Saturday, March 10, 2018

Punjab and Sind Bank to upgrade its Core Banking Solution (CBS) from Finacle 7x to Finacle 10x

          P&S Bank currently uses Core Banking System Finacle 7.0.25 to provide banking services to its account holders.  As majority of the Banks operating Finacle 7x have migrated to Finacle 10x version, P&S Bank too intends to migrate to a higher version Finacle 10.2.15 (Or any latest certified and stable version post 10.2.15 in 10.2 series)

          Towards this goal, P&S Bank has floated a ‘Request for Proposal’, for Appointment of IT Consultant for CBS and IT Projects.

          The scope of the work primarily is to assist Punjab and Sind Bank to migrate to higher version Finacle 10.2.15 (Or any latest certified and stable version post 10.2.15 in 10.2 series). One of the options to be studied is to whether to continue with Finacle or go for a new CBS Solution.

The consultant has to  assist the Bank in the end-to-end contract execution with the selected System Integrator/s including coordination with different Bank Departments for finalizing the sizing. Based on the defined scope, the consultant shall be required to independently arrive at the Methodology, based on globally acceptable standards and best practices, suitable and acceptable for the Bank, after taking into consideration the effort estimate for completion of the same and the resource requirements.

The Consultant will have to work as per the timings of the Bank. Given the ever changing business and technology environment and the background that the Bank’s requirements would be varied and recurring in nature, Bank envisages the need for consulting assistance for technology initiatives and project management consultant on fixed-cost basis for the below mentioned scope of work in a phased manner.

The Consultant will have to support existing IT operations and IT related issues. Also have to consider and implement all requirements/changes received time to time from Regulatory/Statutory Body/ RBI/Govt. of India during project duration. The cost of support has to be included in project cost.

The Consultant should be fully conversant with all Government Guideline CVC guidelines, GFR 2017 issued by GOI, all procurement guidelines/ manuals of the Bank as applicable to the subject matter of advice /service to be rendered by the consultant during Phase –I – IT Strategy, Phase –II RFP  reparation and subsequently in Phase – III Project Management and Monitoring.

          The whole activity is divided into 3 phases as under:-

Phase – I ( IT Strategy) – Timelines - 3 Month.

Phase-II: RFP preparation based on IT Strategy approved by the Bank’s Management & selection of System Integrator (SI) – Timelines – 9 month

Phase-III : Project Management, Monitoring of Implementation and other activities to be performed

          The timelines are as under: -

Time line to complete the project in phase wise :

Phase- I (From date of issuance of Work order): IT Strategy  - 3 Months

Phase-II (After completion of phase-I & acceptance of IT Strategy from Board): RFP preparation, selection of System Integrator (SI) and contract finalization - 9 Months

Phase-III (After completion of phase-II): Project Management, Monitoring of Implementation and other activities to be performed - 24 months

Punjab and Sind Bank has 1500+ branches, with majority of its branches located in Punjab state.

The foundation of Punjab and Sind Bank was laid in 1908, when a humble idea to uplift the poorest of poor of the land culminated in the birth of Punjab & Sind Bank with the far-sighted vision of luminaries like Bhai Vir Singh, Sir Sunder Singh Majitha and Sardar Tarlochan Singh. They enjoyed the highest respect with the people of Punjab.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Are mysterious mobile numbers linked with your Aadhaar Number??

          UIDAI CEO Ajay Pandey has informed to public at large that UIDAI has advised all telecom companies operating in India to enable a facility that will allow subscribers to check the mobile SIMs which are linked to their Aadhaar number.

The primary reason for this facility is to guard Aadhaar Numbers being linked to unauthorized mobiles.

Instead of the word ‘unauthorised’, the words ‘unknown’, or ‘mysterious’, are more apt.

UIDAI provides an ‘Aadhaar authentication history’, tool to enable Aadhaar holders to verify when their Aadhaar number was verified. However as UIDAI does not store the authentication purpose, it is of limited usage.

Aadhaar is becoming the default identity proof of residents by various government and non-government entities.

          Telecom companies have been mandated to link the cellphone SIMS with Aadhaar Numbers. This is to establish the identity of mobile phone users.

Against the 142.9 crore active mobile subscribers, in 85.7 crore cases the mobile connections have already been linked with Aadhaar.

And, it is here where the problems have surfaced. UIDAI came to know about some retailers, operators and agents of telecom companies allegedly misusing Aadhaar authentication facility to issue new SIMs or for re-verification of numbers other than that of the Aadhaar holder. Such complaints must have reached a very high number for UIDAI to take corrective steps.

When contacted, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI, “In order, for people, to know which mobile number is linked to Aadhaar, all telecom operators have been asked to provide this service to their customers by March 15.”

