Friday, January 19, 2018

Physical banks will be irrelevant in next 3 years in India: Amitabh Kant

New Delhi, January 18 (PTI): Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kanttoday said physical banks in India will be irrelevant in the next 3 years as data consumption growth and data analytics are likely to further boost financial inclusion.

"Days of physical bank will be over...India will throw huge amount of data, Kant said, adding data analytics would boost financial inclusion in the country.

While speaking at a panel discussion here, he said India is the only country with over a billion biometrics.

In the next three-four years, India will have a billion plus smartphones, Kant said.

The Niti Aayog CEO also pointed out that mobile data consumption in India is more than the US and China put together.

Participating in the panel discussion, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said the new banking model in this world will come out of India and Paytm will be early example of that India model.

WhatsApp Pay in Beta Stage, To Go Official Next Month: Report

New Delhi, January 18: WhatsApp is long rumoured to be working on adding a payment feature within the app, but the precise launch date still remains a mystery.

A news report from ET now claims the WhatsApp payment option will go live in India as early as next month. WhatsApp is reportedly conducting the final phase of tests with a select group of users, and the payment feature will roll out most likely by February, ET quoted ‘people aware of the developments’.

“The platform is already in beta stage (testing) with one of its partner banks. We expect the product to go live for consumers by the end of February, depending on how the trials work out,” the publication’s source said.

The widely popular messaging app is working on integrating its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) based payments platform with some of India’s popular banks. WhatsApp has reportedly partnered with Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and State Bank of India.

A banking representative confirmed the same, revealing there are several security concerns that need to be addressed before the integration, especially in regards to the safety of the customer’s data.

“To be able to send money as easily as a text message involves ensuring various levels of encryption to keep the data safe. UPI, by itself, also has a complicated settlement mechanism between various banking partners. These issues need to be attended to before the product goes live.,” ET quoted a senior banking official.

The latest report comes after various traces of the WhatsApp Pay feature were spotted in beta versions of the app. The Pay feature will be added in the Attachment section and users will be able to transfer money from the same screen itself.

A number of leaked impressions of the feature revealed that paying via WhatsApp will be a much easier task. In fact, it is said to be as simple as sharing a contact or photo.

A “Rupee” symbol added in the Attachments option which will allow users to access the feature. The uses could then make a peer-to-peer payment through the one-step process of entering the amount and UPI PIN.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Statebank Times is Changed

Statebanktimes.in will not be available mor. Now you have to visit info.sbi for Times.

Now no PAN or Adhaar card required for jewellery purchase of over Rs 50,000

New Delhi, October 6: Jewellery purchases exceeding Rs 50,000 won’t require the income tax permanent account number (PAN) to be provided after the government reversed an earlier notification on Friday, providing a big festive cheer for the sector and potential customers.

Jewellers will also not be required to inform authorities about jewellery purchases of over Rs 50,000 after the government rescinded a notification issued on August 23.

Dealers in precious metals, precious stones and other high-value goods having a turnover of over Rs 2 crore in a financial year had been notified as persons carrying on designated business and professions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, (PMLA) 2002. This had made them reporting entities under the PMLA requiring them to intimate the relevant authorities about transactions above certain limits.

The government said the notification had been rescinded because certain incongruities had been brought to its notice and a fresh notification will be issued, indicating that the sector may still come under greater watch.

“The withdrawal of Rs 50,000 limit for KYC (know your customer) under PMLA is great news, as the imposition had impacted sentiment and sales to some extent,” said Sandeep Kulhalli, senior V-P, retail and marketing, Tanishq. Industry expects growth to recover after the relaxation.

“With the festive season still under way, the withdrawal of the notification has raised prospects of sales recovering in the third quarter,” said Surendra Mehta, national secretary, India Bullion and Jewellers Association.
“The 30% year-on-year growth that our company and the organised sector witnessed in the fiscal quarter ended June was impacted slightly, down around 5% in the second quarter, by the extension of PMLA to the gems and jewellery trade on August 23,” said Balram Garg, managing director, PC Jewellers. Earlier, like other sectors, the threshold for KYC was Rs 2 lakh. This got lowered to Rs 50,000 after the jewellery sector was brought under PMLA on August 23.

“After considering various aspects of the issue, the government has decided to rescind the said notification. A separate notification after  due consideration of points raised and wider stakeholder consultation in this regard shall be issued separately,” it said in a statement.

The entities covered by PMLA have to maintain records of all transactions of value exceeding Rs 10 lakh, all cross-border wire transfers of more than Rs 5 lakh and all purchases and sales of immovable property of Rs 50 lakh or more.

Monday, September 18, 2017

State Bank of India now Reviewing Minimum Balance Charges in S/B Accounts

State Bank of India is reviewing the feedback received from customers on the issue of penalty charges for certain categories of accounts for non- maintenance of monthly average balance

Mumbai, September 17 (PTI): State Bank of India (SBI) said it is reviewing charges for certain categories of accounts for non- maintenance of monthly average balance (MAB) after receiving feedback from customers.

In April this year, the country’s largest lender reintroduced charges on non-maintenance of monthly average balance (MAB) after a gap of five years.

“We have received feedback from our customers on the issue and we are reviewing those. The bank will take into account those and make an informed decision,” the banks managing director (national banking group) Rajnish Kumar told PTI.

“We will internally debate whether any moderation for certain categories of customers like senior citizens and students needs to be done anywhere. The charges are never cast in iron.”

As per the list of revised charges of SBI, failure to maintain monthly average balance in accounts will attract penalty of up to Rs100 plus goods and services tax (GST).

In metropolitan areas, there will be a charge of Rs100 plus GST, if the balance falls below 75% of the MAB of Rs5,000. If the shortfall is 50% or less of the MAB, then the bank will charge Rs 50 plus GST. In rural areas, the monthly average balance requirement has been kept at Rs1,000.

Any shortfall in maintaining minimum balance in rural areas can attract penalty in the range of Rs20 to Rs50 plus GST.

Kumar said the bank has over 40 crore savings bank accounts, which includes 13 crore of Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) and Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts. The bank has exempted BSBD and PMJDY accounts from maintaining the minimum balance requirement.

Out of the 27 crore normal savings bank accounts, nearly 15-20 per cent are those where customers are not maintaining monthly average balance. The bank in April had given notices to all those account holders who did not have monthly average balance and asked them to keep the minimum balance in May.

“When they did not maintained the monthly average balance in May then we recovered in June. We had recovered Rs235 crore from such account holders as penalty,” Kumar said.

He said there is huge cost in maintaining the savings accounts and banks should be allowed to recover some costs.

“There are lots of operational costs. We also have to invest huge amount of money in technology. There are some costs which I think bank should recover,” Kumar said, adding the charges which SBI is levying for non-maintenance of minimum balance is very competitive as compared to other lenders.

He said a normal savings account holder has an option to convert his account into BSBD account which will exempt him from maintaining monthly average balance.