Will Qualcomm’s acquisition of Nuvia fuel growth?

Global wireless technology services company Qualcomm’s acquisition of Nuvia has gotten the thumbs up from its ecosystem partners who believe that it will drive business growth going forward.

On January 14, Qualcomm announced the acquisition of chipmaking company Nuvia for a jaw-dropping $1.4 billion.

At a time where the data center industry is seeing an unprecedented surge in demand due to the pandemic, major players in the chipmaking industry are making significant investments to increase their share in the chip manufacturing market.

Qualcomm’s bet on Nuvia, therefore, also shows the company’s determination to develop its own processors to power next-generation tech services such as 5G, which President and CEO Cristiano Amon sees as “significant opportunities for Qualcomm”.

In the past, Qualcomm has made around 4 dozen acquisitions and with Nuvia, it is looking to take on Intel, AMD and Apple.

“It’s exciting to see Nuvia join the Qualcomm team. Moving forward, we have an incredible opportunity to empower our customers across the Windows ecosystem,” said Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Microsoft. “With Nuvia joining the Qualcomm team, we look forward to continuing to innovate and building incredible experiences together. Qualcomm’s commitment to platform technology will help us offer premium smartphone performance to our users around the world,” stated ΤM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.

Another partner, Google, pointed out that compute performance, connectivity and power efficiency are critical ingredients that make the billions of Android and Chrome OS devices shine. According to Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP Platforms & Ecosystems, Google, the addition of Nuvia extends Qualcomm’s capabilities in these three areas and it is exciting to see the next generation of Snapdragon with Nuvia.

The acquisition of Nuvia will enable Qualcomm to continue to advance Snapdragon’s industry leadership and help Acer to continue to innovate and bring high performance, 5G connected devices to our customers globally,” said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. S.Y. Hsu, co-CEO of ASUS, pointed out that it is excited for the future of our partnership as Qualcomm advances and expands its portfolio and capabilities with the addition of Nuvia.

Bullish on auto sector

It is not the tech partners who seem to be bullish over Qualcomm’s acquisition. Qualcomm’s partner, Bosch, considers the adoption of new in-vehicle services and capabilities as one major driver for growth. “We see the need for high performance, power efficient platforms and appreciate Qualcomm’s ambition to push the boundaries of innovation even further,” said Dr. Andree Zahir, SVP for Infotainment and Connectivity at Bosch. Masashige Mizuyama, Chief Technology Officer, Automotive Company, Panasonic Corporation agrees. “Innovation in the automotive market is occurring at an accelerated pace,” he said.

Peter Popp, Head of Purchasing in Vehicle Networking and Information at Continental is of the view that with the addition of Nuvia it is looking to bring advanced capabilities to next generation vehicles.

“We look forward to Nuvia joining the Qualcomm team as we continue to work together to deliver advanced in-vehicle services and technologies for the customers of our next-generation vehicles,” said Dan Nicholson, VP, Global Electrification, Controls, SW Electronics at General Motors.

The addition of the Nuvia team will enable Qualcomm to continue to consolidate compute and connectivity ECUs into high performance, power efficient platforms to push the boundaries of innovation even further, highlighted Jin-Yong Kim, President of Vehicle components Solutions (VS) Company, LG Electronics Inc.

Nuvia: A two-year old billion dollar baby

Qualcomm’s move to acquire Nuvia for a staggering $1.4 billion is due to the credentials of the company’s founders. Gerard Williams III, John Bruno, and Manu Gulati are former engineers at Apple, where they were involved in designing Apple’s iconic A-series chips that power the iPhone and iPad.

With this acquisition, the three co-founders and their employees will be joining Qualcomm. “CPU performance leadership will be critical in defining and delivering on the next era of computing innovation,” said Williams.

Around 60% of global firms ready for digital transformation: Capgemini Research

Nearly, two thirds of organizations today have digital and leadership capabilities required to successfully implement digital transformation. According to Digital Mastery 2020: How organizations have progressed in their digital transformations over the past two years–a new report by the Capgemini Research Institute, around 62 per cent of the organizations believed they were capable of digital transformation and have the leadership capabilities to do so, an increase from 36 per cent in two years.

In May and June 2020, the Capgemini Research Institute surveyed 1,000 executives from organizations with at least $1 billion in revenue across sectors to gauge their views on the maturity of their organization’s digital and leadership capabilities required for digital transformation. Twenty per cent of the organizations reported revenue of more than $20 billion in FY 2019.

Large organizations, with $10 billion or more in revenue, have been found to have an edge in both digital and leadership capabilities. Some 68 per cent of these organizations say they have the required digital capabilities, compared with 55 per cent of those with less than $10 billion in revenue. When it comes to leadership capabilities the gap is similar: 57 per cent of smaller organizations say they have the required leadership capabilities, marginally lower than the overall average of 62 per cent and the 70 per cent seen among large organizations.

To understand how organizations progressed their digital capabilities in the past two years, Capgemini examined average ratings across four categories: talent and organization, operations, business model innovation, and customer experience (CX). Capgemini’s 2020 research, in comparison with its 2018 research on digital mastery, found that while all organizations are doing better in their digital transformation journeys in 2020, digital masters – organizations with a high level of mastery across digital and leadership capabilities – are widening the gap with their competitors.

COVID-19 has been a powerful accelerator, and, given the urgency for change, organizations have become more enthusiastic and optimistic about the maturity of their capabilities. Alongside this, organizations have taken time since 2018 to evaluate the challenges that stand in the way of success, increasing their investment in digital transformation and their adoption of emerging technologies and putting a renewed focus on talent and culture.

From a sector perspective, every industry has progressed in both its digital and leadership capabilities in the past two years, the research said. Retail now surpasses all other sectors, with 73 per cent of retail organizations saying they have the digital capabilities required for transformation, up from 37 per cent two years ago.

After retail, the telecom sector follows with 71 per cent of organizations saying they have the digital capabilities required. Telecom operators are reshaping the consumer value proposition by creating full-fledged digital experiences. The automotive sector leads in terms of capability growth, having increased its digital capabilities to 69 per cent per cent from 32 per cent in 2018.

