Technology is all around us from the doorbell of your house to the smart T.V mounted on your wall, from the cash register at your local shop to the Gameboy you play with, it is all technology.
But the current era we reside in, technology is constantly evolving and it is hard to keep up with the latest and greatest launches, therefore we have our tech gurus step in, who update us with all that is happening in the tech world.
These blogs and websites give a wide assortment of data, downloads, and assets with one shared characteristic: they all add to the latest Technology Updates.
So, here are the top five technology blogs in Pakistan to keep you on top of the world of technology.
ProPakistani with its start in 2008 has become the spot for publishing exclusive technology-related content. Their point of focus revolves around the latest gadgets, ISPs, general industry news, and applications.
There are various ways to follow their updates including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ newsletters as well as their blog.
In their latest blog update, a new section called, “Digital Pakistan” has been added where they are informing their readers on how to stay connected to the world in these COVID-19 times, through apps that keep businesses running high and stress levels low.
Technology Times is the first and only newspaper and blog of Pakistan that is bent on providing information to the people of Pakistan about everything in technology.
They proactively provide information on not only the technology but also on gaming, social media, agriculture, startups, and many more topics.
Apart from providing the latest tech information of Pakistan, they also inform the general masses about the up-to-date tech news in China and U.S.A.
Technology Weekly Times is one of the few websites that have both English and Urdu sections. Through their weekly newspaper Technology Times try to put forth 3 main objectives:
- To disseminate information among the masses,
- Projection of Pakistani scientists and technopreneurs and
- Development of academic-industrial liaisons.
TechMag is an Online IT and Telecom Magazine made specifically for Pakistanis. TechMag is covering new businesses, latest innovation, concentrating on business visionaries, featuring the pioneers and celebrated technologists.
They have made it their sole priority to illuminate the Pakistani masses with statistical data points that how greatly the Pakistani mechanical industry and worldwide innovative industry have been developing.
They constantly update on the latest mobile and app launches as well as must-have gadgets and gizmos.
Since the launch of PakWired in 2014 by Hasan Saleem, a Pakistani serial entrepreneur who is also a recognized leader in the online business community after founding several successful ventures, he launched PakWired.
PakWired provides tips and tricks on how to use your latest gizmos to freelancing 101, from the top remote working tools to the daily tech how to’s.
Their aim is to inform and connect those with an entrepreneurial drive from around the world, helping them make smarter business decisions along the way.
With its kick start in 2014, TechJuice has become Pakistan’s driving innovation media stage, committed to profiling and advancing Pakistani new businesses, cryptocurrency, the latest emerging gadgets, and the freshest mobile prices.
Because they cover news with regard to Start-ups, entrepreneurship, and Technology in Pakistan, TechJuice has become one of the go-to blogs not only for the people in Pakistan but also abroad.
In conclusion, whether you are a tech geek, an upcoming technopreneur, or even a student in the world technology, these blogs are sure to help cover every possible field in technology and provide the appropriate information that will help you develop into a tech guru.
Fintech NayaPay Secures $13M As It Rolls Out Digital Payments In Pakistan
NayaPay, a Pakistan-based fintech platform, has raised $13 million in one of the largest seed rounds in South Asia. Bringing together a diverse mix of leading global institutional and angel investors, the round was led by Zayn Capital, global fund manager MSA Novo and early-stage VC Graph Ventures from Silicon Valley.
Singapore-based Saison Capital, Waleed Saigol’s Maple Leaf Capital, and Warren Hogarth, CEO Empower Finance, also participated in the round, alongside a major investment from the sponsors of the Lakson Group – a Pakistani conglomerate with interests in media, telecom, industrials, financial services as well as controlling stake in Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan and McDonald’s Pakistan.
NayaPay is the first fintech of its kind in Pakistan having recently secured the first E-Money Institution license from the central bank, State Bank of Pakistan. It is on a mission to make financial services simpler and accessible to millions of Pakistani users. NayaPay aims to be at the forefront in the digitization of Pakistan with its two-sided platform for the underbanked.
Pakistan presents a significant market opportunity for NayaPay, where over 50 million adults are unbanked and only 33% of women have a bank account. With 70% of the population under 35 years old, there is a significant mobile-first generation.