Hence, UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) has directed all telecom operators to provide a facility that will enable their subscribers to check if the mobile SIMs are linked with their Aadhaar number, a step to guard against any unauthorised use.

UIDAI has directed telcos to make the new facility available to subscribers by March 15.

The telcos have been asked to provide the facility, including SMS-based offering that will allow their subscribers to check whether their mobile number is linked with Aadhaar as well as information on other mobile numbers is issued or verified against that Aadhaar number.

As the deadline approaches, there would be more clarity on the exact process flow including the redressal channel.

Once the process goes live, it is advisable for every mobile holder to make use of this facility atleast once every week.

This is best way to safeguard your Aadhaar number.

Would it be better to integrate this facility into ‘Mycall’ Trai App??

Additional Reading:

How to Check Aadhaar Authentication History Online

Aadhaar linking to bank accounts, welfare services may be extended beyond March 31

Regulatory policies must change to cater to digital world: Trai chief


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Union Bank of India launches “UNION TRADE-GST”

         Indian Banks as predicted have started to launch credit products around GST Returns.

        A few weeks back, Union Bank of India which has its Head Office in Mumbai unveiled “UNION TRADE-GST”

        In layman terms, “UNION TRADE-GST” is a working capital finance scheme aimed at SME entrepreneurs, both traders as well as manufacturers.

        Union Bank of India is the first Bank in India to launch a Credit Scheme based on GST Returns.
        Under “UNION TRADE-GST”,  working capital limit upto 30% of the turnover as per GST returns will be provided without insisting on assessment on other financial returns.

        Isn’t it simple n short? SMEs need not submit any other financial returns. Just file the GST Returns and be eligible for Bank Finance of upto  30%  under “UNION TRADE-GST”.

        This also reduces the manual intervention both at customer end as well as bank end.

The launch of this scheme will help the Bank to have synergy with the GST regime.

The large numbers of SME entrepreneurs have been included under the ambit of formal trade with implementation of GST. These SMEs are facing working capital crunch as in absence of proper past financials returns, they are unable to access the Bank’s credit.

The working capital assessment is based on the sales turnover, as indicated in balance sheet. Beside this, existing entrepreneurs under banking ambit are also facing credit crunch, as in GST regime the SMEs are entitled for input credit claim which is stretching their operating cycle.

Generally Banks are providing 20% of the sales turnover as working capital limit to a business entity, but to have ease in GST regime, under this scheme Union Bank of India is providing hassle free regular working capital limit upto 30% of the turnover as per GST returns without insisting on assessment on other financial returns.

The scheme will provide regular working capital limit above Rs 10.00 lacs upto Rs 200.00 lacs. The assessment of turnover & quantum of working capital is tailor-made to benefit especially the SME sector.

In furtherance to the Government of India initiatives in tax reform, compliance and digitalization, the Bank is offering POS machine with no Installation charges and waiver of annual maintenance charges for first year under the scheme.

Union Bank of India excepts this scheme to be a great enabler for an honest tax payer and incentivize the filing of GST return.

At the same time adequate financial support to such entrepreneurs through this unique scheme with inbuilt hassle free assessment based only on GST return will be easier for businesses to adopt.

Union Bank of India services its customers with through 4,295 branches spread over India and Hong Kong, DIFC (Dubai), Antwerp (Belgium) and Sydney (Australia).

To strengthen its Credit Department, Union Bank of India has kicked off a recruitment project for adding 200 Credit Officers to its HR Portfolio.

In the near future, trust Union Bank of SME Customers can avail the “UNION TRADE-GST” facilities through its Net Banking Portal.

Monday, October 2, 2017

NPCI to debut Proximity Payments for UPI Transactions

                   As on date, 55 Banks are Live on the NPCI UPI platform. Multiple approaches are in pipeline to enable the remaining Banks to onboard UPI platform.

         A large number of Banks live on NPCI UPI Platform will make it attractive for 3rd Party PSPs to roll out innovative UPI products.
         UPI transactions can be executed through the App, Website and QR as the payment address needs to be keyed in manually or scanned to successfully complete the Transaction.
         There have been a number of instances wherein the wrong VPA was keyed in, and the payment landed in a wrong bank account!!  It was a hectic job, to recall the funds credited to the wrong beneficiary.
The QR mode is superior over manual keying mode of the VPA, however in some cases, the QR Code not be scanned, and the VPA had to be keyed in manually.

To overcome the barriers associated with 01) Manual keying of VPA 02) Scanning VPA, NPCI has decided to go for additional payment channels under ‘Proximity Based Payments’.

The new ‘Proximity Based Payments’ channels in UPI will be live in the next 2 quarters.