Talent and culture determinants

Capgemini’s 2018 research had revealed that the people dimension was a significant barrier to digital transformation, as organisations failed to bring employees along in the transformation journey. However, more organizations today involve employees in their digital initiatives: 63 per cent in 2020, up from 36 per cent in 2018.

Despite this progress, when it comes to skill building, Capgemini found less than half of organizations (48 per cent) are investing in building soft skills such as emotional intelligence, adaptability, and collaboration. Capgemini’s research also consistently found that culture is a top barrier to successful digital transformation, with some organizations, for example, not having a culture where new ideas and experimentation are valued.

Accelerating investments in sustainability

The report highlights that while organizations must keep their eye on factors such as customer experience, operations and business technology, they should also place emphasis on sustainability and their broader purpose, which has become important for customers and employees alike. Consumers are increasingly concerned about environmental footprint and climate change impact and want to make a difference with their actions – 78 per cent of consumers agree that companies have a larger role to play in society beyond their self-interests. Interestingly, research found that currently only 45 per cent of organizations are accelerating sustainability investments, projects, and commitment.

To advance their digital transformation journey further, the report recommends that organizations reinvent the employee experience, leveraging the fluid workforce and ensuring employees’ social contracts align with the digital age. In addition, they should build robust data and platform capabilities, scale new business and engagement models and embed purpose and sustainability as a core part of the business, making it part of the organizational culture and viewing technology from the twin aspects of digital transformation and sustainability.

The progress made in building the necessary digital and leadership capabilities in just two years is striking which led us to undertake this research. The continued rapid pace of technology innovation and business model disruption over the past two years – with COVID-19 forcing many companies to reinvent themselves – has possibly driven this advancement,”said Claudia Crummenerl, Managing Director, People and Organization at Capgemini Invent.

“While organizations have progressed on a wide variety of measures across areas such as customer experience, operations, business and technology, many are still challenged to incorporate purpose and sustainability into their transformation strategies. By reinventing the employee experience and ways of working, embedding purpose into the operating model, truly becoming a data-powered enterprise, and scaling new business models beyond the pilot stage, organizations can attain digital maturity and demonstrate the resilience required to adapt to future uncertainties,” Crummenerl added.

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STT GDC forms JV with Hyosung Heavy Industries to Develop and Operate Data Centers

ST Telemedia Global Data Centres has forayed into the South Korean market and has partnered with Hyosung Heavy Industries to develop and operate data centers.

This partnership will be done through a joint venture, wherein 60 per cent of the partnership will be held by STT GDC and the remaining 40 per cent by Hyosung Heavy Industries.

STT GDC is one of the leading data centre service providers based out of Singapore. Hyosung Heavy Industries is a leading high voltage electrical equipment manufacturing and construction company in Korea.

Further, both the companies will jointly develop and operate their first carrier-neutral data centre campus in, South Korea, according to company officials.

South Korea ranks among the world’s most digitally competitive economies and we are delighted to be partnering Hyosung Heavy Industries as we expand into South Korea, growing our presence in Asia to five markets. Hyosung Heavy Industries has strong local capabilities in power, industrial systems and construction technology.

Leveraging our global track record in designing, constructing and operating state-of-the-art, carrier-neutral data centres, we are well poised to support the increasing demands from our customers and businesses in the country and region, brought about by the rising adoption and consumption of cloud and digital services globally,” said Bruno Lopez, Group CEO, ST Telemedia Global Data Centres.

Hyosung Heavy Industries has been focused and reputed for decades in providing power, industrial systems and construction technology in various residential, commercial and industrial facilities. We have observed the data centre industry in South Korea to be fast-growing on the back of increasing demand for digital solutions and services. With our long-standing expertise and leveraging STT GDC’s operational Data Centre excellence, we are excited to extend our capabilities and venture into building green data centres to support the surging demands of IT infrastructure sustainably,” said Takeshi Yokota, Representative Director of Hyosung Heavy Industries.

The joint venture is in the final stages of securing a land site in Greater Seoul, South Korea. Once finalised, the new data centres will be built to the highest quality standards and will be one of the few carrier-neutral, high-capacity facilities in South Korea capable of serving both hyperscale and retail colocation customer requirements, according to a company statement.

South Korea leads the world in ICT adoption and 5G network rollout, and tops Asian countries with an Internet penetration rate of 96 per cent as of January 2020, while its number of mobile connections was equivalent to 118 per cent of its population. The country’s public cloud market is expected to double in size over five years from $1.5 billion in 2018 to $3.1 billion in 2023, which translates into a compound annual growth rate of 15 per cent with digital native businesses, and media and gaming companies driving spend in South Korea’s public cloud market.

The world’s first commercial 5G network was launched in South Korea in 2019. With faster data speeds, it enables businesses and consumers alike to enjoy the benefits of consistent ultra-low latency and high quality real-time digital content and services such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and virtual reality. It is an opportune time for us to expand our offerings and delve into the data center business based on our collective industrial capabilities with STT GDC, who is recognised as a leading data center provider in Asia, to build the infrastructure needed for the thriving digital economy,” said Hyun-Joon Cho, Chairman, Hyosung Group.

Also, this partnership marks the continuing expansion of STT GDC’s data centre footprint globally particularly in Asia, with strong bases in China, India and Southeast Asia markets.

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WhatsApp pushes privacy policy deadline to May 15

WhatsApp has pushed back its new privacy policy deadline to May 15, after it came under intense pressure from users.

The deadline was for accepting the tweak to its terms of service, involving sharing data with Facebook servers. Instead, Facebook in a blog said that it would go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.

“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15, ” it said.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp users received a notification that it was preparing a new privacy policy and terms, and it reserved the right to share some user data with the Facebook app.

This sparked a global outrage and resulted in people moving to alternative apps such as Telegram and Signal. Telegram in a notification said that since the last few days around 25 million new users  joined the platform.

“WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. It’s why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook, it said. With these updates, none of that is changing. Instead, the update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” it added.

