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Indians can now use UPI to make purchases on Play Store

Because debit cards are too old school

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Google’s Play Store has now added Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as a payment option for users in India. The payment method is widely used in the country and is directly linked to a bank account.

Earlier, users had to rely on credit or debit cards. In a side move, Google also started selling cash cards at popular electronic stores. But, cash cards meant users had to buy a fixed amount of credit. With UPI, they now have the liberty of directly paying only what’s required.

XDA Developers were the first one to spot the feature addition and it’s rolling out OTA to everyone. To ensure you get it, just update the Google Play Store to v16.3.37 or more.

For those who aren’t aware, UPI is India’s homegrown protocol for transferring money and making payments. It is directly linked to a bank account and various client apps like BHIM, GPay, PhonePe, PayTM, and more can be used to initiate a transaction. Instead of relying on a physical card, UPI protocol brings authentication of transactions directly to your phone.

The transfer method is widely adopted in the country and thanks to a universal interface, it can be used for pretty much every Indian bank. Every major e-commerce service like Amazon, Flipkart, and Spotify have adopted the payment service to bolster sales.

In fact, UPI has overtaken debit card transactions by volume and value according to The Reserve Bank of India. This minor addition is sure to get a lot of traction, in turn discouraging app piracy.

Apps

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now available in PH

Offers a personalized music experience

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YouTube officially introduces its new music streaming app in the Philippines — YouTube Music.

In a nutshell, it is a reimagined, made-for-music app and web player that has official songs, albums, thousands of playlists, and artist radio plus YouTube’s catalog of remixes, live performances, covers, and music videos.

While all this is available for free in the ad-supported version of YouTube Music, a paid service called YouTube Music Premium is also available. This allows you to play songs and videos in the background while you toggle between apps, write a text message, or lock your phone during a run.

YouTube Music Premium also offers offline downloads and an ad-free experience starting at PhP 129 per month.

According to the company, YouTube Music not only has official songs, albums, and live performances, but it also has those hard-to-find music that one can only find on YouTube.

Another thing that makes it stand out is the ability to look for certain songs just by typing in parts of the lyrics. It’s useful for those times that you don’t know the title and know only a short part of its chorus.

The app also allows you to switch between music videos and songs with just a tap. YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers can enjoy a seamless transition between a song and its music video seamlessly.

It’s also noteworthy that subscribers of Google Play Music will get YouTube Music Premium membership as part of their subscription each month with no changes to the existing subscription.

Additionally, users may also opt for YouTube Premium which already includes membership to YouTube Music Premium for PhP 159 per month.

If you want to save more on subscriptions, you may sign up for a YouTube Family Plan where you can share a paid subscription with up to five other family members living in the same household for PhP 199 per month.

For additional info and complete rates, you may visit their website.

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Facebook Pay will let you send money instantly

Will also be available on Instagram and WhatsApp

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Facebook unveiled its next-generation cryptocurrency Libra early this year. However, the service has received a lukewarm response due to Facebook’s spotty privacy record. Governments and regulators are worried the social network hasn’t done enough to instill confidence after the Cambridge Analytical scandal.

While the giant is trying to find a smooth path for Libra, it’s also ensuring that now-trending opportunities aren’t missed out. With the launch of Facebook Pay, the social network will seamlessly let you transfer money to your friends and acquaintances.

The system supports all major credit as well as debit cards but is being launched in the U.S. only at the moment. We expect availability in other regions following compliance with local laws.

Facebook already lets users send money through the Messenger app. But with Facebook Pay, users will be able to send money via other Facebook apps. To start, it’s rolling out on the core Facebook and Messenger apps, but will be added to Instagram and WhatsApp in the future.

The company has more than a billion active users worldwide. Thanks to a centralized service, it can leverage users from all the various apps it owns. Venmo is currently leading the micro-transactions segment and only time will tell whether Facebook has been able to retain users.

The users can add a PIN or use device biometrics, such as touch or Face ID recognition, for an extra layer of security when sending money or making a payment.

In India, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been trying to launch WhatsApp Pay, a similar peer-to-peer service. Unfortunately, India’s data localization laws and additional compliances have delayed the release by more than a year.

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Huawei Mobile Cloud will have free storage for some users

5GB free for users in APAC

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In an attempt to get more people to use Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), Huawei is offering a treat for users in Asia Pacific.

Some time in the middle of November, HMS users located in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand will be the first in the region to enjoy free 5GB storage of Huawei Mobile Cloud. You’ll just need to login using a Huawei ID.

In addition, Huawei and Honor users can enjoy one month of 50GB Mobile Cloud storage at a massive discounted price from today until December 31, 2019.

Countries Original Price per month Discounted
Philippines PhP 49.00 PhP 1.00
Singapore SG$ 1.28 SG$ 0.10
Thailand THB 35.00 THB 1.00
Malaysia MYR 3.90 MYR 0.10

Exclusive deals for Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro users

Those who already own or who plan to own Huawei’s latest smartphones — the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 pro are entitled to three months of free 50GB Huawei Mobile Cloud storage along with two years warranty and free screen replacement from Huawei HiCare.

They’re also incentivizing users who will download the Huawei Member Center app from the AppGallery. Users from the mentioned countries can redeem free Huawei Points and Lazada shopping vouchers available on the app. This will be available by the end of November 2019.

Countries Huawei Points Lazada Vouchers Trip.com Vouchers
Philippines PhP 1200 PhP 500 N/A
Singapore SG$ 30 SG$ 12 Up to SG$ 20 off
Thailand THB 850 THB 300 Up to THB 250 off
Malaysia MYR 100 MYR 40 Up to MYR 30 off

SEE ALSO: Huawei is building an ecosystem of connected devices

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