How blockchain helps move money internationally like you send emails

Navin Gupta, MD (South Asia and MENA region) at Ripple.

We want to move money around the world like information moves today. We should be able to send money the way we are able to send emails and WhatsApp messages. When I say money, I mean legal money which is fully authenticated, regulated and controlled,” Navin Gupta, managing director of South Asia and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region for Ripple, a provider of leading enterprise blockchain solutions for payments, said at the Mint Digital Innovation Summit held in Bengaluru on 15 March. He was speaking on “Understanding Blockchain’s Impact on Payments”.

It is estimated that today the world sends more than $155 trillion across borders. Yet, the underlying infrastructure is dated and flawed. This is where Ripple with its blockchain technology connects banks, payment providers and digital asset exchanges to provide a seamless experience to send money globally. More than 200 institutions are using the blockchain technology built by Ripple to transact daily, Gupta claims. “In India, banks like Axis and Yes Bank are using our technology to process their customers’ payments anywhere in the world. We live in 40 corridors and 6 continents, besides having offices in 8 countries,” said Gupta.

Blockchain has advantages because it is open source, decentralized, reliable and trusted, Gupta said. The cost of transaction is consistent—there is no fee or timing loss and it is scalable. There are no physical assets and enterprises that leverage Ripple’s digital asset XRP (cryptocurrency used by the Ripple payment network) when sending payments on behalf of customers. Using XRP for liquidity when sending a cross-border payment helps financial institutions avoid the hassle of pre-funding accounts in destination currencies. It allows them to make faster, lower cost payments than they can through the traditional correspondent banking system. Banks can now help global companies send on-demand payments around the world without fail. There is an opportunity to “secure a greater share of cross-border payments volume”, said Gupta.

Ripple also helps bank customers send money to people in many emerging markets including Mexico, India, and Thailand to increase their share of “this large and growing market”. What’s next? “Ripple is moving beyond blockchain, and connecting networks so that we can move money across networks. Again this is open-source and lightweight so it becomes easy to transfer money across networks. So we are building the ecosystem for networks to connect with each other and in our view globalization will be completed when data, goods and money flow seamlessly. That’s the way we think of it as an internet of value when the whole world gets connected through payment systems,” Gupta said.


Gmail Undo Send, New Tech Partnerships Make Headlines

Pretty much every business owner and professional has experienced the horror of sending an email only to find moments later that it included a mistake, typo, or even the dreaded unintentional “send all.” But now there’s a new solution for Gmail users in the form of an “undo send” button.

In addition, WordStream and Constant Contact and Bing and AOL announced partnerships this week that could impact small businesses. Those items top the list of headlines in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Technology Trends

Do-over! Gmail Undo Send Feature will Save You From Embarrassment

Intra-office sniping accidentally slip into an email? Get a little too frank in an email and instantly regret hitting Send? Gmail Undo Send has been a feature on Google Labs since 2009. But Google has now officially made Undo Send a Gmail feature now giving Web users up to 30 seconds to change their minds on hitting Send.

WordStream and Constant Contact Announce Partnership

WordStream and Constant Contact are announcing a new business partnership. As part of the partnership, WordStream and Constant Contact will develop an integration that brings new customer leads collected via WordStream Advisor seamlessly into Constant Contact, letting small businesses engage with those leads without any extra steps.

Bing Beats Out Google in AOL Deal

Bing has trumped Google with the announcement of a new Bing AOL partnership. The 10-year deal will be effective Jan. 1, 2016, with Bing powering search and search listings across the AOL portfolio of sites. Google previously held the AOL deal since the early 2000s. The company may not view being outed as a great loss.

Using Windows Server 2003? Microsoft Will Drop Support Soon

The end of support for software comes after a long period of warning from the companies selling these applications. In the case of Microsoft, it makes the announcements many years in advance, giving users ample time to make perpetrations for the migration to the latest platform. However, we are all very busy and before you know it is time to make the upgrade.

Mobile Technology

Sprint Announces Wireless Industry’s First-Ever “All-In” Pricing Plan

Recently, Sprint introduced what the company’s calling the wireless industry’s first-ever “All-In” pricing plan. The company claims that its All-In campaign counters the wireless industry’s current way of advertising by providing one monthly price for a smartphone and unlimited talk, text and high-speed data.

Microsoft Introduces 4G LTE Version of Surface 3

Fans of Microsoft’s Surface 3 might be excited to hear the company is beginning to roll-out a new 4G LTE model. But if you want to get your hands on one, you might have to wait a few weeks. Microsoft is taking its time bringing this latest model to market. The Surface 3 (4G LTE) has already been on the market in Japan through Y!Mobile for the last two weeks.

Your Surface 3 Can Now Have Windows 10

Microsoft has released updates for its Surface Pro 3 devices, allowing the tablet/laptops to run the new Windows 10 operating system. That’s one of the changes the company announced this week with its new firmware for the Surface Pro 3 and its sister product, the Surface 3.

Lenovo ideacentre Stick 300 is a PC in the Palm of Your Hand

The idea of taking your computer with you wherever you go is as old as the laptop. The notion of a computer so small it fits in your pocket — i.e. the “PC on a stick” isn’t novel either. So what makes the new Lenovo ideacentre 300 special? For one thing, the price. When it hits shelves next month, it will sell for $129.


Santander and Monitise Team Up to Invest in Fintech Startups

A major bank and an innovative financial technology platform are getting together to invest in fintech, a fancy name for financial technology companies. These are businesses largely centered around use of software for the delivery of financial services. The new partners are Santander Bank, a large North American lender, and London-based Monitise, an innovator in so-called mobile money.