“There is a need for stronger, comprehensive legislation and propels the privacy-conscious users to address the legal vacuum left unattended otherwise. In view of the fast-evolving online commercial industry, it is imperative to establish an Authority that helps identify and penalize offenders so as to materialize Privacy in letter and spirit and save it from being left as a half-baked promise,” stated Sonam Chandwani, the Managing Partner at KS Legal & Associates.

Although WhatsApp attempted to assure sophisticated and secure data sharing practices with Facebook with no impact on private communication across the world, the privacy update allows Whatsapp businesses to choose to receive secure hosting services from Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp.

“However, the recent notification has led to a severe loss of confidence in Whatsapp by its loyal users. Further, the privacy laws in India are lacking in the fight against rising data breaches and cyber attacks in an increasingly digitized business space amidst the pandemic,” said Chandwani.

Huawei launches Smart PV solution

Huawei FusionSolar, the Smart PV solution from Huawei has launched an integrated system for residential solar energy solution.
This announcement was made at its launch event in Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2020, Huawei delivered a total capacity of 4.3 GW inverters in Vietnam. To further develop the market, Huawei FusionSolar launches a new range of products for a complete integrated system for Vietnamese homeowners including Smart Energy Controller SUN2000-2-5KTL-L1 and SUN2000-5-10KTL-M1, ESS (Energy Storage System) LUNA2000-5/10/15-S0 and Smart PV Optimizer SUN2000-450W-P.

Alen Zhang, Sales Director of Huawei FusionSolar Vietnam said: “With 30 years of expertise in digital information technology, we’ve incorporated many latest ICT technologies for optimal power generation, in building the foundation for solar to become the main energy source. Vietnam is a country with high solar power potential and we look forward to contributing towards greater adoption of solar energy among Vietnamese families with Huawei FusionSolar solutions”.

When it comes to residential PV rooftop systems, residential installers are usually expected to provide homeowners with a robust, cost-effective, self-consumption system that remains highly efficient, flexible and easy to install, and comes with smart applications and reliable customer service. Huawei’s new range of products has been developed to focus on delivering three main benefits: optimal electricity cost, active safety and better experience.

Optimal Electricity Cost
PV energy generated by solar panels meets the electricity demand of homes in the daytime, and the surplus energy generated is used to charge batteries, which then discharges to meet peak electricity consumption in the night time. In this way, residential PV systems could achieve high self-consumption levels and this is where Huawei’s residential intelligent battery Smart String ESS LUNA2000-5/10/15-S0 could truly shine. Each battery pack has a built-in energy optimizer and supports independent charge and discharge management.

The AI-Powered Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) proactively mitigate fire risk with rapid shutdown technologies achieving zero voltage on the rooftop and zero arc risks for dual-layer protection. Huawei is the first in the industry to integrate the AI algorithm into AFCI, enabling three unique features: accurate arc fault detection via local neural network algorithm, speedy arc fault protection by inverter shutdown in 0.5s which is far below 2.5s which is stipulated in UL1699B, and pinpointing arc fault positioning, saving 80 per cent onsite troubleshooting time and cost.

The FusionSolar inverter portfolio consists of single-phase (Smart Energy Controller SUN2000-2-5KTL-L1) and three-phase (Smart Energy Controller SUN2000-5-10KTL-M1) products, both are compatible with Huawei’s SUN2000-450W-P power optimizer.

The Smart PV Management System, available in both web portal and mobile application, provides real-time energy flow and energy balance readings, and PV panel-level performance management.

ATMs at Japan’s Lawson Bank to accept SBI Remit’s international money transfer

International remittance services provider SBI Remit Corporation and Lawson Bank, said that ATMs at Japan’s Lawson Bank will accept SBI Remit’s international money transfer service.

SBI Remit is the largest money transfer provider in Japan with over 10 billion Japanese yen monthly, with 90 per cent of its customers being foreigners living in Japan, the company said in a statement.

Through the partnership with Lawson Bank, its customers can use the “Remit Card” to make international money transfers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and at more than 13,400 Lawson Bank ATMs, according to SBI Holdings.

The ATMs are located in Lawson convenience stores throughout Japan and offer an international money transfer service that allows customers to send money to more than 220 countries and regions around the world in as little as 10 minutes.”

SBI Remit can be used to send money to students abroad, to send living expenses to family members, or to send money to a local agent if users do not have a bank account abroad.

In a letter published on Ripplenet, SBI remit’s customers would be enabled to benefit from Lawson’s ATM network without even holding an account with the bank. The users are just required to have SBI’s “remit card” to utilize Lawson’s quality remittance services through its 13,400 ATMs.

The Lawson bank offers its services in 220 countries so, Bank’s scope will also enable customers to make transactions all over the world at any time or day of the week including on public holidays as well. The network only takes 10 minutes to perform the transaction no matter how far the two dealing parties are.

Ripple partners with Malaysia’s Mobile Money and Bangladesh’s bKash for remittance

Ripple has signed a deal with Malaysia’s Mobile Money and Bangladesh’s bKash to power a wallet-to-wallet remittance corridor between the two countries.

As a part of the deal, this wallet-to-wallet remittance corridor will use RippleNet, Ripple’s Distributed Ledger Technology-based global payments network, to enable Mobile Money and bKash to offer wallet-to-wallet transactions. Mutual Trust Bank will work as the local banking partner in Bangladesh to perform the remittance settlement, according to company executives.

Kamal Quadir, CEO, bKash, said: “This partnership will bring great convenience to both the recipients and senders, and contribute further to our national economy by encouraging inward foreign remittance flow through legal channels.”

Navin Gupta, MD, South Asia and Mena, Ripple, said: “As Ripple is bolstering our presence in South Asia, we are excited to contribute to the infrastructure of the region to transform the way cross-border payments are executed.”

Bangladesh has the third largest remittance flows in South Asia, with Malaysia ranking as one of the top five sources of remittances for the country.

Countries such as Bangladesh and India have a large number of people working abroad and often remit a significant amount of their earnings back home. This market used to be dominated by the likes of Western Union and others.

