Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, announced a survey, conducted on Indians exploring awareness and perceptions of biometric authentication confirms that consumers continue to have a strong interest in new biometric technologies that make their lives easier. New forms of authentication, such as fingerprint, facial, and voice recognition, can make unlocking accounts and payments much easier and more convenient than traditional passwords or PINs – which are difficult to type onto tiny keyboards, easy to forget, and can be stolen.

Image Source – Password

TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, Visa, India & South Asia, Visa, said

The payments ecosystem is witnessing a rapid change in adoption of new form factors of payments and modes of authentication. For financial institutions, the time has never been better to integrate biometric technology into banking apps and payments experiences for customers. We are excited with the increased popularity of biometrics across Indian consumers.

Today smartphones have advanced features increasing the accuracy and speed of biometrics, such that they can be used for financial transactions. Indian consumers too have discovered the ease of biometric authentication and are open to using this technology for transactions going forward, which augurs well for the Indian payments industry.

Authentication Survey Findings

According to the Visa study conducted of 500 Indians by AYTM Market Research, 99are personally interested in using at least one biometric method to verify their identity, and 99are interested in using at least one biometric method to make payments.  Higher income consumers are more interested than lower income consumers in facial recognition. Younger consumers [36 and under] are more interested than older consumers in vein pattern recognition. Findings from the survey illustrate consumers’ desire to see the implementation of biometric tools in payment authentication processes.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • Consumers were most familiar with fingerprint recognition, with 32 percent having used it once or twice and another 63 percent using it regularly. By comparison, about 48 percent have used voice recognition in the past and 26 percent use it regularly.
  • The top benefits associated with using biometric authentication for payments are the perception that it is more secure than passwords/PINs [48%] and that it gives consumers peace of mind that their payment is protected [46%].
  • Indian consumers overwhelmingly perceive that biometrics are faster [81%] and easier [84%] than passwords.
  • Fifty one percent are concerned both about the risk of a security breach of sensitive biometric information.

To help financial institutions and merchants more quickly adopt emerging biometric authentication solutions, the Visa ID Intelligence platform provides a curated selection of leading third-party authentication technologies. Visa clients can create, test and adopt new authentication solutions with simple integrations using Visa APIs and SDKs.

Biz2Credit Inc., a leading online marketplace and innovator in digital platforms for banks and other financial services providers, has announced the inaugural Frontiers of Digital Finance Conference, India Chapter, taking place in Mumbai on the 7th of March, 2018.

Part of a series of conferences first hosted in New York City in October 2017, this by-invite only conference will be held at Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai with participation from senior practitioners, government, regulators, and industry stakeholders such as entrepreneurs, executives and start-ups.

The event will focus on the rapid evolution of digital finance in India with a candid appraisal of the challenges and the opportunities that encompass customer, policy and technology within the Indian context. The conference will highlight issues in digital credit, convergence of payments with lending and the role of Artificial Intelligence [AI] and Machine Learning [ML] in enhancing the customer experience and risk management. Following the India Chapter, the event will continue on to Singapore and London before reverting back to New York City. Conference partners include FICCI, USISPF, Edelweiss, AWS, IBM, Tata Capital, Mahindra Finance, PWC, BAIN & Company and Columbia Data Science School.

Rohit Arora, Co-founder and CEO, Biz2Credit, said

The Indian financial services sector is at the cusp of a revolution. However, the country’s bid for robust financial inclusion demands a more resilient delivery of financial services. With this conference, we aim to bring together key influencers, decision makers and industry leaders to drive a robust discussion on the health of the FinTech sector, the policy implications driving the growth of digital finance and how integrated and open systems are enabling this transformation.

With the Frontiers of Digital Finance conference, we hope to contribute in building a knowledge ecosystem, bolstering innovation and enabling financial inclusion and better access to credit for individuals and SMEs

Presenters for Frontiers of Digital Finance Conference, India Chapter – Senior leaders from Edelweiss, AWS, IBM, FICCI, TATA Capital, Mahindra, Odger, SNG partners, NSDL Master Card and other leading Financial Institutions in India and senior regulators.

