Ronnie05's Blog

Indian Telecom Story (Part XXII): Mobile banking guidelines laid out

Posted in Industry updates, The Technology Ecosystem by Manas Ganguly on December 28, 2009

RBI Christmass gifted a relaxed and a more wider ambit to the banking and telecom eco-sytem in India with wider and more relaxed mobile payment transaction and banking guidelines

In the overall context the number of cell phone users is four and a half times the total number of bank accounts in India. So mobile banking is being looked at as an option for providing transfers across the length and breadth.

The transaction limit: Essentially the RBI has now said that banks will be able to do transactions with a daily cap of Rs 50,000 per customer for both funds transfer as well as transactions involving purchases of goods and services. Presently the transactions are subject to caps of Rs 5,000 and 10,000 respectively.

Lower Value transactions: RBI has relaxed the technology and security standards and allowed banks to undertake transactions upto Rs 1,000 without end to end encryption. So, they have basically in some ways reducing the cost of transactions.

Remittance of funds for disbursements in cash: Directly related to facilitating the use of mobile phones for cash. In the prepaid mobile phones which accounts for about 90% of the entire user base across the country, the transaction is essentially a cash transaction where the user puts in money, gets the credit and uses it. Mobile phone companies have been therefore talking about extending this for direct transfer so if you have a phone in Delhi where a person adds Rs 1,000 that money can be delivered somewhere in the hinterland of Bihar or UP. The maximum value of these transactions will be Rs 5,000 per transaction; the banks can place a cap on the velocity of such transactions subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000 per month per customer. The disbursal of these funds can be done through both, an agent or an ATM.

Given the lack of infrastructure/ATMs and Banks in the rural areas, banks have been allowed to appoint agents to do such transfers. Some of these agents could well be the mobile phone operators, the service providers and the handset resellers in the hinterland.

Analysts and experts and banks see this as a big push for financial inclusion across the country. Also, this is a move for retail payment from cash and cheque based transaction to mobile based transaction, which means great convenience and also reduces costs. While Operators, device makers and banks will now be able to drive this initiative across the geography, it is the consumer in India who will now be able to exercise more convenience for the money that he owns.

Microsoft drives IE9 to stay relevant in Browsers

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems, Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on December 28, 2009

Microsoft has been the dinosaur of the Browser kingdom, but then as with the worthy comparison, Microsoft’s vice grip of the browser markets is loosening out. The latest report of market shares shows 65% share for IE. Mozila Firefox has scaled upto to 25% market share. Android and Safari are small at 4%, but Android atleast is making the right kind of noises and moves and is radically redefining the Browser markets. The Internet Explorer needs to keep up and IE9 seems to be Microsoft’s bet in the new age of browsers.

Whats new with IE9?

Hardware accelerated text and graphics.

The acceleration feature takes advantage of hitherto untapped computing power in a way that’s more useful than other browser-boosting technology–Google’s Native Client to directly employ PC’s processor and Mozilla’s WebGL for accelerated 3D graphics. This is a direct improvement to everybody’s usage of the Web on a daily basis. Web developers are doing what they did before, only now they can tap directly into a PC’s graphics hardware to make their text work better and graphics work better

An increasing fraction of Microsoft’s business is moving online, too, through its Bing, Live, and now online Office 2010 sites and Microsoft is trying to consciously migrate consumers to the cloud. The task is to build a better IE so all the Web sites have a better experience. Microsoft has recently joined the HTML standards effort. Microsoft uses the Direct 2D, which is a hardware-accelerated, immediate-mode, 2-D graphics API that provides high performance and high-quality rendering for 2-D geometry, bitmaps, and text. Direct2D also facilitates a technology called sub-pixel positioning that can smooth the appearance of text on the screen.

With the old technology, that chore can update the screen at a rate of about 5 to 10 frames per second while using 50 to 60 percent of the processor’s horsepower, but using the Direct2D method, the frame rate jumps to a range of 40 to 60 per second while the CPU usage plunges.

Another is the execution of JavaScript, a programming language used widely on the Web for everything from mundane tasks to full-on applications such as Gmail and Google Docs. However, JavaScript isn’t the only bottleneck for browsers. Browser is also an important aspect of the whole internet speed experience.

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