In December 2020, Federal Bank entered into a tie-up with OrbitRemit Limited, a money transfer company, to facilitate money transfer from New Zealand to India. OrbitRemit Limited, a leading full-service provider based out of New Zealand, has its presence in other countries like Australia & UK, currently providing remittance services to around 39 countries worldwide.

Nilufer Mullanfiroze, Senior Vice President and  Country Head –
Deposits, Cards and Unsecured Lending, Federal Bank had said that Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and small businesses in New Zealand will now enjoy a modern, low cost, fast, easy and more reliable
way of transferring money to India. Federal Bank currently processes more than 17 per cent of the personal inward remittances into India.”

Lincode partners with Global Automotive Alliance

India-based Lincode has entered into partnership with Global Automotive Alliance, Switzerland to form an ecosystem that promotes and empowers Smart  Automotive Manufacturing.

The automotive industry is witnessing a bullish trend in adopting smart manufacturing. The industry is making large investments in smart technologies such as AI, Industrial IoT, Automation, Big data, 5G, amongst others, to streamline and scale-up the automotive manufacturing process for higher efficiency and production capacity.

By the end of 2022, automotive manufacturers expect that 24% of their plants will be smart factories and 49% of automakers have already invested more than $250 million in smart factories. However, few automotive manufacturers have translated this enthusiasm into real progress – 42% of smart factory initiatives are struggling and the digital maturity of their manufacturing operations is below par.

The Indian automotive sector has seen growth in its sales and increased adoption of critical manufacturing technologies is an important driving factor. It has led to delivering a best-in-class quality of products that are made available to the market in tandem with the demand due to better production capacity.

Rajesh Iyengar, CEO, Lincode said: “The automotive industry has shown an impressive adoption of manufacturing technologies. The manufacturers are not hesitant to deploy technology or a solution that they know will bring them high ROI. For instance, our AI-backed visual inspection solution has made the inspection of the production lines much more efficient than the traditional vision systems. The manufacturers have seen a drastic difference with our solution. They see that microscopic surface defects were detected with the highest precision and accuracy within the established time cycles and now we have seen an ever-growing demand amongst the automotive manufacturers. I certainly believe the industry is now more than ready to invest in manufacturing technologies. The future of smart automotive manufacturing is very promising.”

Ralf Mueller, Managing Director, Global Automotive Alliance: “Digitalization and continuing pressure in the automotive industry with regards to quality, efficiency, and product/process-optimization are a daily challenge to OEMs, System Suppliers, and component manufacturers. All players along the supply chain are aware of the necessity to identify suitable smart manufacturing (industry 4.0) tools, however, in many cases the global overview, in-house knowledge, experiences, and internal resources are limited to successfully scout, develop & implement tailored solutions in the own facilities. This is why GAA has selected a group of unique smart manufacturing (industry 4.0) innovation providers that can be accessed by the automotive industry as part of the “GAA Smart Manufacturing Toolbox. Lincode, as a smart manufacturing solution provider, offering a unique Visual Inspection Technology with Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence was chosen by the GAA specialists to cover the visual inspection tasks & challenges of the industry.”

You can glean more insights on IoT, smart manufacturing and such tech during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. https://w.media/digital-events/

RBI sets up a Working Group to study cyber issues around digital lending

Indian banking regulator RBI has set up a Working Group (WG) to study all aspects of digital lending activities such as data security, privacy, confidentiality and consumer protection.

Recent spurt and popularity of online lending platforms/ mobile lending apps, especially concerning digital lending has raised certain serious concerns which have wider systemic implications. Against this backdrop, a Working Group (WG) is being set up to study all aspects of digital lending activities in the regulated financial sector as well as by unregulated players so that an appropriate regulatory approach can be put in place, RBI said in a notification.

Digital lending has the potential to make access to financial products and services more fair, efficient and inclusive. From a peripheral supporting role a few years ago, FinTech led innovation is now at the core of the design, pricing and delivery of financial products and services. While penetration of digital methods in the financial sector is a welcome development, the benefits and certain downside risks are often interwoven in such endeavours. A balanced approach needs to be followed so that the regulatory framework supports innovation while ensuring data security, privacy, confidentiality and consumer protection.

The Working Group (WG) will consist of both internal and external members. Internal members include  Jayant Kumar Dash, Executive Director, RBI (Chairman),  Ajay Kumar Choudhary, Chief General Manager-in-Charge, Department of Supervision, RBI;  P. Vasudevan, Chief General Manager, Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, RBI and Manoranjan Mishra, Chief General Manager, Department of Regulation, RBI (Member Secretary).  External memberswill consist of  Rahul Sasi, Cyber Security Expert & Founder of CloudSEK and  Vikram Mehta, former associate of Monexo Fintech.

The Working Group (WG) will have the task to:

  • Evaluate digital lending activities and assess the penetration and standards of outsourced digital lending activities in RBI regulated entities;
  • Identify risks posed by unregulated digital lending to financial stability, regulated entities and consumers;
  • Suggest regulatory changes,to promote orderly growth of digital lending;
  • Recommend measures, for expansion of specific regulatory or statutory perimeter and suggest the role of various regulatory and government agencies;
  • Recommend a robust Fair Practices Code for digital lending players, in-sourced or outsourced;
  • Suggest measures for enhanced Consumer Protection; and
  • Recommend measures for robust data governance, data privacy and data security standards for deployment of digital lending services.

RBI has given the Group three months to submit its report . You can glean more insights on cyber security during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. https://w.media/digital-events/

Cloud4C collaborates with Citrix for VDI Solutions

Cloud4C, a leading Cloud Managed Services provider, has partnered with Citrix to offer Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service for enterprises to leverage security and mobile workforce capabilities.

