Apps that mean business

Travelling for work? Download these apps to keep you on track

Are you the incessant air-mile collector like George Clooney in the 2009 Hollywood film Up In The Air? The kind of business traveller who’s more at home at airports across the world rather than back at home? If yes, these apps might help you reduce your stress and get some more work done on the go.


Want to chat and video chat on the go with your team? Head to HipChat, a group chat platform for teams. Other than allowing voice and video chats in groups, it also lets you screen-share, share files through a simple drag-and-drop interface and share code and ideas with your teams. You can have a one-to-one with a co-worker from the team at any point. If there’s a meeting on HipChat that you weren’t able to attend, you can see the chat history and continue conversations right where you left them. All communication through HipChat is encrypted so it’s safe for meetings. The best part? It runs on almost every platform.; free on iTunes, Google Play, Linux, Windows, Mac and the Web. In-app (or additional) purchase of the video-calling service costs $2 (or around Rs.120) a month


Mynd is a smart calendar which manages your time efficiently. Updated in July, the app syncs your existing calendars and then uses its adaptive machine learning to help you like a virtual assistant, getting smarter with every choice you make. The aim is to save you time, manage your goals, prepare you for meetings and get you from point A to B. You can dial-in to conference calls with one click; the calendar also coordinates a group’s meeting by proposing multiple meeting times. Every morning it will warn you of how long it will take you to reach work. It also syncs with your LinkedIn account and automatically discovers and displays information about the people you’re going to meet.; free on iPhone


Want someone to make an itinerary for you? Head to WorldMate. All you have to do is forward your flight and hotel confirmation emails to and the app converts it into an itinerary. Once your itinerary is made, the app will send flight alerts and if it perceives you’re going to miss it, WorldMate sends details of alternative flights to the same destination. You can share the itinerary, add more to the schedule and get a map view of your travels. Updated in July, the app also recommends hotels based on your past trips and personal preferences. The best feature is its LinkedIn integration, which alerts you if any of your colleagues are nearby for an impromptu meeting or dinner.; free on Google Play, iTunes and Windows Phone


Meant for managers who don’t want to keep decisions pending while they’re travelling, DocuSign lets you sign documents electronically and send them in just minutes to your team. Built on digital transaction management technology, which is a category of secure cloud-based software to digitally manage business transactions, DocuSign electronic signatures are valid and legally binding across the world…


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Looking to pay through your mobile?

Try these apps Turn your smartphone into a wallet. Here are some apps you can try

Pay for petrol, buy lunch, shop for groceries—without taking out your wallet. All you need to do is tap or click on your smartphone. In a country where many users are going online through mobile, digital wallets could well be the next big thing.

Also called electronic wallets or e-wallets, this technology allows you to make financial transactions with a smartphone. This could include paying for stuff when you’re at a shop with just a tap of your phone, transferring money to a friend, or paying for movie tickets, cabs, home bills, travel, without taking out your credit or debit card, or cash.

Start-ups and companies are hopping on to the bandwagon with options ranging from Near-Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth and even money transfer to a phone number without details of the other person’s bank account.

Internationally too, companies like Apple, Google and Amazon have gotten into the space with their own e-wallets, exploring this nascent technology. In India, however, regulations and policies make the process of implementation a little different. To protect consumers, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mandates that each online transaction in the country go through two-factor authentication. Step 1 is the CVV number and step 2, a one-time-password (OTP). This process, which is not required in other countries, has proved to be a slight hiccup for companies like Uber, a US-based ride-sharing service, in accepting cash-free payments from customers. In August, the RBI rapped Uber when it started routing its payments through international gateways to automatically bill its Indian consumers and avoid the cumbersome two-step authentication.

Uber was not alone. Other e-merchants had been doing it too. The RBI issued a circular later that month, making it mandatory for all companies to settle payments within the country with two-factor authentication by October. “If someone has violated the rules, they should be pulled up,” says Saurabh Tripathi, partner and director at Boston Consulting Group, a strategy and general management consulting firm. He believes, however, that the current mobile payment regulations can be eased a bit. “For example, RBI could change it to a single-factor authentication for small payments of, say, up to Rs.1,000,” he says. This will give a push to the new technology and make mobile payments more common.

Some Indian start-ups are trying to figure out ways to work with the guidelines. “The extra step of second authentication adds friction, making the dropout rate higher,” says Nitin Gupta, chief executive officer (CEO) of PayU India, an online payment processor company. To deal with it, Gupta acquired Eashmart, a mobile-based payment app, in October to add a single nifty feature to his app: “When you start a transaction, we request the bank to send you a One-Time Password, which our app automatically reads and shows you. All you do is say yes.”

Looking to pay through your mobile? Then try out some of these apps in the market right now.


Launched in October, KayPay is a simple way to transfer money to any of your Facebook friends. To begin, you have to log into KayPay’s site with your Facebook ID, allow it to use your Facebook profile information, and then add your bank details. Once that’s done, simply select the Facebook friend you want to send money to, put in the amount and the OTP sent to your phone. Your friend gets a notification about the money in her Facebook account and can log in within 48 hours into KayPay’s site to retrieve it. If she doesn’t, the money comes back to your account. Your bank account details stay with Kotak Mahindra Bank, the creators of the app, but it is not necessary to have an account with Kotak to use this app. Charges undisclosed. Currently works with 27 banks.

MobiKwik wallet

MobiKwik is a prepaid wallet. Once you fill it up, you can use it to recharge your phone, pay your bills, transfer money and buy from e-merchants. Money can be transferred into the MobiKwik wallet through cards, cash and netbanking, and it supports payment to major e-merchants like BookMyShow, Dominos, redBus, etc. “MobiKwik now processes about 200,000 transactions a day,” says Bipin Preet Singh, founder and CEO, MobiKwik. “Forty per cent of them come from movie and bus ticket bookings, purchases on e-commerce sites and bill payments, and 60% via phone recharges.” Now it is working on adding an e-KYC process so that users can increase the maximum wallet limit from Rs.10,000 to Rs.50,000. Free on Web, Android, Windows, iOS and BlackBerry.


Launched in October, HotRemit allows you to transfer money to another HotRemit account, or to a Facebook, mobile or BBM contact, without the other person’s bank account details. Other than transferring money, you can also use the app to pay e-merchants. Currently, the app makers are working on launching their Android and iOS apps and convincing merchants to adopt NFC payments, where you just tap your phone to make the payment. …

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