Agenda of Frontiers of Digital Finance Conference, India Chapter – Roundtable with two keynote addresses, two moderated one-on-one interviews with CEOs, three distinguished speaker panels. It will be followed by a widely circulated Digital Finance White Paper – India Chapter summarizing major conference themes accompanied by speaker quotes.

For more information on the conference or to register, please visit Digital Finance Conference.

About Biz2Credit

Founded in 2007, Biz2Credit has arranged more than $2 billion in small business financing and was named to Crain’s New York’s Fast 50 and the top 200 of fast-growing companies on Deloitte’s 2017 Technology Fast 500. Biz2Credit is expanding its industry-leading technology in custom digital platform solutions for leading banks and other financial institutions, investors and service providers in the US and abroad. For more information, please visit Biz2Credit

Unity Technologies, creator of the world’s leading real-time development platform, released a sneak peek at ‘Book of the Dead’, which demonstrates the power of real-time rendering on Unity. Making extensive use of Unity’s powerful new rendering system, the Scriptable Render Pipeline, ‘Book of the Dead’ shows how developers can take total control of the rendering process to achieve a level of detail and visual fidelity made possible by Unity in 2018.

Veselin Efremov, Creative Director, Unity Technologies, said

Forests are amazing; they can be mysterious, dangerous, and breathtakingly beautiful. Achieving the feelings a forest evokes is one of the hardest challenges when working within real-time graphics. We set out to tackle this with ‘Book of the Dead’ to see how much a small team like ours could accomplish working within Unity.

Seeking out challenges like this helps Unity to evolve and advance. We use new features when they are introduced early in their development cycle, and we partner closely with our tech teams to push new features to their limits, so that the innovations we uncover together will make a better product for our developers. When a demo is done, we know that the engine has achieved new functionality; and we are excited to see developers use this tech for their next creations.

Built using Unity 2018’s Scriptable Render Pipeline, Progressive Lightmapper, and Post-Processing Stack, the sneak peek at ‘Book of the Dead’ gives viewers a look at the first-person interactive experience being played in real-time, targeting the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system. The story unfolds in two parallel timelines, and as the audience views the scattered memories of our protagonist, they discover there’s more to her story than she is willing to tell. More information on how ‘Book of the Dead’ came to life can be found on the website

Sneak Peek at Unity 2018 – Delivering New Innovations to Advanced Developers

The release of Unity 2017.3 in December completed a year-long cycle which delivered tools such as Timeline and Cinemachine, empowering teams of artists and developers to do more together. Unity 2018 will build on this foundation to give advanced developers and engineers control of new features such as the Scriptable Render Pipeline and the C# Job System, the first versions of two major features that will continue to evolve to help unlock beautiful graphics and increase runtime performance on Unity. Key highlights include the following:

  • Scriptable Render Pipeline: Unleash the Power of Modern Hardware Without the Burden of Building a New Engine – Unity 2018 places total control of a powerful new rendering process in the hands of advanced developers. The Scriptable Render Pipeline is a combination of power and ease – developers now have the freedom to control the rendering engine at a fine-grained level without the complexities of writing a complete rendering pipeline – leading to an increase in graphics quality and gameplay performance in AAA console, PC, and mobile.
  • C# Job System – A New Coding System That Unlocks Major Performance Increases – The C# Job System is a new high-performance multithreaded system that makes it possible to take advantage of multi-core processors without the heavy programming headache. Combined with a new programming model [Entity Component System], it enables developers to optimize creations for major increases in performance. Developers can add more effects and complexity to their games, or use that horsepower to add complex AI, to make rich worlds that immerse gamers.

Unity brings the world’s best talent together with the goal of making Unity 2018 the best choice for all creators – from AAA studios and solo developers to indie studios and more. Unity has hired engineers and artists from renowned studios such as Insomniac, Bungie, and Naughty Dog are building the foundation alongside a team of more than 1,000 engineers that are making their breakthroughs available to all developers around the world. Games and experiences made with Unity have reached more than 3 billion devices worldwide in 2017 and were installed more than 20 billion times in the last 12 months. For more information, please visit Unity Store

The premium ad tech network, Apps Discover Technologies Pvt. Ltd, now becomes India’s one of the biggest player in APK [Android Package Kit] campaigns marketing. Apps Discover was founded in the year 2013 and since then the company has worked on over 300 APK campaigns. The campaigns reflect company’s sturdy and efficacious bond with its clients like Alibaba, Amazon, Paytm, Baidu, Flipkart, etc.