With expanding teams and remote working on the rise, the collaboration between Cloud4C and Citrix will help enterprises to seamlessly deploy Citrix’s Virtual Apps and desktops to any device across the workforce with ease and zero disruption. Cloud4C’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions aims to enhance productivity and improve performance, with efficiency, security, and scalability, the company said. Providing secure, remote work is the core value proposition of the VDI solution and this has become more relevant due to the need for employees to work securely from home due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Cloud4C provides end-to-end VDI solutions, including managed services and managed security services. Cloud4C provides skilled Citrix experts who simplify implementation, reduce deployment time, and help in leveraging the full benefits of virtualized desktops.
Sridhar Pinnapureddy, Founder and CEO, Cloud4C said, “We are happy to collaborate with Citrix to offer a hybrid Citrix VDI solutions which help enterprises with high-definition consistent VDI experience on any device, boosting productivity even on unreliable connections, fast and secure access to applications and data, easy scaling up to support temporary workers working from anywhere, easy access to data-intensive applications, and reduced IT costs. At Cloud4C, we are equipped with multiple certified resources for Citrix, Windows, Security, and public cloud platform.”

The collaboration between Cloud4C and Citrix will help enterprises solve major challenges with Cloud4C taking end to end ownership. As part of a wide range of Hybrid VDI solutions, Cloud4C takes care of the implementation, licensing, infrastructure and end-to-end managed services.

This collaboration will also provide a lot of other benefits to enterprises, such as quick provisioning of desktops based on the requirement, easy connect over the internet or via MPLS link, Hosted Shared Delivery or VDI mode of Virtual Desktop and Integration with existing Active Directory/New AD. Apart from these services, the customers can leverage single window managed service and easy integration with other cloud services like Office 365.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of solutions to enable people to work from home and keep business-critical services going. Now more than ever, it is crucial to support businesses and their distributed workforce to get work done efficiently, unlocking their full potential, without putting their employees nor security requirements on risk,” said Ravindra Kelkar, Area Vice President, Indian Subcontinent, Citrix.

Cloud4C has 4,000 customers in 25 countries and 52 locations including 60 of the Fortune 500 Global multinationals. It provides cloud (public, private, hybrid) and community cloud services (Banking Community Cloud, SAP Community Cloud), cloud migration on public cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, end to end cloud managed services, disaster recovery services, managed security services and helps businesses comply with stringent data sovereignty laws in respective countries.

How Alibaba leveraged AI during 11.11 Shopping Festival in 2020

Hangzhou is known as “Paradise on Earth”, Home of Silk”, “Tea Capital”, “Town of Fish and Rice”, amongst others. Of late, Hangzhou has achieved global fame as the headquarters of Alibaba Group, a tech giant, which is competing with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Google. With sobriquets the city has earned over 5000 years or more, it is now is ushering in a new tech-fuelled revolution, with Alibaba’s help.

The technology grandiose can be seen from Alibaba’s annual 11-day festival from November 1 to 11 last year, when the tech major has its annual global shopping festival. Despite China’s standoff with the US in the background, which has had some ripple effect on Chinese companies, Alibaba rolled out some cutting-edge technologies in its annual shopping festival.

Alibaba’s real-time computing platform, powered by Apache Flink, processed data streams totaling 4 billion items per second during peak time, a 60 per cent surge when compared to 2.5 billion last year. Additionally, MaxCompute, Alibaba’s proprietary data warehousing platform, handled up to 1.7 exabytes of data a day during the festival, which is the equivalent of processing 230 high-res photos of each of the 7 billion people in the world. Keeping in mind the kind of scalability and high performance required, no downtime was reported throughout this year’s extended festival period, Alibaba said.

“We were very proud to support 800 million consumers and 250,000 brands during the world’s largest shopping festival,” said Li Cheng, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba Group. “From the robust digital infrastructure supporting zero downtime operation, to cloud-native offerings for developers’ efficiencies and consumer-facing applications for creating some of smoothest engagement experiences, Alibaba’s technologies have once again passed the toughest tests with flying colors.”

In the year of a pandemic, revenue numbers continued to be strong. This year’s sales generated $74.1 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) during the shopping festival. This, Alibaba continued to reiterate, was due to its Cloud infrastructure upgrades. For example, after midnight on November 11, just 26 seconds after shopping began, peak orders hit 583,000 per second – 1,400 times peak volume at the festival’s debut 12 years ago on November 11, 2009.

Tech ahoy!

The tech giant also leveraged cloud-native databases, including PolarDB, AnalyticDB and Lindorm, Alibaba Cloud enabled 11.11 to run smoothly even during peak periods. PolarDB set a new record with 140 million queries per second during peak time at 11.11, a 60% increase from last year, it said. AnalyticDB, Alibaba Cloud’s self-developed cloud native data warehouse, processed up to 7.7 trillion lines of real-time data, equaling 15 times the data contained in the UK Web Archive at the British Library. In addition, PolarDB-X and AnalyticDB helped China Post to deal with more than 100 million orders during 11.11, with about 100,000 China Post users checking their parcels’ real-time status online.

Also, this year, ‘Livestreaming’ took center stage, which saw thousands of livestreams broadcast on Taobao Live. Leveraging Alibaba Cloud’s narrow-bandwidth and high-definition video solutions, such as its Real-time Streaming (RTS) technology to reduce latency to less than one second (approximately 75% lower than the industry average), the smooth livestreaming experience with dynamic interactions is also proven to be effective in boosting sales, said Alibaba.

By leveraging Alibaba DAMO Academy’s (DAMO) latest multi-module technology – including Natural Language Processing (NLP), image recognition, Text-to-Speech (TTS) and cloud rendering – Taobao Live launched its virtual anchor service for merchants. Virtual anchors can explain product details, respond to some inquiries and even play games with the audience during livestreaming sessions, while the human anchors are on break resting (usually from midnight to early morning).

AliExpress, Alibaba’s global retail marketplace, unveiled the world’s first real-time livestreaming translation feature on an e-commerce platform powered by DAMO’s speech model, supporting simultaneous translation from Chinese to English, Russian, Spanish and French. During the shopping festival, over 70% of the AliExpress merchants leveraged this translation capability, which can also reduce inaudibility in noisy livestreaming environments and even understand accented speech. Eight million global viewers watched over 9,000 livestreams on AliExpress during the festival.

