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China-based ecommerce company, JD.com has disclosed plans to partner with smaller e-commerce players in Indonesia, according to sources from DEALSTREETASIA.

 

Indonesia is fertile ground for ecommerce businesses, with a potential ecommerce market of USD 65 billion by 2020, according to Macquarie Research. This growth is also driven by the country’s legal framework, which now allows 100% foreign ownership in ecommerce companies for investments above USD 7.53 million.

 

JD.com, among other China-based ecommerce companies, has taken note of the ecommerce sector’s potential in Indonesia. According to inside sources, cited by DEALSTREETASIA, the company is planning to partner with several Indonesia-based online retailers as well as to invest in several ecommerce niche players.

 

Potential partners among the smaller ecommerce companies are Fabelio, an online furniture marketplace, and Laku6, a used phone ecommerce website.

 

JD.com already has a presence in the archipelago offering deliveries to all of Java through its Indonesia website. It also plans to expand to the island of Sumatra by the end of 2017 and the company is investing heavily in its delivery network. According to DEALSTREETASIA, JD.com wants to build warehouses across every key city in Indonesia.

 

Samsung Pay has announced that users will be able to use PayPal in-app, in-store and online.

 

Users can add their PayPal accounts to Samsung Pay and use their PayPal wallet anywhere Samsung Pay is accepted. And because it uses proprietary MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology, which allows you to use Samsung Pay at terminals that don’t accept NFC, it’s accepted in many places. Merchants will also be able to accept Samsung Pay online through PayPal’s Braintree.

 

Using PayPal wallet with Samsung Pay is only currently available in the US. However, Samsung is working on expanding PayPal wallet support to the 18 other markets it serves, including Spain, South Korea, China and India, soon.

 

PayPal has been moving more and more into mobile payment methods. With these integrations, you may soon be able to use your PayPal account just like a real bank account.

 

WhatsApp will soon facilitate instant money transfer via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transaction system, shows a new beta update by the mobile messaging platform.

 

According to a blog website WABetaInfo, WhatsApp was finally giving shape to its plans towards bank-to-bank transfer using the UPI system.

 

In the new version ‘2.17.295’ through the Google Play Beta Programme, it says: “WhatsApp Payments: the immediate bank-to-bank transfer with UPI.”

 

The official “WhatsApp Payments” section for Android is still under development. “In order to use WhatsApp Payments, you will have to accept the WhatsApp Payments and Bank Terms and Privacy Policy,” the blog added.

 

Launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), UPI facilitates the instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platform. With over 200 million monthly active users (MAUs), WhatsApp has been in the news for working towards a UPI-based interface in its platform.

 

According to media reports, WhatsApp is already in talks with the NPCI and a few banks to facilitate financial transactions via UPI.

 

Some mobile messaging platforms like WeChat and Hike Messenger already support UPI-based payment services.

For years now, Linux has earned a reputation as a popular platform among IT enthusiasts. It’s attracted everyone from system administrators to experimenting students. Yet, not enough is said about Linux power as a programming platform. Here are five reasons why this open source operating system should be at the top of your list when choosing a development environment.

 


1. It’s Free

No need to fork out a small fortune to buy software or wonder whether your copy is licensed. Linux is free and this makes it practical for budding novices and seasoned gurus alike. 

The fact that it’s free also takes away the pressure to ‘make it work’. When you purchase software, you have a sense of obligation to make sure your investment was not in vain. A free OS gives you the freedom to tap into your programming creativity since you have much less to lose. 

 

2. Easy to Install

An average computer user has never installed an operating system. Some users may not even understand the concept of an OS and would see it as too technical a subject. 

As a programmer though, installation of the OS and applications is a fairly basic skill. You already have the foundation knowledge required to search for an appropriate Linux distro, download the ISO, burn it onto a USB drive, and follow the screen prompts. Installing Linux isn’t much different from installing Windows.

 

3. Tinker at Will

If you’re going to develop your programming skills, you’ll want to take advantage of any chance to put your technical knowledge to the test. Access to source code is one area Linux has a major advantage over proprietary systems such as Windows. From the kernel to the graphical interface, nearly all parts of the Linux OS can be tweaked.