These APK campaigns have been a major player in company’s phenomenal growth rate and have created a benchmark in Indian Digital Ad Network Industry. The Company’s APK marketing campaigns are running in India and international geographies like China, Thailand, Russia, UK, and Australia.

Commenting on company’s achievement, Ashish Bahukhandi, Founder & CEO said

At Apps Discover, we embrace every aspect of technology to make digital evolution more augmented for our clients and this accomplishment is a resounding validation of our work by our fellow associates and clients.

After it’s strong base in South Asian Countries the company is now seeking for funding to foster its growth in other continents.

About Apps Discover Technologies Pvt. Ltd

Apps Discover Technologies Pvt. Ltd is a premium Digital Ad Network Marketing Company offering the most preferred online affiliate programs & affiliate marketing products which help advertisers across multiple industrial backgrounds to advertise their brands [products/services] and track mobile ad campaigns in the easiest way possible. Started with an office in Gurgaon, Haryana the company’s operations have now extended far and wide in the South-East Asia market with a strong base in Singapore and Indonesia. For more information, please visit Apps Discover

India is in prime position to become a Robotic Process Automation [RPA] powerhouse because of its growing talent pool and cost advantage. It is estimated that around 2 lakh RPA-led jobs will be created in the country by 2021. RPA has been gaining traction as a way of automating repetitive, tedious tasks to handle higher-value analysis and decision-making.

Daniel Dines, CEO and Co-Founder of UiPath, the leading enterprise Robotic Process Automation [RPA] software company, said

India is reaping the benefits of a new genre of jobs created from RPA. The Indian mind is apt for this technology; Indians have the right ability for workarounds and out-of-the-box thinking that works well for RPA. So we see a great pool of RPA talent emerging from the country.

He was speaking at the #UiPathForward, the RPA India summit hosted by UiPath on Wednesday in Bengaluru. The event saw participation from more than 650 business leaders, experts and executives and also discussed concepts and presented work done by major UiPath customers and partners such as HCL, KPMG, IBM, Robert Bosch Engineering and many more.

Daniel Dines, CEO & Co-Founder, UiPath

Daniel Dines, CEO and Co-Founder of UiPath, added

RPA will help build India’s middle class. Currently only 1% of the Indian population earns above $20,000 a year. RPA is right now creating jobs that will push a higher percentage of the population into this segment.

Also present at the summit, Sarah Burnett – Vice President of global research company Everest Group, said that automation is the way to go. He said

It will create incredible opportunities in the IT sector. In a recent study by Everest Group, 80% of companies that we surveyed rated RPA to meet expectations and even exceed them. RPA addresses many areas including regulatory compliance, process automation and more. Also it is secure and most importantly, it is scalable.

Manish Bharti, Country Sales Leader – UiPath India, said

RPA provides new pathways for job opportunities. These could range from process engineers and robot managers to implementation and infrastructure staff and complex management positions. The scope is limitless. Around 2 lakh RPA-led jobs will be created in India in the next three years.

Raghu Subramanian, UiPath India’s Chief Customer Success Officer, said

The company will be a part of this job-creation journey not only by providing best-in-class technical support, but also by way of knowledge sharing through the UiPath Academy. Two self-led MOOCs are being delivered free of charge though the academy, allowing people to train as RPA Developers at beginner and advanced levels.

Amitava Sharma, Vice President, Global Automation – Cloud Application Innovation, IBM, said

It is important for all IT companies to evolve as the market changes. RPA is a game-changing technology that facilitates this change. However, RPA product companies need to integrate cognitive solutions to harness the true power of the technology.

About UiPath

Built for both business and IT, UiPath is the leading platform for Enterprise Robotic Process Automation [RPA]. The company is at the forefront of the digital business revolution achieving more than 500% yearly revenue growth since 2015. A global community exceeding 30,000 users and over 500 enterprise customers and government agencies use UiPath’s Enterprise RPA platform to deploy attended and unattended software robots quickly and accurately resulting in better business outcomes, stronger security and compliance, and higher job satisfaction. Based in New York City, US, UiPath also maintains offices in Australia, France, India, Japan, Romania and the United Kingdom with an employee base of more than 500 people. For more information, please visit UiPath

The main goal of any financial plan is to attain financial independence. There are numerous investment schemes available in the market such as shares, commodities, and mutual funds, among others. One of the most attractive financial vehicles is a Unit Linked Insurance Plan [ULIP].