Virtual tours with 3D visuals were available on Taobao to sell big-ticket items like houses and furniture. Underpinned by machine learning technologies like Graph Neural Networks (GNN), Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), 3D shape analysis and knowledge graphs, Alibaba offered a 3D modeling design platform for brands, reducing the time for model creation from three hours to 10 seconds. Merchants leveraged the technology to create over 100,000 showrooms with virtual 3D products that was experienced by 60 million consumers during the festival.

Alibaba Cloud also supported one of the world’s largest container clusters, enabling the upscaling to one million containers in an hour. The optimal elasticity and scheduling capacity enabled by the cutting-edge cloud-native technologies led to an 80% reduction of computing resources for every 10,000 transactions conducted compared to four years ago.

Digital infrastructure with hyper-scale data centers made 11.11 greener

Alibaba used state-of-the-art green technologies – including liquid cooling and wind energy – at its five hyper-scale data centers to ensure the most environmentally-friendly operation during 11.11. For instance, the hyperscale data center in Hangzhou has one of the world’s largest server clusters submerged in a specialised liquid coolant, which quickly chills the IT hardware. This reduces energy consumption by over 70%, while its Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) approaches the ideal target of 1.0. Compared to traditional data centers, the Hangzhou hyperscale data center can save up to 70 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is sufficient to power over 16,000 households in the United Kingdom in a year].

Core systems on cloud-native technologies

In 2019’s annual festival, Alibaba Group migrated 100% of its core systems onto Alibaba Cloud, the world’s third largest cloud service provider. The global technology leader continued to push and challenge the technological limits with its cloud-native innovation, which has yielded double the efficiency of scalable application delivery.Compare these numbers to what retailers in the US and Europe did and one can gauge the wide chasm when it comes to tech.

Perhaps, retailers in the west could look towards the East going forward.

NTT partners with GSPARX to build a low carbon future

Technology services major NTT Limited, has partnered with GSPARX, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), in an effort to increase its consumption of renewable energy.
TNB focuses on offering renewable energy solutions that can support a common low carbon future. The agreement will see GSPARX install a solar power panel system within NTT’s data center campus, for its administrative buildings, to support NTT’s power requirements. NTT said in a statement that its long-term environmental sustainability goals are in line with the Malaysian government’s vision to seek eco-friendly power sources such as solar energy.
Starting with an initial 1020-kilowatts peak capacity, NTT targets to expand up to a 6 Megawatt (MW) capacity through future phases of the project. “We are proud to be partnering with NTT in line with their aspirations for finding sustainable solutions to the social, economic and environmental challenges of our times. Not only is shifting to solar energy an environmentally friendly move, it is also important for global companies like NTT to have an alternate energy source to spur future business growth. Through GSPARX, TNB is here to offer high quality solar solutions that comply with international standards so that partners like NTT are able to enjoy renewable energy and realize their sustainability goals,” said Datuk Ir. Megat Jalaluddin Bin Megat Hassan, the Chief Retail Officer of TNB.
GSPARX will also build sheltered car parks which are equipped with solar panels at designated locations within NTT Cyberjaya’s premise.
Construction is expected to commence in Q1 2021, and the solar installations will be fully operational by Q3 of 2021, NTT said. Further, NTT expects to reduce its carbon footprint by up to 921 metric tons per year in line with its green initiative to promote the generation and utilization of sustainable energy. Eventually, it will expand to operate at a larger scale, further reducing the company’s carbon footprint, NTT said.

“NTT is one of 17 UN Global Goals Business Avengers, with a focus on sustainable cities and communities. We believe that technology holds the key to solving some of the world’s biggest problems. We’re constantly finding ways to use technology to minimize the impact of disruption on the world’s cities and communities. Therefore, the partnership with TNB is a crucial component of attaining this goal and ensuring that we create a more sustainable future for all,” comments Png Kim Meng, CEO – ASEAN at NTT Ltd.
The collaboration will see NTT decrease its fossil fuel consumption, thus reducing the carbon footprint of its business operations. Typically, a reduction in carbon footprint entails switching to sustainable and clean energy, consuming less electricity and favoring more energy saving measures. This decreases the amount of fossil fuels used to generate electricity thus limiting overall carbon emissions.

In this case, 921 metric tons is translated to approximately 199 cars taken off the road or 15,234 trees grown. In the long run, these numbers will be multiplied. Currently, electricity accounts for a significant share of NTT’s overall CO2 emissions. This is especially relevant in Malaysia where NTT continues to expand its Data Center business.

“Our shift to solar power brings us a step closer towards addressing corporate environmental sustainability concerns to reduce carbon footprint and CO2 emission. With additional solar capacity, NTT will be ready to respond to growing demands of its campus’ administrative needs that are powered by solar energy. We are proud to be the first global foreign ICT company to collaborate with TNB on this green project. We are very excited as this initiative has come in a very timely manner, as the new Cyberjaya 5 Data Center is scheduled to be available early this year,” said Henrick Choo, CEO – Malaysia at NTT Ltd.
This partnership with GSPARX and TNB is a welcome collaboration as the world continues to embrace greener electricity generation. NTT remains firmly committed to building a low carbon future through the use of solar energy. We will continue to pioneer remarkable new ways to drive sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges., added Choo.

Recently, HSBC installed 750 solar panels in its Hong Kong data center facility as part of its strategy to reduce carbon emissions.

You can deep dive into data centers and its various dynamics during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. Do check it out at https://w.media/digital-events/

E2E Networks Joins Hands With K-Tech Center of Excellence for Data Science & AI

National Stock Exchange-listed cloud provider E2E Networks has partnered with KTech CoE Data Science & AI Government of Karnataka (GoK) – powered by NASSCOM, to foster disruptive innovation by creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem and create quality human capital to meet the AI talent requirements.

NASSCOM is a not-for-profit industry association in India, is the apex body for the $180 billion dollar Indian IT BPM industry.

 

The partnership comes at a time when the world is fighting a pandemic, and cloud-based technology is taking massive leaps to help the economy. KTech CoE DS & AI has a great role to play as an evangelist and driver of AI enabled growth; Its vision is “to harness the potential of AI for augmenting the state’s and so the country’s innovation ecosystem and create multiplier impact on economy, industry and society “

The partnership will be beneficial for both the parties. E2E Networks will get access to KTech CoE DS&AI accelerated companies, and this will help them accelerate AI Innovation in India. It will also reap the direct benefits of the joint activities conducted by KTech CoE DS&AI.

