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Truecaller unveils two new major features in Truecaller 8

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-03-2017 Nandita Mathur

New Delhi: Truecaller, the Stockholm-based company that identifies spam calls and helps mobile communication safe and efficient, announced two new major features in Truecaller 8, a completely new redesign of its Android app at an event in New Delhi on Tuesday. Users will now be able to take control of their SMS inbox and will be able to send Flash Messages to their loved ones.

Just like the app filters out spam calls, now Truecaller has been technologically powered to filter out spam SMS messages.

According to Alan Mamedi, chief executive officer and co-founder,Truecaller: “Spam SMS account for 15% of all SMS messages sent globally, and represents 1.2 trillion spam messages each year. On average every spam call is about 40 seconds long, so we will help save a lot of time.” Truecaller users will also be able to send flash messages with two taps—send quick pre-defined messages to any Truecaller user to let them know if they are stuck in traffic, or send them their location, or that they have reached home. “We have looked at the use cases in India and later this year we will enable small businesses to message and transact with their customers too, “said Mamedi.

The company also announced three partnerships—two local and one global.

A new service called Truecaller Pay, where Android users in India can now send or receive money securely over their mobile phone, thanks to a new partnership with ICICI Bank. “This is based on the feedback received from the market that users wanted to be able to make a transaction straight from their Truecaller app, said Nami Zarringhalam chief security officer and co-founder of Truecaller.

Also, Truecaller users will be able to create their unique Virtual Payment Address (VPA) in the app, and can instantly send or receive money using any Unified Payments Interface (UPI) supported bank. In addition, users can also do prepaid and postpaid recharges. This feature will be available to the ICICI and non ICICI users as well and follows the two-step authentication as per RBI guidelines. According to Abonty Banerjee, senior general manager and head, digital channels, ICICI Bank: “We are delighted to offer our UPI platform to Truecaller which is one of India’s most widely used mobile application. With this new service, users will get the benefit of making quick and easy payments to any mobile number registered with the BHIM app, thereby enabling them to reach out to a wider section of people. Additionally, users can also undertake payments for utility services such as pre-paid recharges and post-paid mobile bills at the click of a button. We believe this association shall make UPI payments seamless for a larger audience and will also play a crucial role in strengthening the government’s ‘Digital India’ mission.”

Truecaller has also launched the “Airtel Truecaller ID”, which will extend the caller ID feature of Truecaller to Airtel’s non-data users using feature phones, and will be delivered to users via Flash SMS before the call hits the users mobile. All feature phone users with Airtel mobile service can now use “Airtel Truecaller ID” to see who’s calling. This first of its kind service is set to provide online experience to offline users, helping them take the right call and to make their communication safer and more efficient. This subscription-based service that will ease a user’s life from unwanted spam calls without having to subscribe to data service or buy a smartphone.

Truecaller has also tied up with Google for a global partnership to improve video calling. In this Google Duo, Google’s video calling service, will be integrated within the Truecaller app. Truecaller integration with Google Duo will be available in the coming months for Android and iOS as a permission-based service, where users will be able to opt-in and out at any time. “Video calling should work for everybody, regardless of what platform they are on. Our aim is to make video calling simple, fast, and available to everyone,” said Amit Fulay, head, Google Duo.

“These partnerships will make Truecaller a one stop shop for all communication and will help Truecaller evolve from an app to a platform, said Zarringhalam. Mamedi said that in India Truecaller has identified 2.2 billion incoming calls per month, 568 million outgoing calls made from Truecaller per month, and 500 million spam calls identified by Truecaller per month.

India is the biggest market for the company with 150 million users.

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