Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What sort of Financially Illiterate you are?

           Read this fascinating  Keynote Address delivered by Shri S. S. Mundra, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India at the Conference on Financial Literacy organised by College of Agricultural Banking at Pune on June 15, 2015)

“Financially Illiterate” can be broadly divided into five categories. Let me explain:

1.     The first form of financial illiteracy, I call ‘Wise Illiteracy’ and people as ‘Wise Illiterates’.

2.     The second category of financially illiterates I call them ‘Greed-driven Illiterates’.

3.     Let me now come to the third category- whom I have named ‘Information- deprived Illiterates’.

4.     The fourth category- I have named ‘Illiterate Illiterates’.

5.     The fifth category of illiterates, I have named as “Kindergarten Illiterates”.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

IDRBT Banking Application Contest (IBAC) – 2016

          All banking enthusiasts are requested to don their thinking hats.
          IDBRT has announced the first ever Banking App Contest. In short - IDBRT IBAC 2016.

Q: What is IBDRT?
Ans: Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) is a premier Institution focused exclusively on Banking Technology.
IDBRT has been established by Reserve Bank of India.

Q: What is the aim of IDBRT?
Ans: The Institute works at the intersection of Banking and Technology, focusing on research and development which is useful for the Indian Banking and Financial Sector.

Q: Where is IDBRT located?
Ans: IDBRT is located in Hyderabad-Telangana State.

Q: What is the purpose of IBAC 2016?
Ans:  The purpose of IDBRT IBAC 2016 is to attract the best talent in India to showcase their understanding of Indian financial systems and deploy the same in Mobile Apps.

The popularity of “App” or “Application Software” has grown tremendously in recent years. These apps should facilitate mobility of the user. With a view to provide a big boost to developing apps for the Indian Banking and Financial Sector, the Institute is organizing national level IDRBT Banking Application Contest (IBAC) in March 2016 at IDRBT, Hyderabad. This competition aims to serve two key purposes:
01)  Indian Banking and Financial Community would get innovative ideas from the best technology talent in the country
02) The Gen Next would get an opportunity to showcase their technology talent through this platform.

Participants' Profile
Participants have to register as a team (maximum of three members in a team) and all members in a team must be either:
a)     Less than 25 years of age as on August 31, 2015
b)    Affiliated to any recognized educational institution as a student as on August 31, 2015
c)     A Bank employee as on August 31, 2015.

Scope of the Apps
The scope of the application is limited to the banking sector and is to be developed to facilitate operations in the following areas, but not limited to:
Apps for Customers
Electronic Payment Systems
Mobile Banking
Fake Currency Detection, etc.
Apps for Managing Business
Data Visualization
Customer / Product Analysis
Transaction Analysis, etc.
Apps for Managing Technology
SIEM Tools
IT Infrastructure Management tools, etc.

Teams have to register on or before 31st August, 2015 and the Registration Fee is Rs 1000/- per team.

Format of the Contest
  • Participating teams are required to submit a write-up on their proposed application (along with theories, results, screenshots) by January 20, 2016.
  • A few teams will be shortlisted based on the applicability and quality of their submission.
  • The shortlisted teams will be asked to demonstrate their Apps in front of an elite panel consisting of senior bankers, IT professionals and Academicians.
  • All members of the shortlisted teams will be reimbursed Third AC to and fro rail fare by the shortest route to attend the event.
Attractive Prizes
1st Prize - Rs. 60,000/-
2nd Prize - Rs. 45,000/-
3rd Prize - Rs. 30,000/-

Important Dates
v  Last date of registration: August 31, 2015
v  Last date of submission of their App: January 20, 2016
v  Results of shortlisting: January 31, 2016
v  Final Event: March, 2016

Call for Sponsorship
IDRBT invites various Organizations/Institutions to be our sponsoring partners, in any one of the following categories:
  • Platinum Sponsors: Rs. 5 Lakh
  • Gold Sponsors: Rs. 2.5 Lakh
  • Silver Sponsors: Rs. 1 Lakh
For contact details, please write to
          Please keep watching IDBRT webpage for further details.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

251 techniques to perk up Safe eTransactions in India-Part 1

Phase I – All Metros
Phase II - All Tier I and Tier II towns
Phase III – All Tier III and IV towns
Phase IV – All Tier V and VI towns 
The Most Important:  All Household LPG cylinders delivery staff be equipped with Mobile POS Machines. Payment through Mobile POS only. Cash payments to be banned 