Whereas very few people will attain the ability to understand every aspect of Linux, the freedom to experiment is one of the best ways to learn. Understanding the source code also gives you the background knowledge necessary to build great applications.

 

4. Supports Major Programming Languages

Ruby, Python, Perl, PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Java, C and C++ are just some of the major languages supported by Linux. There are a few disappointments such as Visual Basic which only works on Windows. For the most part though, any language that is not purpose built for a specific OS will work on Linux.

In instances where the language isn’t installed by default, you can obtain the packages from the distro’s repositories.

 

5. Linux Knowledge is a Desirable Skill

Every organization values multi-skilled personnel since this reduces the overall number of persons they need to hire. Whether it’s a programmer knowing how to work with a 1000 ft cat 6 spool or one who has no problem overseeing an enterprise server, extra skills curry favor with potential employers.

If you are looking for a programming job and are keen to have a leg up on other applicants, understanding how Linux works will be an added advantage.

Even if you are already using another development environment, it doesn’t hurt to find out whether Linux is a better fit for your programming needs. You’ll grow your technical skills and save a considerable amount of cash in the long-term. The investment does pay off.

 

 

The Google I/O conference this year saw the announcement of the Mi Box, the first 4K capable Android TV set top box to be available in the U.S. The announcement comes as Android TV is getting a makeover, with a bevy of new apps.

 

The Mi Box is certainly not the company’s first foray into making set-top boxes, as it has sold over 10 million smart TVs and set-top boxes in China since 2013.

 

Inside, the Mi Box is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and Mali 450 GPU backed by 2GB DDR3 RAM and 8GB eMMC flash. This enables it to display 4K UHD content at 60 FPS. The set-top-box also supports the latest HDR10 standard and the updated HDMI 2.0a specification.

 

Mi Box ships with the official YouTube app, with more apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Pandora, Vudu and more available on Google Play. It also comes with a Bluetooth remote control that supports voice search and commands.

 

With the Mi Game Controller, which is sold separately, users can also play games on the Mi Box.

 

Sadly, there is no information regarding price and availability of the Mi Box, but it is certain that this set-top box will be available to the U.S. market first.

China’s central bank has ordered online payment groups to operate through a centralized clearing house, a move likely to undercut the dominance of Ant Financial and Tencent by forcing them to share valuable transaction data with competitors.

 

China is the world leader in mobile payments, with transaction volumes rising nearly fivefold last year to Rmb59tn ($8.8tn), according to iResearch. They are now widely used for everything from high-street shopping to peer-to-peer lending. 

 

In addition to generating fees directly, online and mobile payments are a source of valuable data that can be used for such purposes as targeted advertising and credit scoring. 

 

Now the People’s Bank of China is requiring all third-party payment companies to channel payments through a new clearing house by next June, according to a document sent to payment companies on August 4 and seen by the Financial Times. 

 

“The launch of this clearing house is a one-sided loss for the payment institutions. Originally, payment data were proprietary information for them. Now it’s connected to the clearing house, which will probably share it with other partners,” said Zhang Yi, fintech analyst at iResearch, a consultancy.

 

Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of Alibaba Group, is the market leader in mobile payments, with its Alipay unit processing 54 per cent share of all transactions in the first quarter of the year, according to iResearch. WeChat Pay, linked to Tencent’s mobile messaging app, held a 40 per cent share. 

 

Mr Zhang believes the central bank wants to aid commercial banks in obtaining customer data and prevent Alipay and Tencent from gaining excessive market power. 

 

Hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers and businesses have linked their Alipay or WeChat Pay accounts to their commercial bank accounts, enabling third-party payments to be credited and debited seamlessly. 

 

But, unlike swiping a bank card, when an Alipay or WeChat user makes a purchase, banks do not obtain crucial payment details such as the merchant’s name and location. Instead, the bank record shows Alipay or WeChat as the recipient. 

 

Currently, payment groups maintain separate bilateral relationships with commercial banks to facilitate payments to or from users’ bank accounts. But the latest PBoC instructions require all payment companies to connect to the clearing house by October 15 and to channel all payments through it by June 30, according to the document. 

