Paytm Gets RBI Approval to Launch Payments Bank

Paytm has announced that it has received RBI approval to formally launch the Paytm payments bank. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm, wrote in a blog post that he intends to take a full time executive role in the Paytm payments bank. The company was one of the entities granted approval to launch a payments bank in 2015; it had been targeting a Diwali launch but missed its deadline a couple of times. The first payments bank in India was launched by Airtel in November, which is running a pilot in Rajasthan.

Paytm Gets RBI Approval to Launch Payments Bank“At Paytm Payments Bank, our aim is to build a new business model in banking industry, focussed on bringing financial services to 100’s of millions of un-served or underserved Indians,” Sharma writes in the announcement. “With power of technology and innovation-at-scale, we aim to become a benchmark in world of banking.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Paytm also announced the integration of the UPI as a payments channel to recharge its wallet balance. This means that you could theoretically recharge your Paytm Wallet with the BHIM app. Of course, that money now won’t have to be transferred to a bank account – Paytm had earlier announced that it’s going to merge its Wallet and Payments Bank, so your wallet balance will automatically become your bank balance.

A Payments Bank is – in case you’re not already familiar – a kind of bridge between prepaid wallets and full fledged bank accounts. The idea is that the companies selected for this licence would be able to reach deeper into India than banks, which are more infrastructure heavy, and this would help improve financial inclusion, something that’s become particularly important in a post-demonetisation India.

 

Payments banks can accept deposits restricted to Rs. 1 lakh per customer, and are allowed to pay customers interest on the money that is being deposited. Airtel is offering 7.25 percent per annum interest to customers through its payments bank. It’s not clear what Paytm payments bank will offer.

Unlike a regular bank, however, a payment bank can’t loan money to people or issue credit cards. Also, the payments banks are only allowed to invest the money customers deposit into government securities.

While payments banks can’t issue credit cards, they can issue ATM and debit cards – although again, Airtel, which is the only payments bank at present, has chosen not to do so. Payments banks can be integrated with your savings bank accounts via IMPS and NEFT transfers. This means that it’s a full part of the banking system, unlike a wallet. Payments banks should therefore be able to enable UPI payments – so you could have a Paytm account but still pay someone who does not use Paytm. The reverse would also be true – you could now have a Paytm account, but receive money from anyone with a working UPI app.

iPhone 6 16GB Variant Available for as Low as Rs. 9,990 on Flipkart With New Exchange Offer

In what can be considered as the biggest discount yet, Apple’s iPhone 6 Space Grey Variant is available for as low as Rs. 9,990 on Flipkart. The e-commerce site is offering an exchange offer that can provide up to Rs. 22,000 discount on the 16GB Space Grey variant, making it possible to buy the device under Rs. 10,000 when one includes the Rs. 5,000 flat discount being offered alongside.

iPhone 6 16GB Variant Available for as Low as Rs. 9,990 on Flipkart With New Exchange OfferThe iPhone 6 Space Grey exchange discount is accompanied with an extra 5 percent instant discount on Axis Bank Buzz Credit Cards as well. As we mentioend, Flipkart is offering a flat Rs. 5,000 off (13 percent) on the iPhone 6 Space Grey 16GB variant, and is selling it for Rs. 31,990. The exchange offer listed offers up to a maximum of Rs. 22,000 discount on exchange of old phones. This discount varies depending on the model, but we discovered that exchanging the iPhone 6s garners the maximum discount. However, it is unlikely that anyone would exchange their 3D Touch-enabled iPhone 6s for a two-year-old iPhone 6 unit.The company is also touting an additional Rs. 2,000 off on regular exchange value.

The iPhone 6 16GB Silver variant has not got the Rs. 5,000 price cut, and is available for Rs. 36,990. However, the exchange offer is applicable offering a maximum of up to Rs. 20,000 discount. The iPhone 6 was launched in 2015, while the latest phone from Apple is the iPhone 7. Flipkart is offering an exchange discount of up to Rs. 20,000 on all of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

The big highlights of the iPhone 7 are that the base variant has been bumped up to 32GB, the physical press of the Home Button and the 3.5mm audio jack have been removed. The larger iPhone 7 Plus also introduced a dual camera setup for the first time.

BlackBerry Mercury aka DTEK70 With QWERTY Keyboard Teased on Video

The upcoming BlackBerry Android smartphone complete with a physical keyboard, thought to be codenamed BlackBerry Mercury and called the DTEK70, has been teased in a short video posted by TCL President and General Manager Steve Cistulli. Even though the clip is of relatively short duration, it does give a glimpse of the physical QWERTY keyboard present on the upcoming BlackBerry Mercury smartphone. Referring to the physical keyboard on the BlackBerry Mercury, Cistulli said “imPRESSively designed. distinctly different,” in his Twitter post.
BlackBerry Mercury aka DTEK70 With QWERTY Keyboard Teased on VideoTo recall, BlackBerry CEO John Chen in November said that the company would be making one last smartphone – a QWERTY offering – before licensing the brand to third-party manufacturers. This phone is thought to be codenamed Mercury, and be launched as the BlackBerry DTEK70.

The BlackBerry Mercury smartphone was previously leaked in live images last month. The images leaked on Chinese micro-blogging website Weibo suggested that the BlackBerry Mercury will feature a physical keyboard. The phone is expected to run on Android 7.0 Nougat and sport a 4.5-inch display with an unusual 1080×1620 pixel screen resolution along with 420ppi pixel density.