The RFP focus is on UPI only. The Objective of this RFP: To make available method of payments other than text and QR to the end customers, which will expedite the payment process as well reduce complaints.

Remote and Proximity payments in UPI are currently done only by entering the VPA or scanning a QR within the App or a web site, which limits the possible methods in which payment can be made.

Banks have been implementing various proximity payment solutions in their existing non-UPI apps but have not been able to extend it to their UPI apps as there are no standardization sets and the current implementation limits them to work with their own PSP apps only.

NPCI has been getting requests from various proximity payment players on taking their products and having them embedded within NPCI library or environment and/or certified by NPCI to be implemented within BHIM App or other UPI Apps.
Hence, the above RFP is expected to fill the gap and A) reduce complaints associated with wrong payments B) increase transactions routed through UPI c) provide a platform for FinTech companies to be part of India’s digital transactions platform.

The main requirements for Proximity Payments are the presence two devices to complete the financial transaction.Proximity Payments are equal to ‘Card Present’, transactions.

In India, the NFC based payments did not take off to various reasons.

The best examples of Proximity Payments are Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay

Through this RFP, NPCI intends to introduce the benefits of proximity payments to UPI transactions.
UPI has gained acceptance since its launch and more and more bank customers have understood the benefits of UPI.

Introducing Proximity Payments will add an additional security layer and reduce the last-mile friction.

The RFP states that the following:-

The Bidders need to develop a solution for proximity payments where the mechanism for transfer could be anyone of the below however not limited to the following.
1. Sound
2. Tone
3. NFC
5. UHF
6. Location based payments

The Bidder/solution provider would need to have a fair understanding on UPI and also would need to provide solutions which addresses the below concerns as well.

a)   Multiple VPAs configured.

b)   Storage of VPA

c)   Functioning of proximity payments in case the app is not launched & battery optimization.

d) Payments between un-intended devices.

Proximity payments via UPI will encourage merchants to adopt UPI quickly.

One of the major drawbacks in the present UPI process is that intentionally a wrong VPA may be provided by the store staff to the customer. This leads to payment to a person other than the merchant.
Through Proximity Payments, this can be avoided.

The ‘Collect’, option is not preferred for onsite payments, as the time taken to complete the transaction is more.

The same applies to ‘QR Code’ option too. In case, the store staff shows a wrong ‘QR Code’, to the customers, the payment will land in the wrong bank account.

Service Charges –

No charges for P2P transactions
Solution Provider may charge for P2M transactions

It is not for a single service provider to provide all the methods of proximity payments. NPCI may choose different vendors for each proximity payment channel.

5 Benefits of Proximity Payments being part of NPCI UPI

Benefit No 01) – Introduce the Joys of proximity payments to Digital India.
Benefit No 02) – Enhance the confidence levels of merchants to adopt UPI

Benefit No 03) – Reduce complaints associated with wrong payments, time-outs, etc

Benefit No 04) – Increase the number of UPI transactions

Benefit No 05) – Increase the turnover rates for P2M transactions

Benefit No 06) – Enable Banks to launch ‘Cash Management Products’ based on UPI

Benefit No 07) – Ensure quick adoption of proximity payments channels to other financial products

Google TeZ is a trailblazer in UPI based proximity payments.  

Good to read articles:
MoboMoney takes sound-based mobile payments to India

A new approach to digital payments - Ultracash


Monday, August 21, 2017

Shri Amitabh Bachchan is back with Kaun Banega Crorepati – Will he promote Safe ePayments?

           The 9th season of KBC will go live on 28th August 2017.

Shooting for the same has started few months back, with the momentum building up every day.

Contestants from India participate in the game show hosted by Shri Amitabh Bachchan, where they are asked questions based on their knowledge of general topics in order to win the grand prize.    KBC has completed 8 seasons with Shri Amitabh Bachchan playing host for majority of the seasons.

"KBC" first aired in 2000 and was hosted by Shri Amitabh Bachchan. It also marked his first appearance on Indian television.

The actor went on to host the second season of the show which went on air in 2005.

Season three was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan. Bachchan made a comeback in front of "computer ji" with the fourth season and has been serving as the anchor since then.

KBC is back after a two-year bread. SET has been able to lock in three sponsors even before the launch of the show. The channel has got on board Reliance Jio as the presenting sponsor while the series is being co-powered by Vivo Cameras and Mobile and Ching’s Secret.

The highlights of KBC from a Payment angle, is the writing of the PAYMENT ADVICE by Shri Amitabh Bachchan to the contestant after every round.

At this moment, it would be a great boost to Safe ePayments in India, if Shri Amitabh Bachchan can provide nuggets on Safe eTransactions. 


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