Image Source – ULIP

Understanding ULIPs

As the name suggests, ULIPs are market-linked products that offer dual benefit of insurance as well as investment. Such plans offer a high degree of flexibility as you may choose to invest in equity or debt funds as per your risk appetite. Due to this dual benefit and a high degree of flexibility, ULIPs have become a popular investment option among the masses.

ULIPs: a good choice for financial planning, investing, and future savings

The first step in planning your finances is identifying the various modes of investments and choosing the one best-suited to your needs. You may consider investing in a ULIP due to the numerous benefits it has to offer. Following are six ways a ULIP helps in attaining financial independence.

  1. Facilitates long-term investment

ULIP is a very common investment option for long-term savings. It helps you build a sizeable corpus over a period of time, thus helping you achieve your financial goals in the long run. As most ULIPs come with a five-year lock-in period, you get the benefit of an accumulated amount. You may use this corpus to fulfill your goals and dreams such as buying a new house, purchasing a new vehicle, or starting your own business venture, among others. You may also use the amount to protect your child’s future, secure capital for critical milestones such as marriage, or plan for your golden years.

  1. Provides life cover

ULIPs are offered by life insurance companies. Such plans provide life cover in case of an unfortunate event. Though ULIPs do not offer a very high level of coverage as compare to term life insurance plans, it serves the purpose of securing the future of your loved ones in your absence.

  1. Fulfills risk appetite

ULIPs offer investors an opportunity to invest in any asset class as per their choice. You may choose to invest in equity, debt, or money market instruments. In case you have a low appetite for risk, consider investing in debt funds. You may invest proportionately in debt funds as equity funds if you are a moderate-risk player. Invest in equity funds if your risk appetite is high.

  1. Offers flexibility to switch

In case you wish to change from one asset class to another, or wish to modify the proportion of funds, you may do so easily. This helps you control your losses in case the market fails to perform. Besides, you may also enjoy wealth appreciation if the market exhibits a good performance.

  1. Offers comprehensive cover

Most insurance providers offer riders with ULIPs. Such riders, also known as add-ons, enhance the coverage. You may opt for riders such as accidental death benefit rider or permanent disability benefit rider, based on your individual needs.

  1. Provides tax benefits

The good news is that you may avail of tax benefits on the premiums paid towards your ULIPs. Such deduction is allowed under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, up to a limit of INR 1.5 lakh. You may, therefore, enjoy such benefits and lower your taxable income limit to a great extent. It is important to note that in order to avail of tax benefits, the premium amount must not exceed 10 percent of the sum assured.

ULIPs offer a plethora of benefits. You may, therefore, consider diversifying your portfolio by investing in such a financial instrument. It is imperative to understand what is a ULIP plan, what are its features, and what are its advantages before making an investment. By doing so, you may plan, invest, and save for your future successfully.

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, surveyed nearly 9,000 recruiters, hiring managers from 39 countries and interviewed industry experts to analyse the state of hiring across the world. Four hot trends stand out – Diversity, New Interviewing Tools, Data, and Artificial Intelligence as the top ideas that will change how talent is hired in 2018.

The Global Recruiting Trends 2018 report offers detailed insights on how these trends will impact recruiters and organisations, as well as how they will create a shift in the recruitment process across industries. These hiring trends showcase how new ideas are putting an end to the transactional and tedious nature of recruitment, and are instead focusing on using strategic methods with a human touch to find high-potential talent.

Irfan Abdulla, Director of Talent and Learning Solutions, LinkedIn India & South Asia, said

Workplaces are evolving faster than ever before, and we are seeing an emergence of new jobs and skill sets in India. Therefore, the Indian recruiter too will undergo a transformation and use new tools to assess high-potential talent. Diversity will be key in how people hire this year, and a strong assessment of soft skills such as leadership and communication, along with digital skills will be imperative. To arrive at the right choice, companies in India are now using data, analytics and insights to make better decisions.