For KTech CoE DS&AI accelerated MSMEs and Innovators, there will be an exclusive discount, which will also gain access to latest NVIDIA GPUs via cloud servers from E2E at highly affordable prices to run their artificial intelligence loads, which includes high-performance computing, machine learning, deep learning and data science workloads.

The tie-up shall provide a leg up to enable deep research benefiting various industries as well as the Government so that everyone can benefit. KTech CoE DS&AI, since its inception, has been driving the acceleration the adoption of AI solutions by user enterprises and public sector by creating toolkits, processes, and frameworks. It enables convergence of technological advancements and industry developments with deploy worthy Data Science and AI Innovations. Also develop skills to ensure talent pipeline to meet the growing requirements for AI professionals.

E2E Networks offers the latest GPUs – NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU, NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPU, and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000. When combined with NVIDIA virtual GPU (vGPU) solutions for Quadro workstations, creative and technical professionals are able to work from anywhere, including their home offices, and run compute and graphics-intensive applications for CAD, digital content creation, simulation, and rendering.

“The biggest impediment faced by AI MSMEs and Innovators today is access to AI processing capability and flexible scaling of capacity. This is very capital intensive and hard to come by for AI Startups working on tight budgets. Through this tie-up, we are simply enabling what our MSMEs and Innovators asked for. Not only will it help our network of Data Science & AI companies to focus on Innovation rather than CapEx, but also help them accelerate their speed of AI innovation. The pandemic has ushered in an era where working remotely is the new normal. We think this is how the MSME and corporate world will function over the next few decades, and the transformation needs an OpEx model for AI processing needs,” said Krishna Prabu, Technical Director, Ktech CoE DS&AI.

“Our collaboration with KTech CoE DS&AI allows us to play a significant role in helping KTech CoE DS&AI incubated startups and members run their AI/ML training/inference, data science, Natural Language Processing (NLP), computer vision, and professional graphics workstation workloads,” said Tarun Dua CEO of E2E Networks.

TAC Security to foray into other markets outside India

TAC Security, an Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) empanelled information security organisation, is taking it’s new dark web threat intelligence solution, ESOF-DarkSec, to markets abroad.
This is an effort to address the growing demand for Cyber Security solutions and also add impetus to TAC Security’s global expansion plans . ESOF-DarkSec will be rolled out, to begin with in the North American market where it has a strong footprint and in the African market where it commenced operations. The company is further expanding operations in the Australian and European markets as well.

ESOF-DarkSec helps enterprises detect, measure, and identify the type of data available on the dark web about their companies.   “Data confidentiality has always been an issue for enterprise security teams, and the recent increases in the dark web exposure cases are intimidating for both governments and organizations. Cybersecurity threats are becoming more sophisticated with every passing day, and even more so during the COVID-19 outbreak where spear-phishing is being used as a tool to access critical data. We hope that the product will help inform business entities about the vulnerabilities of their infrastructure so they can secure their endpoints and networks against potential threats.” Chris Fisher, Chief Marketing Officer, TAC Security.

The launch is aligned with the rising number of data leaks on the dark web, which jeopardize sensitive information of government, businesses, and individuals alike. This cloud-based solution helps find the size, nature, and recent update (if any) of the leaked data on the darknet. ESOF-DarkSec also provides a dark web organization risk score on a scale from 0 to 10, so security teams can know the risk to the organization on available data in the dark web from and take action to mitigate the risk. The solution is available as a subscription plan in three tiers: Basic, Platinum, and Premium, with different price points based on deeper periodic scans.

Trishneet Arora, Founder and CEO of TAC Security said, “Data is the biggest asset for any entity in the current landscape. As much as it gives precious insights into enhancing customer experience, any unauthorized access to it can cause severe damage to personal, enterprise-level, or even national integrity, depending upon the nature of data. It is very difficult to get this data down once it enters the dark web. Knowing the extent of the dark web threat is pivotal as it enables an organization to analyze and limit the damages by taking preventive measures.”

TAC Security protects Banks and Financial Institutions, governments’ organisations, Fortune 500 companies, leading enterprises data around the world. TAC Security manages 5 million vulnerabilities through its Artificial intelligence (AI) based Vulnerability Management Platform ESOF. The company is also responsible for End to End Security Assessment of 200 UPI based Mobile Application for NPCI, an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.

You can deep dive into cyber security and its various dynamics during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. Do check it out at https://w.media/digital-events/

Huawei launches Datacom certification globally

Chinese tech major Huawei has launched Datacom Certification globally, with an aim to develop 150,000 Datacom professionals in the next three years.Huawei Datacom Certification is a set of standards for cultivating Datacom talent. In the next three years, Huawei aims to certify 150,000 Datacom engineers, increasing the size of the Datacom network talent ecosystem and shaping the future of intelligent IP networks, it said.

As digital transformation proceeds, companies are posed with new requirements for networks and network architecture. To meet the demand for new network talent and adapt to the changing capability model for network practitioners, Huawei is developing a set of talent cultivation standards based on its experience in the data communication industry.

Huawei Datacom Certification is an upgrade of the previous Routing & Switching Certification, which features advanced technologies, various fields, capabilities, and practical skills. It not only provides knowledge about traditional routing and switching technologies, but also delivers the cultivation solution (which combines Huawei’s Datacom network solution and new technologies). Certified professionals will be able to plan, deploy, operate, maintain, and optimize networks in different scenarios.

Advanced technology certification

Huawei Datacom Certification includes knowledge about cutting-edge Datacom network technologies, such as Software Defined Networks or SDN, VXLAN, SR/SRv6, and network programming and automation.

Capabilities certification focuses on how technologies can be applied to real-world scenarios. Certified professionals will be able to design, deploy, operate, maintain, and optimize networks.