BlackBerry Mercury has been tipped to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. The BlackBerry Mercury has also been suggested to come with a better-than-average battery life. The inbuilt storage on the phone is expected to be 32GB. In terms of optics, BlackBerry Mercury is expected to come with an 18-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel camera at front for taking selfies.

More details of the BlackBerry Mercury are expected to be revealed at CES, where the phone is expected to be launched by TCL.

AMD Reveals Radeon FreeSync 2: Here’s What You Need to Know

One of the longest running bugbears of PC gaming is screen tearing — ever so often you’ll notice that when in motion, visuals on screen appear torn or distorted, even with the best possible PC. Screen tearing happens when the PC’s graphics card pushes out frames either faster or slower than the monitor can refresh its image, resulting in visible jitter and split frames. While only seen for a fraction of a second, tearing is extremely jarring can ruin the experience of playing a game.

AMD Reveals Radeon FreeSync 2: Here’s What You Need to KnowMore often than not, video cards can render frames faster than monitors can handle them, but the frequency is not uniform. Usually monitors can display games at 60 frames per second, but even if a video card is pumping out 80 or 90 frames per second and there are minute differences in the lag between them (also known as frame pacing), the result is visible screen tearing.

Some fixes exist, such as vertical sync, commonly known as v-sync — which forces the video card to slow itself down to the monitor’s maximum refresh rate, usually translating to a uniform 60 frames per second, expressed as 60Hz. This brings with it other concerns, most notably input lag and the inability to use the full potential of the graphics card.
In games with busy sections such as the grand firefights in Battlefield 1, PCs often struggle even with v-sync enabled. You’ll be subject to stuttering and lag due to the monitor having to wait for the graphics card before it has a new frame to display. This is even more detrimental to the experience as a game’s most crucial segments can become insufferable.
The obvious solution is to allow monitors to refresh at a variable pace rather than forcing unevenly delivered frames into a 60Hz structure. This requires monitors to have special panels that can handle a variable refresh rate, and controllers that can sync with the input stream.

Both Nvidia and AMD have come up with different ways to handle this. Nvidia calls its approach G-sync, and AMD has its own FreeSync standard. AMD’s choice of name is significant, because while Nvidia’s technology is proprietary and available only to its partners, FreeSync is not only freely useable but is also now an official part of the VESA (Video Electronics Standard Association) standards that display manufacturers follow.

FreeSync was officially launched on March 19, 2015. Fast forward to a little less than two years later, and AMD has revealed a second iteration — FreeSync 2 or Radeon FreeSync 2, if we’re to be completely pedantic.

amd freesync on off radeon graphics amd_freesync

AMD shared a few details related to FreeSync 2 with Gadgets 360 and other select media outlets at an event in Sonoma, California last month, and while specific details were hard to come by, here’s everything we know so far.

LFC is now mandatory with FreeSync 2
Perhaps the biggest addition to FreeSync 2 is one that should have been part of its initial release: Low Frame-rate Compensation or LFC. This allows FreeSync 2monitors to continue running smoothly even when the incoming video stream’s refresh rate falls below the monitor’s minimum threshold. This needs the monitor’s maximum refresh rate to be 2.5x of its minimum refresh rate, so that there’s enough range to allow a laggy frame to be displayed completely before the next one pushes it out of the way.

amd freesync 2 twitch alt tab amd_freesync_2
HDR support for FreeSync and FreeSync 2
HDR is another big addition to FreeSync 2. AMD hopes to reduce the lag between when an image is rendered and when it shows up on screen, particularly when HDR is involved. The game you’re playing is told the specific characteristics of the monitor connected, so it can map colour tones accordingly and reduce the lag caused by translation.

If you’re using FreeSync, HDR rendering is being brought over as is full-screen borderless window mode for you to Alt-Tab out of games and into services like Twitch as you see fit.

FreeSync 2 gets Automatic Switching between modes
Also, FreeSync 2 will automatically detect what you’re doing so it can activate HDR when you’re playing a game or watching a movie, and turn itself off when you’re on your desktop. When a game launches, everything will automatically switch to the correct settings, reverting to standard options like sRGB when you’re back to your desktop.

AMD claims that FreeSync 2 with HDR allows for over twice the perceivable brightness and colour volume over sRGB, though only with a FreeSync 2 API-enabled game and video players. You will of course need content that is created in a way that utilises these capabilities. You’ll also need a monitor specifically certified for Freesync 2.

free sync 2 auto mode switch amd_freesync_2

No concrete details on FreeSync 2 monitors just yet
AMD is boasting that it has over 20 display partners on board compared to Nvidia’s eight, and 121 FreeSync monitors available across the world right now versus 18 G-Sync ones. However, the company hasn’t announced any specifics about partners for FreeSync 2 just yet, or whether existing monitors will be able to support it.

When asked if it would charge vendors for FreeSync 2 certification, the company replied with: “No comment at this stage.” It seems unlikely, given its past commitment to free standards, including Mantle and the original FreeSync. We also expect both HDMI and DisplayPort input methods to be supported.

lg lfc monitor amd freesync amd_freesync_2

Will your existing GPU work with FreeSync 2?
If you own an AMD Radeon graphic card from the HD 7000 series and above (i.e. any AMD card launched from 2012 onwards), FreeSync 2 will be supported via a driver update. What’s more, AMD claims that FreeSync 2 will work in parallel with FreeSync.

Closer to home, FreeSync monitors haven’t been available in India easily, with only handful of options from LG, Viewsonic, and Samsung in the market. Nonetheless, with AMD looking to sort out its GPU supply woes in India after the RX 480 debacle, it will be interesting to see if display partners get more bullish about FreeSync 2.