200 countries globally enables developers to reach millions of Amazon customers worldwide.

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