India gears up for a robust digital ecosystem as e-payments witness an upward trend

The payments industry, which saw unprecedented changes and challenges during the pandemic crisis last year, expects 2021 to be the year of innovation. With more small businesses adopting digital channels, India could see millions of new users enter the digital ecosystem.

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No direct link between the COVID vaccine and a recent string of deaths in the elderly, Norway finds

Health authorities in Norway say there’s no evidence of a direct link between the recent string of deaths among elderly people inoculated against COVID-19, and the vaccine they received.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency is seeking to address fears that taking the vaccine might be too risky, after 33 people in the country aged 75 and over died following immunization, according to the agency’s latest figures. All were already seriously ill, it said.

“Clearly, Covid-19 is far more dangerous to most patients than vaccination,” Steinar Madsen, medical director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said by phone on Monday. “We are not alarmed.”

The initial reports from Norway made international headlines as the world looks for early signs of potential side effects from the vaccines. Until Friday, Norway had only used the vaccine provided by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, and the companies are now working with the Nordic country to look into the … Read the rest

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Cities with more diversity have more online micro-businesses

Amber Khan-Robinson, the daughter of the first African American athletic shoe designer in the U.S., has always had entrepreneurship in her blood. So when she was looking for ways to keep her three children from staring at screens all day, she decided to help them “start a business.”

Working at home in Atlanta, they made 85 hibiscus lime ice pops to sell at a festival. Soon, the family was selling hundreds per weekend at events around their city under the name MOKIPOPS.

When the pandemic hit, MOKIPOPS, like many neighborhood businesses, was forced to pivot their business to maintain sales. So Khan-Robinson set up a website for online orders. As customers began ticking up, the whole family pulled together to keep MOKIPOPS afloat.

“We just started delivering,” Khan-Robinson says.

She and her husband drive their 10-year-old son to a customer’s address and he takes it from there.

“He … Read the rest

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Guatemala police fire tear gas, disperse US-bound migrant caravan

Saying they are desperate to escape poverty, unemployment, gang and drug violence and the aftermath of two devastating hurricanes, the migrants set out from Honduras last week, aiming to cross Guatemala and Mexico and reach the US — an arduous journey of thousands of kilometers.

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Business could be on the precipice of an automation explosion

Automation is hardly a new threat to workers. Long before the arrival of COVID-19 disrupted businesses, many manufacturing executives were already changing how their companies assembled products, and other industries were considering following suit.

But as the global crisis has dragged on, the pandemic could be accelerating that shift.

“Every time there’s a disruption it forces people to make decisions,” says Tom Smith, an associate professor of finance at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. “I would put money on the fact that this has sped up at least the decision-making process. When, all of a sudden, you’re in a crisis, smart and creative people find solutions. Creative people don’t let the crisis take everything down if they can help it.”

Just under 40% of U.S. jobs are at significant risk of being automated, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). More than 10% of the country’s jobs are at high … Read the rest

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Look out L.A. and New York: the migration wave lead by Gen Z and city dwellers is real

Across the nation major central business districts in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle remain eerily empty as employers continue to keep staff working remotely. Heading into the holidays, only 1 in 10 office workers had made their way back into Manhattan.

But is the disruption caused by the pandemic—and the work from home boom—actually convincing Americans to pack their bags and move?

To find out, Fortune and SurveyMonkey polled 2,098 U.S. adults in November.* This poll, which has a modeled error estimate of +/-3%, is an even deeper study than our August look at migration

The finding? Millions of Americans moved as a result of the pandemic—and millions more plan to do so. Among U.S. adults, 16% say they have either moved out of their city/county during the pandemic (6%) or plan to move in the next 12 months (12%). Around 2% of Americans who moved … Read the rest

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