Here is a rundown of the 4 key global recruiting trends that will shape the future of talent acquisition and how companies will hire talent in the years to come:

Diversity: The new global mindset and the hot source of corporate growth

  • 81% of talent acquisition leaders and hiring managers in India say that diversity will be the top trend affecting how they hire, which is much higher than the global average of 78%
  • Companies are prioritizing diversity for a plethora of reasons, with growing evidence that diversity along with inclusion and belonging, enhances productivity, promotes innovation and a higher engagement
  • 78% of companies prioritize diversity to improve company culture; 62% do so to boost financial performance; and 49% to better represent customers
  • Gender [71%], Race [49%], and Age [48%] are the red-hot topics where companies are focusing their diversity efforts
  • Companies are focusing on all three – diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and looking ahead we will see more companies disentangling the concepts and measuring belonging

New Interviewing Models: Reinventing the interview with a blend of traditional with smart models

  • Higher than the global average of 56%, 61% of Indian respondents say that interviewing innovations are extremely important to the future of hiring
  • According to the survey, companies continue to believe in the popularity and effectiveness of traditional interview techniques with giving maximum emphasis to structured interviews [88%] and behavioral interviews [89%]
  • Talent leaders find interviewer bias [42%] and limited ability to assess soft skills [63%] and weaknesses [57%] as the most prevalent shortcomings of traditional interviews
  • To overcome this, hiring managers are increasingly looking at smarter interview models and 5 techniques have come on the scene to improve the old model: Soft skills assessments [59%], job auditions [54%], meeting in casual settings [53%], virtual reality assessments [28%] and video interviews [18%] are considered the most useful interview innovations
  • Online soft skills assessments measure traits like teamwork and curiosity and give a more holistic picture of candidates earlier in the process. In job auditions, companies pay candidates to do real work so that they can observe skills in action. Casual interviews typically take place over a meal and can offer a unique look into candidate character. With Virtual Reality [VR], companies immerse candidates in simulated 3-D environments to test their skills in a standardized way. Video interviews can be recorded or live and help by tapping a broader talent pool in far less time.

Data: The new corporate superpower

  • Mexico [61%], Brazil [59%], India [56%] and China [56%] are the 4 countries with the highest number of respondents who believe that using data is the top trend affecting how they hire; The global average is 50%.
  • The survey shows that 64% of the talent acquisition professionals use data now, and 79% are even more likely to use it in the next two years.
  • 69% of talent professionals believe using data can elevate their careers.
  •  Currently, the 5 most common uses of data in talent acquisition are to increase retention [56%], evaluate skills gap [50%], build better offers [50%], understand candidate wants [46%], and do workforce planning [41%]. For example, If you’re trying to grasp why employees are leaving, you might look to employee surveys, 360-degree reviews, compensation history, and promotion history to start triangulating an answer.
  • The two greatest barriers to using data include poor data quality [42%] and figuring out where to find the data [20%].

Artificial Intelligence [AI]: The secret workhorse

  • [76%] of respondents said that AI’s impact on recruiting will be significant and will help them work faster by automating administrative tasks, and smarter by generating insights they wouldn’t think of alone
  • Areas where AI will impact recruiting the most include, sourcing candidates [58%], screening candidates [56%] and nurturing candidates [55%].
  • 67% of respondents said that AI helps save time and 43% believe that it removes human bias
  • AI is the future, but so is human touch. Moreover, research shows that AI is least likely to replace top 5 skills that require personal and emotional engagement like building relationships with candidates, seeing candidate’s potential beyond credentials, judging culture add or culture fit, gauging candidate interpersonal skills, and convincing candidates to accept offers. AI doesn’t replace you; it empowers you.

Survey Methodology

LinkedIn surveyed 8,815 talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers.

  • Talent acquisition professionals work in a corporate HR department and must have some responsibility for the hiring process.
  • Hiring managers must have some authority over hiring decisions for their team.