Almost $4tn payments are made each year but only 1% of these are made digitally currently. On the merchant side, the majority of SMBs in Pakistan are unregistered, have traditionally dealt primarily in cash, and have very limited access to business banking.
The fintech has launched its chat-led super app targeted primarily at students and freelancers, and is building a SaaS-based platform called NayaPay Arc offering universal payment acceptance and financial management tools for SMBs.
NayaPay’s platform strategy will harness the network effects between consumers and merchants, as seen in platforms such as Square Cash/Square, WeChat Pay, AliPay, and Venmo in their native markets.
NayaPay CEO and Founder, Danish A. Lakhani, commented, “NayaPay is empowering young Pakistani adults starting their financial journey, from students stepping into adulthood to freelancers and entrepreneurs taking an active role in managing their finances. In many senses, it’s a coming-of-age moment for many and our goal is to continue to innovate and build functionality to become a part of their daily lives, for the rest of their lives.”
Danish A. Lakhani added, “Micro, small and medium businesses make up 90% of the merchant base in Pakistan, and yet they are underserved when it comes to access to basic financial services. NayaPay Arc will provide universal payments acceptance and a range of business financial management tools to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners.”
“The tools are intended to give business owners visibility of their cash flows, pay suppliers and grow sales. Our goal is to enable them to focus on growth while we take care of the rest. By helping small businesses harness the power of technology, we believe we can transform the Pakistani economy,” he added.
Faisal Aftab, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Zayn Capital Frontier, said, “We are very bullish on fintech in Pakistan. While just beginning to emerge, Pakistani fintechs have the advantage of learning from peers and placing better informed strategic bets.”
“We were impressed by the completeness of the vision of the founding team at NayaPay, and their differentiated platform-based strategy — first focused on servicing the needs of underbanked consumers and SMBs with specific use cases and building out from there. With a proven ability to execute on the ground, the founder has an impressive track record of building and scaling businesses in Pakistan, including the country’s largest fiber broadband service (StormFiber),” he added.ADVERTISEMENT
Omar Siddiqui, General Partner at Graph Ventures, added, “We are excited to partner with Danish and the NayaPay team as they scale their leading digital payments platform for consumers and merchants in Pakistan. We have been early-stage investors in 300+ companies over the past decade in the United States, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, and we are excited to see the mobile and fintech technology trends that have empowered consumers in these markets also emerge in Pakistan.”
“NayaPay already offers the most robust solution for consumers to access next-generation financial conveniences in Pakistan, and we look forward to working with the team as they roll out new products and grow their consumer base,” he further said.
Danish A. Lakhani concluded: “Customer trust is a key pillar of any platform’s success. At NayaPay, we are consumed by our obsession to simplify the lives of both consumers and merchants with our app and NayaPay Arc while supporting our customers with robust and scalable technology and fanatic customer service. We are also partnering with leading banks to provide additional value and convenience to our mutual customers, eventually leading to a full digital banking experience.”
Digital Pakistan Vision and the Challenges
The world is going digital and countries hopping on the new platform are the ones reaping the benefits most out of it. Pakistani authorities have been working to achieve the goal but there are several challenges in acquiring a digital Pakistan.
Pakistan is among such fortunate countries where the youth population is 60% of the total population. This percentage of regular users of digital services such as digital payments or e-payments, internet access and professionals in smartphone world provide infinite opportunities to succeed in going digital.
It is the gigantic and innovative initiative taken by Prime Minister Pakistan to upgrade digital banking infrastructure and easing the conditions or requirements and exhausting paperwork to avail digital services such as e-payments, online transactions and the issuance of credit cards, and their use at Online stores i.e in-store shopping, Fuel fill-up at stations, online utility Bill payments and Universities Fee Payment Gateways, but unfortunately, such easy and instant payment facility is currently available to Elite Business class and involves too much Paperwork, guarantees and regulations.
Government needs to overhaul the whole banking infrastructure and encourage businesses, retailers, Fuel Stations, PIA, Railways ticketing, superstores, schools, and colleges to introduce payment gateways and banks should offer credit cards to businessmen and especially to government employees since they will use such services when they run short of funds, falling prey to illegal Interest-based lenders who squeeze them financially and socially.
