In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 5th February 2017

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Telangana state to get centralized database of all citizens’ data

The Telangana Government is planning a database of residents in the state, which will include details like names, aliases, family details, addresses and information on various documents like Aadhaar cards, passports, and driving licenses, reports Telangana Today. The police have currently floated a tender for this, and are accepting proposals till next week. Read it here

Vodafone Group is in talks with Idea Cellular for a merger

Vodafone Group Plc today confirmed media reports of a potential merger deal with Idea Cellular in India. The company said in a press statement that it is currently in discussions with Aditya Birla Group, which owns the Idea brand in India for “an all-share merger of Vodafone India and Idea”. The deal, however, does not include Vodafone India’s 42% stake in Indus Towers. Read it here

Ingenico buys Techprocess; Consolidation in the Payments Gateway biz?

French payments company Ingenico Group has announced an agreement to acquire 100% in TechProcess, an Indian payments gateway provider, via its subsidiary EBS. TechProcess had been funded by Greylock Partners (in 2007), Nokia Growth Partners, W Capital Partners, Battery Ventures, among others. The deal is expected to close by the end of this quarter, and the value of the deal has not been disclosed. Read it here

How India Post’s Payments Bank stacks up against Airtel’s operations

The Department of Posts has launched India Post Payments Bank operations on a pilot basis in Ranchi and Raipur yesterday. This makes it the second payments bank to commence operations following Airtel. However, in terms of services offered, India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and Airtel Payments Bank (APB) differ quite a bit. Read it here

Payments Policy direction from the Economic Survey 2016-17

There are key suggestions related to the approach to policy mentioned in the Economic Survey of India 2016-17 (pdf), released yesterday, and key among them is creating an incentive structure for digitisation of payments. Read it here

Budget 2017-18: How will digital payments be affected

The setting up of a payments regulatory board within the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and amending the Payments and Settlements Act, 2007 is the most significant development for digital payments in the budget presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley. Read it here

Facebook’s Internet.org claims 50 Million users in Q4 2016

A significant amount of Facebook’s 396 million Daily Active Users (DAUs) in Asia Pacific region are logging onto Facebook via Internet.org, the company’s CFO Devid Wehner mentioned in a recent analyst call. Internet.org currently claims to connect over 50 million users. Wehner added that other factors helping Facebook acquire more users in APAC include “Android product improvements” and the Facebook Light app which provides a compressed version of the platform. Read it here

HDFC Bank goes live with the BBPS on its net banking service

HDFC Bank has gone live with the Bharat Bill Payments System (BBPS) on its net banking website. It looks like HDFC Bank has partnered with BillDesk for the implementation as the net banking page redirects users to payments.billdesk.com. The BBPS is a centralized system where banks and non-banks can allow a network of agents to access bill payment services in an interoperable manner. Read it here

Thoughts On How GST Would Impact e-commerce In India

India is all geared up to go the GST route in FY 17-18. The implementation date has been set on 1st July 2017 and businesses all over are figuring how to be compliant in the GST era. While GST brings ease in the indirect tax structure in India, there are several aspects of GST that would challenge how businesses operate. I am keen to see GST impact on India’s booming e-commerce market. The Government has surely taken note of online as a major channel of trade and has introduced specific laws around marketplaces (e-commerce operators1) in GST implementation. Read it here

Rohit Gandhi quits as editor-in-chief of WION and DNA

Rohit Gandhi, the editor-in-chief of television news channel WION News and daily DNA, has put his papers down at the company, reports exchange4media. A spokesperson for Zee Media Corporation, the parent company which owns the channel and newspaper, declined to comment about the development when contacted and said that it would be issuing a statement later. MediaNama will update once we hear from them. Read it here