Many Small Businesses Aren’t Marketing to Millennials, Says Manta Report

Small business owners are missing out on a potentially big piece of the action by not marketing to millennials, a key consumer demographic, according to a recently released survey. Only 15 percent of small businesses across all industries are marketing to millennials, the survey results reveal.

Learning by Doing and Entrepreneurship

A few months ago, I did a non-scientific survey on this site asking the following question of anyone who wanted to answer it: “What’s the best way to learn more about entrepreneurship?” I promised to present the results in a post. I’ve finally gotten around to doing that and have included the results below.

Retail Trends

Small Retailers Make Up Their Own Minds on Confederate Flag Debate

Larger retailers like WalMart and Amazon have already made up their minds. They’ve decided to stop stocking the Confederate flag and related merchandise. The decision follows the tragic shooting of nine people, all black, in a predominantly African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Win Social Media Marketing Freedom with DrumUp

Social media is becoming a more and more essential part of running a business. But it can also turn into a time consuming task. That’s the problem that management tool DrumUp is looking to solve. The company provides a social media management tool that is specifically designed to help businesses and professionals save time on their online marketing efforts.

Small Business Operations

Check Out These Business Travel Horror Stories

Each month SurePayroll produces its SurePayroll Small Business Score Card. And this month the company was kind enough to allow Small Business Trends to add some questions posed to small business owners and managers about their practices and policies for business travel.

Social Media

Could Facebook Video Be Serious Competition to YouTube?

The rocky start of Facebook’s IPO has done very little to discourage the company from charging full steam ahead and going after its competitors. With its billion-plus users in its back pocket, the company has the confidence to challenge even the likes of Google and its video outlet, YouTube.


Serious Accident Leads to Life-Changing LeanOnWe Startup

Ron Gold was riding his bicycle in Northern New Jersey when an SUV struck him head-on without braking. The driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. And Gold, having just come around a curve, didn’t have enough time to change course. By all accounts, the accident should have killed him. But his active lifestyle before the accident essentially saved his life.

Cafe Finds Perfect Location — In an Old Train Station?

This cafe has a unique location — inside a nineteenth century train station. The Market Cafe is located in the sleepy little town of Topton in eastern Pennsylvania. When you visit, one of the first things you might notice are the two very active train tracks. The second would be the old train station that now serves as the cafe.

Gmail on Mobile photo via Shutterstock


WhatsApp Used to Send a Record 14 Billion Messages on New Year’s Eve in India

WhatsApp Used to Send a Record 14 Billion Messages on New Year's Eve in India

WhatsApp Used to Send a Record 14 Billion Messages on New Year’s Eve in India
3.1 billion images, 700 million GIFs, and 610 million videos were sent
WhatsApp recently rolled out the ability to share GIF images
WhatsApp has more than 160 million monthly active users in India
On New Year’s Eve, 14 billion messages were exchanged through WhatsApp in India, 32 percent of which were in some form of media – photos, GIF images, videos, and voice messages, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app said on Friday.

The number of messages shared on the platform on New Year’s Eve is even higher than the last record set during Diwali when 8 billion messages were sent in one day, WhatsApp said.

A total of 3.1 billion images, 700 million GIF images, and 610 million videos were sent on WhatsApp on the occasion. WhatsApp has more than 160 million monthly active users in India.

Interestingly, WhatsApp only recently rolled out the ability to share animated GIF images on the platform. WhatsApp for iPhone got the feature back in November, while WhatsApp for Android got the feature in December. Android recently also got the ability to stream shared videos, letting users view videos before they were downloaded.
Last month, a major new feature was reportedly spotted in the WhatsApp for iPhone beta – the ability to revoke and edit sent messages. Several other messaging apps offer similar features, and their addition to WhatsApp will certainly be well-received. Also spotted was the ability to preview shared archive files.

Notably, WhatsApp stopped working on older versions of Android, iOS, and Windows Phone on December 31. Devices running on Android 2.2 or lower, iOS 6 or lower, and Windows Phone 7 are no longer supported by the app.

Written with inputs from IANS

For the latest coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visit our CES 2017 hub.
Tags: WhatsApp, WhatsApp India, Apps, India


Microsoft Garage Launches Send, a Text Message-Like Email App

Email can be an essential part of business communication. But it can be frustrating when you just want to fire off a quick message to a coworker from your phone and have to mess around with subject lines and the like.

Microsoft Garage, a project lab where employees from all areas of the company can turn their ideas into projects, today announced a new app that it claims will cut down on the time it takes to send email from your phone.

Simply named Send, the idea behind the app is quick, in-and-out email.

Instead of traditional email with greetings, subject lines, and other formal email constructs, Send promises more of a text message-like experience. When you want to send a quick message to a co-worker you simply tap a contact to begin a conversation.

You can also respond to email by swiping to choose a Quick Reply such as “On my way,” if you find typing a reply too much of a hassle.

Microsoft claims that email sent through Send can be read anywhere. This means you can message anyone with an email account even if they don’t have the app. Send will also only display messages started from the app, so you don’t have to wade through your entire inbox.

With the app behaving similar to text messaging you may be wondering why not just send a text. But Microsoft has added some features that may make the app a more appealing choice than texting or sending a quick message through other mobile communications.

The company claims Send messages comply with your organization’s email compliance policies and are treated like other work email.

Conversations sent through Send also sync to Outlook so messages will also be delivered to your traditional email inbox. This allows you to respond later – perhaps in more detail – from you computer or other device if you choose.

Currently the app is only available on iPhone but Microsoft says it will be coming soon to Windows Phone and Android. The app connects to Office 365 so you will need this if you want to use Send. If you want to give it a try you can currently download Send through iTunes.

Image: Microsoft/iTunes Store

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