These banks there other banks that are issuing credit cards such as HBL, MCB, ABL, Faisal Bank, Askari bank and JS banks. The average interest or Mark up charged 40% which is very high as compared to other countries
The innovative digital payments will remove their financial constraints and the funds will be utilized based on a credit limit for 45 to 51 days and the bills can be paid through salaries decreasing chances for collateral damage or any default.
It would be great to boost and promote digital services paving the way for International digital bigwigs i.e. Google, PayPal, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Alibaba Group, Alipay, Stripe and Apple to enter Pakistani financial markets specially the PayPal, eBay and Amazon are strongly required by Freelancers and authors to get their Payments processed.
At Present, only Skrill, Payoneer and Traditional IBAN/Swift code or wire transfers are available to Pakistan which is very costly, Time consuming having inflated fees of 10% to 30% plus Bank charges of local Bank to process the amount. On the other hand, our neighboring country India has reaped the benefits digital world as the world’s best companies i.e. PayPal, Amazon and Google are serving the country with their innovative digital products and services.
By giving access to these Digital Payment Giants, Pakistan will open doors for Foreign Direct Investment and it will also reduce the heavily demanded Paper currency as People avoid using cash and prefer to use their credit and debit cards at online stores, in-store shopping purposes.
Even Pakistan’s governance Model may go ahead with modernizing and upgrading the Reporting system, Complain Management, Receipts, and Payments, Public Sector spending through an electronic dashboard that will refresh automatically if any Development related or Public sector transaction takes place. Even governance could improve if governance Model is implemented by imparting pieces of training to Staff, Officers and Officials at the Federal, Provincial and District levels so that proper reporting channels may be built to ease the complicated process and ensure transparency.
The Sale and Purchase of properties and estate should be digitized and automated so that revenue records may reflect the history of Property owners to do away with any claim or objection. The Ownership certificates, Heirship certificates, Birth Certificates, Domicile, PRC and all other certificates should be generated online through developing software mobile applications of Android or ios devices that will reduce the process and improve the productivity of the Public sector Institutes.
The process of employees’ performance evaluation, superannuation and pension may also be automated so that the entire employment record will be available when they reach their point of promotion, superannuation or drawing pensions. The Personal IDs must be opened online through scale-wise Supervisors i.e. District Accounts Officers, Account Generals of Provinces and Accountant General of Pakistan so that trail may be available to track salary disbursements.
At Present, only Skrill, Payoneer and Traditional IBAN/Swift code or wire transfers are available to Pakistan which is very costly, Time consuming having inflated fees of 10% to 30% plus Bank charges of local Bank to process the amount
Furthermore, the process of voter lists should also be automated and Election Commission of Pakistan must make it available to all the citizens to register their vote when they reach at the age of 18 after getting their CNIC/Smart cards or Form B. This will enable district Election Commissioner Offices to enter the data online and consolidate the voter lists.
There should be a central directorate of all the departments so that they may have coordination on digital grounds especially the FBR, AGP, Finance Ministry and Departments, Establishment division, cabinet division, NAB and Intelligence Directorates. Digital Pakistan’s vision will have a great impact to attract Foreign Direct Investment, strengthening of Rupee against Dollar, stabilization of the economy and discouraging paper currency that usually falls heavy upon rupee and due to substantial pressure, the rupee gets devalued and inflation jumps up.
We are too excited after Tanya Aidrus and Baqar’s statements during Digital Pakistan Vision launch and they were very confident that their sacrifices of higher paychecks for the sake of the country are highly appreciable but they will be facing resistance from the stakeholders who have been misusing the manual system for decades and it is an uphill task to compel such elements to adopt and use this digital Endeavour which will choke their corruption stream but may streamline things for the common people.
The other resistance will be from the provinces where PTI is on opposite Benches especially in Sindh and Baluchistan. It will be a big ask and the challenge that the initiated by IT and Telecom Ministry will achieve its desired objectives given the challenges of shortage of IT Skilled Staff and messed up the bureaucratic structure.
The government should make digital literacy a compulsory part in every ministry at the Federal, provincial and district levels by setting up IT Skill development centers to train the supervisory and office staff so that digital communication infrastructure may be implemented.
There is no dearth of talent in our youth but they need support and sponsorship to do wonders. Moreover, the Government should establish a venture capital firm to support, incubate, accelerate and fund the Startups that will ultimately develop and accelerate the mushrooming growth of big startups.