 

“We are actively participating in the preparation work and will complete the adjustment according to the requirements of central bank,” Ant Financial spokesman Anna Wang told the FT. 

 

The PBoC and Tencent did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. 

 

Seven units of the PBoC own 37 per cent of the clearing house, known as the Online Settlement Platform for Non-Bank Payment Institutions, according to Caixin, a financial news website. Payment units of Ant Financial and Tencent each own 9.6 per cent, while 36 smaller third-party payment companies own the remaining equity. 

 

Established last year, the clearing house has capital of Rmb2bn. It began testing in March and around 300 commercial banks are already connected. 

 

Beyond data sharing, the new clearing house will also enable the PBoC to monitor online payments directly without requesting data from processors, strengthening their ability to detect money laundering and other illicit transactions. 

 

“Some third-party payment companies have used their licences to create channels for illegal payments. There really is a need to strengthen anti-money laundering and other regulation,” said Wang Pengbo, analyst at Analysys International.

 

Travel media company Lonely Planet has introduced a new mobile app called Trips by Lonely Planet. The app provides modern travelers with a simple and intuitive way to share their travel experiences by uploading content directly from their camera roll, and create stories to describe their adventures.

 

On the app, travelers can ‘Like’ trips, find new trips, follow other travelers, and more. Lonely Planet intends to make Trips an independent app that provides users with access to great shared experiences, as they typically get on social media to do research when planning a trip. Not only that, writers and editors from Lonely Planet contribute to the app by curating top suggestions for trips.

 

Trips by Lonely Planet can be downloaded for free on the iOS App Store and Google Play.

 

More information on the app can be found here.


 Visa has launched a new payment system, called mVisa, which enables mobile payments between merchants and customers.

 

The system is based primarily on QR codes, but it also works with numerical codes for future phones. When making a purchase with mVisa, a consumer uses a smartphone to scan a QR code, which triggers a transfer from the consumer’s bank account to the merchant.

 

According to Visa, the mobile payments system works regardless of the customer and merchant’s respective banks, and it operates independent of their MNO services. It is also compliant with EMVCo’s newly published QR Code Payment Specifications.

 

The mVisa platform is targeted to merchants looking for a cheap and easy means of enabling mobile payments for their customers. Visa says that support for the platform is available in India, Kenya, and Nigeria, and that it is now working to extend the service in 12 additional countries including Cambodia, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam.

 

If you were a child in the nineties, you probably were on your computer for the sole purpose of getting on Microsoft Paint. Sadly, the iconic graphics tool that defined some of our earliest computer experiences will be omitted from the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The newly-deprecated tool first existed as a 1-bit monochrome feature during the Windows 1.0 era in 1985.

 

While many of us are mourning its impending removal, Microsoft does say that Paint will be integrated into its spin-off, Paint 3D. Further, Microsoft has not specified as to when the tool will be removed.

 

Paint is not dead yet, so we should make the best of it while it’s still around. If you just can’t say goodbye to Paint, there’s always the option not to install the update when it’s available.

 

Tencent has opened its credit scoring system to limited group users on QQ, WeChat’s older sibling.

 

This marks a big step forward for Tencent:  not only does this fill in a glaring gap in their product lineup, it also puts them in direct competition with Alibaba’s Sesame Credit.

 

According to previous screenshots from early testers, the credit scores—ranging from a maximum of 850 points and a minimum of 300 points—were calculated from five indexes: social connections, security, wealth, the ability to honor an agreement, and consumption behavior.

 

Social data constitutes a major part of Tencent Credit’s rating system. The data collected from WeChat and QQ—which claim 900 million and 860 million monthly active users respectively. The consumption data was mainly gathered through Mobile QQ and WeChat payment.

 

Tencent is also partnering with financial institutions like WeBank, China Construction Bank and local service institutions for complementing the credit rating mechanism.

 

Both Alibaba and Tencent have set early sights on the credit scoring sector, an essential component for financial services to solve the rising online security issues by leveraging big data. In 2014, when Alibaba’s Ant Financial was tinkering on Sesame Credit, Tencent also laid out in the sector with plans to launch a similar product. Both the companies obtained government approval to run their consumer credit rating services two years ago.