Additionally, practical skills certification is developed with reference to the development trends of the Datacom network and the network construction needs of companies. As such, certified professionals will be able to meet industry needs. To build a prosperous Datacom network talent ecosystem in collaboration with customers and partners, over the next three years, Huawei will organize 10 Datacom competitions, develop 30 excellent online courses and textbooks on Datacom networks, hold 30 online forums, and certify 150,000 Datacom engineers.

The Huawei Datacom Certification is classified into three levels:

HCIA–Datacom, HCIP–Datacom, and HCIE–Datacom. The HCIA–Datacom certification aims to develop network engineers with entry-level Datacom knowledge and skills.

The HCIP–Datacom certification has one core technical direction (HCIP–Datacom–Core Technology) and six optional sub-directions (HCIP–Datacom–Advanced Routing & Switching Technology, HCIP–Datacom–Campus Network Planning and Deployment, HCIP–Datacom–WAN Planning and Deployment, HCIP–Datacom–SD–WAN Planning and Deployment, HCIP–Datacom–Enterprise Network Solution Design, and HCIP–Datacom–Network Automation Developer). The HCIP–Datacom certification is designed for aspirants who want to become senior engineers in the field of cross-domain solution planning and design or single-domain planning and deployment.

The HCIE–Datacom certification aims to cultivate network experts with theoretical knowledge of solutions and the ability to deploy networks across domains.

To date, HCIA–Datacom, HCIP–Datacom–Advanced Routing & Switching Technology, and HCIP–Datacom–Network Automation Developer certifications have been released, and other certifications are set for release in 2021. By Q4 2021, the Huawei Datacom Certification will completely replace the Routing & Switching Certification, Huawei said.

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ESR eying a foray into data center biz

ESR, a leading logistics real estate platform listed in Hong Kong is planning a foray into the data center business on the back of a successful Real Estate Investment Trusts listing.

A REIT is a company that owns and operates real estate properties. On December 23, Shares began trading in South Korea’s first dedicated logistics REIT, which debuted with a $650 million Initial Public Offering (IPO).

ESR Kendall Square is the Korea platform for ESR, a Hong Kong listed global logistics real estate investment company. ESR is a leading logistics real estate platform with a network spanning across the People’s Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and India. ESR Kendall Square consists of Kendall Square Logistics Properties, Kendall Square Asset Management and Kendall Square REIT Management, established in 2014, 2016 and 2020 respectively.

The company is also looking to make a foray in the data centre segment too as it has its expertise in developing logistics projects would come in handy for building data centers, according to sources in the know.

“With the robust growth of e-commerce driven by a confluence of factors including the pandemic, public investors have shown a growing appetite for quality core assets that can generate stable, long-term returns. The successful listing of ESR Kendall Square REIT is a testament to the strong portfolios of quality assets, investors and tenants that our team has built through the years,” said Thomas Nam, CEO, ESR Kendall Square.

Long-term investors see huge opportunities in REITs. Among the institutions buying into the ESR Kendall Square REIT pre-IPO were Canadian pension fund Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Seoul-based Military Mutual Aid Association, the Industrial Bank of Korea and the Korean Reinsurance Company.

Even in other markets, REITs have had initial success. Recently, Embassy Office Parks REIT backed by Blackstone and the Mindspace REIT also backed by Blackstone and real estate developer K Raheja Corp are the current players in this segment in India. The success of this investment vehicle has instilled confidence in other developers and investors, primarily with a commercial office portfolio, to list their assets under a REIT platform.

Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated, an American commercial real estate services company which provides investment management services estimates that 270 million sq. ft. of office space would be eligible for REIT which translates to a potential investment of $33 billion. “Some of the key factors for the success of REIT are strong developer credentials combined with positive outlook for Commercial real estate, an established portfolio which ensures stability of returns via rental income.

Post the IPO, ESR Kendall Square REIT will be using the proceeds to purchase 11 stabilised logistics assets in the Greater Seoul and Busan areas, both through direct acquisitions and through buying out private funds managed by ESR Kendall Square.

Currently, ESR Kendall manages $7 billion in assets in Korea, across a portfolio of 684,095 square metres (7.4 million square feet). Ten of the properties have already been acquired, with an eleventh to be purchased by June.

Reserve Bank of India launches Digital Payments Index

In what could be a first of its kind initiative, India’s banking regulatory body Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a composite Digital Payments Index (DPI) to capture the extent of digitisation of payments across the country.

The RBI-DPI comprises 5 broad parameters that enable measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments in the country over different time periods.

These parameters are

(1) Payment Enablers – which carry a 25% weightage

(2) Payment Infrastructure – Demand-side factors, which carry a 10% weightage

(3) Payment Infrastructure – Supply-side factors, which carry a 15% weightage

(4) Payment Performance, which carry a 45% weightage and

(5) Consumer Centricity, which carry a 5% weightage

Each of these parameters have sub-parameters which, in turn, consist of various other measurable indicators.

The RBI-DPI has been constructed with March 2018 as the base period. What this means is that DPI score for March 2018 is set at 100. The DPI for March 2019 and March 2020 work out to 153.47 and 207.84 respectively, indicating appreciable growth. Going forward, RBI-DPI shall be published on RBI’s website on a semi-annual basis from March 2021 onwards with a lag of 4 months.

This development needs to be seen in the backdrop of a surge in digital payments adoption post the Indian government’s demonetisation push in 2016. A recent KPMG report in August 2020 pointed out that going forward card payments will rise significantly mainly driven by contactless transactions, as a result of COVID-19. Further mobile wallets, payment gateway transactions and online bill payments through Bharat Bill Payments (BBPS) will rise significantly. For October, bill payments jumped 58 per cent to 23.7 million with almost $533 million worth of transactions digitally.

Further, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) saw a massive increase in adoption. It has almost doubled in 2020 both in terms of volume and value. UPI saw its growth being driven by larger adoption of digital payments across categories, along with its usage in QR code-based payments. Further the launch of UPI 2.0 has helped open up new use cases on the platform and has managed to set itself up as a default P2P payment mode.

You can glean more insights on Digital Payments during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. https://w.media/digital-events/