There is a very famous quote – The only thing that is constant in life is Change. This applies to every aspect of life including business. Any sector that a business operates in, it has transformed itself to stay relevant with the changing times. This even applies to the real-estate industry that has witnessed positive changes like usage of Precast technology in residential real-estate projects, the introduction of Real Estate Regulator Bill [RERA] that is a boon for consumers and much more. Technology is also evolving at a very rapid pace, with technologies like Machine Learning, AR/VR, Artificial Intelligence [AI], etc. acting as change-agents for the real-estate industry.

Though there are many positive changes in the sector, the realty industry still faces trust issues owing to market conditions and other factors. Urban Housing is also facing challenges like rising inflation, average construction quality offered by many builders, increasing manpower costs, etc. Hence, when customers are planning to invest their hard-earned money in real-estate projects, the first thing they look out for is ‘trust’ in the real-estate brand which can only be earned by continuously delivering quality at a consistent pace. One such company is SOBHA Limited that has been a torch-bearer in the real-estate sector with their exceptional quality RERA approved projects, technology adoption, affordable price, etc.

SOBHA Limited has projects that cater to a diverse set of customers, whether they are interested in buying flats, villa, plots, etc. SOBHA Limited was the very first real-estate developer in India to use the Precast Technology for development of their project SOBHA Dream Acres. With precast technology, SOBHA Dream Acres has been able to reduce the overall cost without compromising on quality. SOBHA Limited has managed to complete the first 200 homes of SOBHA Dream Acres, 20 months prior to its completion date, which is way #AheadOfTime. In Bengaluru, they also have projects like SOBHA Habitech in the heart of Whitefield that has exceptional amenities and ‘technology’ that forms the core of the project. They also have a Pan India presence across 25 cities in 13 states and also a strong presence in the Middle East. By focusing on quality, trust, timely project delivery and customer delight; SOBHA Limited has been able to maintain their numero UNO position and has also won many accolades including The Most Trusted Brand by customers in a PAN INDIA survey by track2realty.

Even in an unstable real-estate market that was impacted by Demonization, RERA, GST, etc. SOBHA Limited could still keep up with the changing market situations and deliver delight to its customers. During our previous interaction with Mr. Raj Pillai, ED of SOBHA Limited, he had mentioned that SOBHA Limited has world class machinery and they have invested significantly in it over a period of time. In fact, the group has more than 8K skilled “certified” tradesmen [either employed with SOBHA or working on contract]. Just imagine the impact if a ‘quality brand’ like SOBHA hosts a sale of all its PAN India properties, wouldn’t it be beneficial for the customers who aspire to invest in quality homes from SOBHA. Well, people could witness the excitement in a #NowOrNever sale that was organized on 13th & 14th January 2018 at Shangri-La Hotel in Bengaluru. The sale had properties from Pune, Bengaluru, Kochi, etc. that were showcased at dedicated booths. Customers had the option to choose from 2, 3, and 4 Bed Apartments, Villas and Plots ranging from Rs. 75 Lakhs ~ Rs. 9 Crores. There was also a dedicated booth for NRIs who are planning to invest in India’s growth story.

There was a live SALE Counter ]that showed the count of flats sold in the SALE] which shows the amount of trust that customers have in the SOBHA Brand. SOBHA Limited also hosted some of their prominent projects across Bengaluru. SOBHA Palladian, SOBHA Dream Acres, SOBHA City, SOBHA International City, SOBHA The Park and The Plaza to name a few. As mentioned earlier, SOBHA Limited has been a leader in adopting technology in the real-estate market, and this was evident from the setup at the event! Drones were being used to capture glimpses of the event, and a dedicated workforce with tablets ensured that customers spend very minimal time in registrations. There was also a VR setup where customers could get a real-time glimpse of some of the projects by SOBHA. Dedicated sales team from different locations in India had flown to Bengaluru to ensure that doubts were cleared by members who had complete knowledge about the projects in their sector. All the projects displayed at the sale are RERA approved which means that customers are putting their money in  the right place!  Some of the glimpses from the two-day sale is below:

Whether it is Budget Housing or Expensive Villas, SOBHA Limited has ensured that they deliver delight to its customers. Though many of SOBHA’s competitors spend massive amount of money on marketing, SOBHA’s superior products and technological advancements do the talking.

If you are a SOBHA customer, do leave your thoughts in the comments section…