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will also not be required to inform authorities about jewellery purchases of over Rs 50,000 after the government rescinded a notification issued on August 23.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The government said the notification had been rescinded because certain incongruities had been brought to its notice and a fresh notification will be issued, indicating that the sector may still come under greater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.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SBI Card to debut contactless payments

Mumbai, September 11:  SBI Card customers could soon make payments by merely tapping their smartphone on a swipe machine. SBI Card is updating its mobile application to enable customers make contactless payments at point of sales (PoS) terminals using a technology called Host Card Emulation (HCE) which enables dematerialisation of the card.

Cardholders of the bank already use smartphones as an alternative for cards on the Samsung Pay platform and the bank will next month launch its proprietary application which enables virtualisation of the card in a smartphone using near-field communication (NFC). "Among our recent innovations we have enabled our card for Bharat QR code by incorporating the feature in our app," said Vijay Jasuja, CEO, SBI Cards.

SBI Cards, which recently entered into an agreement for partner GE to exit the venture, is looking to double its base from 50 lakhs in two years. The company, which is the second-largest issuer in India, has a renewed focus on SBI customers through pre-approved cards.

SBI Card has doubled its base in three years to over 50 lakhs and is recording fastest growth in issuance with 15% market share of cards in force (CIF) as well as card spends. "Before demonetisation the card volume growth rate was around 60,000 cards per month which increased to over 1 lakh cards per month post-demonetisation period and has now grown to around 2 lakh cards per month," said Jasuja.

At present, 15-20% of cards come from co-branded partnerships like Big Bazaar and Tata. State Bank of India customers account for 35% of cards. Bulk of the customers (45%) are from the open market. "While going after the whole lot does not make sense considering that the bank has a 50-crore customer base and we do not have the capacity for that, we will be picking them up in lots," he said.

Jasuja said that the company would invest in boosting infrastructure and working with partners. The company has recently identified top 100-200 institutions in the country where students in their final year of graduation, who are not yet employed, will be eligible for a credit card. Over the last one year the monthly card spend has grown from an average of Rs 3,500 crore per month to Rs 5,500-crore plus per month.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Say hello to Sia, SBI's intelligent chat assistant who will answer your queries

Mumbai, September 5:  India's largest public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) has come up with its own Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbot who will take care of customer queries by giving out information on SBI's range of products and services.

Sia, which is currently undergoing beta testing, said it is 'still learning' when asked a few questions. Please verify the information provided from other sources, it said.

Sia is designed to answer customer questions regarding home loans, education loans, car loans, personal loans, recurring deposit, term deposit, etc.

According to a NDTV Profit report, SBI had said that its new digital platforms like SBI inTouch are widely using bots and artificial intelligence such as IBM Watson, to perform a variety of jobs, especially in improving customer experience.

More than 80 per cent of the SBI's transactions are done in non-branch journeys, i.e. not touched by any SBI employee - only through machines, it said.