The entrepreneurship courses must be introduced with help of SMEDA, LUMS, IBA Karachi, IBA, Sukkur, SZabist, NUST, FAST, COMSATS, Virtual University and SDPI so that entrepreneurs may learn to launch their startups successfully to conquer the digital world.
The Startups such as Careem, Bykea, and Rozee.pk are some the great examples of successful Startups. Globally, the Youth after getting their education, start their businesses to create employment but in Pakistan youth after passing Graduation and Masters, start hunting for a job. That is why Pakistan has a high level of Unemployment as youth avoid entering entrepreneurship since they lack skills, training, and financial resources.
Rupee against Dollar, stabilization of the economy and discouraging paper currency that usually falls heavy upon rupee and due to substantial pressure, the rupee gets devalued and inflation jumps up
Punjab IT Board has done a tremendous job by incubating, funding and accelerating startups in the public sector under the Plan9 and PlanX programs but it should be followed by all the Provinces so the proper Startup culture could be developed. Higher Education Commission, IT Boards, Technical Education, Intermediate education boards should promote digital Pakistan vision by introducing governance, payment solutions and fund the Ideas at School and college level.
It is a good sign that Online shopping Sites have experienced a mushrooming growth but mostly they accept the traditional Cash On Delivery Model (COD) which often causes losses if the customer returns the product or unavailable or Unwilling to receive the product.
E-payments ensure that the product is shipped to the target buyer or customer who needs it. Though some Online shopping sites such as Popular Daraz.pk and Yayvo.com have started accepting Credit/Debit Cards issued by Pakistani Banks but still the number of transactions is very low owing to hassles involved in getting credit cards from the banks.
At present, Only a few banks are issuing Credit Cards with Online Transactions and Point of Sale (POS) Transactions that include Standard Chartered Bank, unfortunately, limited to big cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Other one include Bank Al Falah which issues Credit Cards on quick processing lasting for 10 to 20 days.
Silk Bank is also the favorite bank of many customers who are interested in digital Transactions. Silk Bank offers a wide range of Credit Cards as per Income Levels of customers. UBL is also offering credit cards but it has too many conditions and terms.
Besides, these banks there other banks that are issuing credit cards such as HBL, MCB, ABL, Faisal Bank, Askari bank and JS banks. The average interest or Mark up charged 40% which is very high as compared to other countries. The government especially state Bank of Pakistan must direct the public and Private banks to lower the markup ratio and ease the conditions to avail this facility especially suited to salaried class and Businessmen.
In Big cities, credit cards are issued instantly by Commercial Banks to the salaried Employees of Government and Companies but in small cities, the untrained and local managers avoid issuing credit cards to customers since it involves risks of recovery or payment of credit Bill.
I have personally visited many banks where I maintain my bank account, but regrettably, all the managers expressed their inability or forbade to get Credit Cards since it is very costly and you cannot be issued credit cards in small cities.
Punjab IT Board has done a tremendous job by incubating, funding and accelerating startups in public sector under the Plan9 and PlanX programs but it should be followed by all the Provinces so the proper Startup culture could be developed
Well, one will surely experience such embarrassment and inconvenience at the hands of Non-Professional Managers who are picked to only raise the deposits whereas the quality of service is compromised at the hands of such amateurs.
Therefore, Ms Tanya Aidrus head Digital Pakistan Vision and her team at Digital Pakistan Initiative will have to work out to appease the stakeholders to achieve the desired goals set as per the tenure of PTI so that Pakistanis may reap the benefits from this digital world.
To achieve this goal, the portfolio of IT and Telecom ministry must be given to a professional who should be well versed in IT and telecom preferably a Computer science or IT Graduate to pilot this project to achieve the goals in a given clear framework.
There is also a big concern regarding inflated Taxes levied upon the business community which needs to be reduced if they use Digital currency since Digital Currency will enable FBR to track payments and appraise the financial strength of the Individuals.
The e-Currency spectrum will help reduce the crime rate, tax evasion, hoarding of money as People will use credit cards and digital wallets such as PayPal, Ali Pay, Google pays those can easily be tracked and monitored through digital systems.
TIKTOK’s global growth and expansion : a bubble or reality ?
Social media has offered amazing tools and apps that have revolutionized the lifestyle of people. Social networks always keep you connected with your friends, colleagues and family. Some creative apps have become very popular in recent times especially among the enthusiastic youth who create funny clips with the help of TikTok.
Tiktok is the greatest platform for creating short mobile videos. These videos contribute to inspire creativity and bring smiles on the faces of people even amid pandemic and lockdowns. The app has become very popular even in Pandemic and as some of the best informative and educational content went Viral.
Tiktok is the subsidiary of Grand Tech Startup Byetdance -a leading Chinese Startup with mushrooming growth. TikTok has always been expanding its reach worldwide due to its aggressive expansion programs. At present, Tiktok has offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.
Tiktok was founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. Video sharing is the most popular segment among youth and the company has tapped tremendous growth. The Company is also called douyin in China but its global version is called Tiktok. The continual growth empowered it to acquire its American rival app musical.ly. The Company has expanded its outreach globally.
New Dimensions i.e. Online Education
The covid-19 has affected the Education badly throughout the world and the online digital education has been getting ground. Most of the Schools, Colleges, Universities, Coaching centres and Academies have anchored to Online Education such as live lectures, quizzes, Presentations and Webinars. Tiktok has announced to enter the online Education in India as some of the content uploaded on Tiktok related to Education and learning has become viral earning millions of views and generating great revenue prompting Tiktok to enter the world of Education.
Tiktok has already interacted with content creators and firms in India to Provide innovative Learning material as all the educational institutions are closed for an indefinite period and Tiktok finds it the perfect time to enter the world of Education.
According to statistics that social Media app used by more than 200 million users every month in India and Tiktok will cover the range of Science and Math related topics to help students learn from this service.
It has partnered with tech startups Vedanta, Toppr, Made Easy and Gradeup that will produce educational content for TikTok. It is also collaborating with social enterprises Josh Talks and the Nudge Foundation to mentor 5,000 people across India.
Continuing Growth amid Pandemic
According to reports of Forbes and Bloomberg, Byetdance surpasses Uber growth as it has become the top Startup with value at $78 Billion. Byetdance is the parent company of Tiktok that runs various services. Byetdance has made London as its strong base owing to trade war of the US with China in the aftermath of the Wuhan covid-19 outbreak. Trump Administration has imposed limitations on Chinese companies to pressurize China to accept US’ demands. Byetdance has attracted many professionals from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple to establish a strong hub at London to expand its outreach in Europe.
Hiring than Firing amid Pandemic: A big surprise
It is really surprising that when the biggest companies and Franchises are constantly laying off their employees owing to prolonged lockdowns due to Covid-19, The Parent company of Tiktok, the Byetdance has gone on a hiring spree and plans to recruit 10000 professionals in engineering, software and marketing fields that has stunned the world as even tech giants Google, Yahoo, Microsoft have laid off their staff and closed their offices over the covid-19 outbreak advising their employees to work from home.
Increasing Visibility of Byetdance Globally
With the ambitious journey of growth and reaping the enormous benefits, the company has no more remained a secret for the world as its subsidiary Tiktok has broken all the records of usability and popularity exploring new frontiers with successful footprint. The recent leap of Tiktok to launch its Education initiative in India will further its grip in the Asian markets.
Will the bubble burst or Sustain Market Shocks?
The Byetdance has established footprints in Asia and Europe building strong basis and marketing its services, it is estimated that it can sustain the jolts of pandemic and will retain its position as some reports regarding bubble reputation will fade away forever as the popularity graph of the company maintains upward trend and keeps going.
The majority of the world population is youth so if Tiktok focuses on youth-related interests by adopting AI practices, it has already achieved the milestone.
The Tech experts argue that TikTok has foreseen opportunity amid pandemic when the entire markets have crashed, Offices, Business, schools, colleges have been closed and stock markets crashed, even in such circumstances, if a company keeps hiring that means it established its strong bases so the bubble is not going to burst likely in post-Covid-19 World provided that it adheres to its policies of customer retention, market intelligence and the most important Artificial intelligence to explore the interests of users and offering more relevant content.
Besides profits, Tiktok pledged a huge amount for Vaccine development for Africa under its Tiktok for Good endeavours.
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