Sr No
All Central Governments payouts  in Digital mode only
All State Governments payouts in Digital mode only
Phase out of Treasury cheques
Phase out of salary disbursements in physical cash
Phase out paper tax refund orders
All Tax receipts in electronic mode only
Incentives for advance tax payment in electronic mode
Refund of service charges levied by Card companies/Banks/Service Providers  for routing transactions on their network
Each citizen to have a unique bank account. Balance upto INR one lac should not be subject to any attachment under any order or decree of court in respect of any debt or liability.
 Bank account verification be provided through NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) channel
Interest  over INR50,000/- only to be subject to TDS(Tax Deducted at Source)
All fines to be paid in digital mode only
All the 30 corporates’ part of BSE Sensex should migrate to complete eTransactions within 24 months. 
All Navrathna corporates’ to migrate to 100% eTransactions in 12  months
All Mini-Navrathna corporates’ to migrate to 100% eTransactions in 12  months
Tender EMD (Earnest Money Deposit) to be in eLock  mode. Furnishing of Bank Guarantees should be discouraged.
Charity contributions to migrate to eTransactions
Charity payouts to migrate to eTransactions
All school students entering Class VIII should be provided with a Prepaid Card. All scholarships, pocket money and expenses to be routed through this prepaid card only.
Insurance policy to safeguard digital theft from bank accounts/prepaid cards.
Nominal payment of INR 1/- to INR2/- to citizens to use public facilities like Toilets, disposing garbage in designated areas. These credits should be instant to the citizens prepaid card.
All citizens be provided with 2 prepaid cards where the underlying bank account is not exposed.
Design special videos for the non-literates to educate this segment on Safe eTransactions methods.  Signs and symbols may be an integral part of these videos/posters.
Mid-Day meals may be replaced with direct credits to students’ prepaid cards. These can be experimented in few districts before Pan-India roll-out.
Mobile POS terminals should be part of  all Salesmen/Delivery men/Bill Collectors
Separate company   to focus only on financial data transmission
Introduce CashLess transactions in Tirumula
Introduce CashLess transactions in Vaishnodevi
Introduce CashLess transactions Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015
Introduce CashLess transactions Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016
Introduce CashLess transactions in Manali
Rollout CashLess transactions in all educational institutions
Rollout CashLess transactions in all trains with focus on AC coaches
Transform 1-5 major shopping areas in each city to CashLess mode
Introduce a cap on MDR (Merchant Discount Rate). Switch to value instead of percentage
All gold loan disbursements through eTransactions mode only
All personal loans disbursements through eTransactions only
All Two wheeler loan disbursements through eTransactions only
All Four wheeler loan disbursements through eTransactions only
All Housing loan disbursements through eTransactions only
Provision to combine loyalty points across multiple eTransaction channels
All exam fees to be collected through eTransaction modes only
Toll Gates payments be collected through eTransaction mode. Collection agents to be equipped with Mobile POS terminals to collect the toll instantly.
Roll-out eTransaction channels in all public transport
Phase out Rupee 1 coins
Phase out Rupee 5 coins
Phase out Rupee 5 currency notes
Direct Banks to channel all their bank related payments through eTransaction mode only
Introduce 1% discount on utility bill amount routed through eTransactions mode only
Introduce auto-back up of all ePayments receipts in the consumer’s digital locker

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boosting Electronic Transactions in India. Contribute now

          Government of India has placed draft proposals for facilitating electronic transactions in India in public domain.

          The draft has a caveat: (The Proposals placed below are only at the draft stage and are being placed here to obtain public opinion. The proposals as they stand at this stage, do not imply any commitment from the government)

          Comments/suggestions are invited on the draft text which can be accessed through Website that opens in a new window) Portal. The last date to share your views is 29 June, 2015 by 5:00 p.m.

          The comments/suggestions have been flowing non-stop in the last couple of days. It may be observed that fellow Indians are providing their comments even during the night time. This indicates the high level of interest amongst Indians for Safe eTransactions.

          Goal of this Policy: - Provide necessary incentives from government for migration from Cash/Cheque transactions to eTransactions.

 Way Forward: - Inputs have been sought from wide-ranging experts/stake-holders i.e which includes RBI,NPCI, NIBM, public and private sector banks, card service providers, mobile service providers, research institutions, organizations working in this area and various government departments.

A beginning has been made and in the coming months the detailed guidelines will be rolled out.

Be part of the thought process by providing your comments/suggestions.  

A large number of comments/suggestions will enable the decision makers to make the best choices. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

LessCash techniques at India’s Kumbh Melas

          In the next one year, India will be hosting two mega gatherings of mankind. In a span of 45-60 days, a couple of crores will descend on Nashik  for Nashik Kumbh Mela  and Ujjain for Ujjain Kumbh Mela 

          These are gatherings which take place every 12 years depending on astrological readings.     The preparations for these gatherings commence 5-6 years prior to the main event.
          The main driver’s are the respective coordination committees appointed by State Government’s.
          The online marketing for these mega events has kicked off.  Overall, though the online marketing programs, an incremental 10% of the devotees’ numbers is expected.

Q: What is Kumbh Mela?
Ans:    Kumbh Mela is the largest spiritual gathering in the world where millions of devotees takes a holy dip in the sacred water.
It is believed that the river water during the Mela period transform into sanctity spots filled with primordial amrita at the historic moment of the Maha Kumbh Mela.
The pilgrims flocking the Mela area revel in the once in a lifetime chance to bathe in the spirit of holiness, auspiciousness and salvation.

Q: Where is Kumbh Mela celebrated in India?
Ans: Kumbh Mela is celebrated in 4 religious towns on the banks of holy rivers:-
  1. Haridwar in Uttarakhand where the holy Ganga River enters the plains from the mighty Himalayas.
  2. The sacred Prayag (confluence) in Allahabad of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati
  3. On the banks of Ksipra River at Ujjain Kumbh Mela in Madhya Pradesh.
  4. On the banks of Godavari River at Nashik Kumbh Mela in Madhya Pradesh
In each town, the  Kumbh Mela comes in every 12 years. Each town’s celebration is based on particular zodiacal positions of the Sun, the Moon, and Jupiter, the holiest time occurring at the exact moment these zodiacal conditions are fulfilled.

Q: Significance of Nashik Kumbh Mela
Ans: Both Shaiva and Vaishnava Sadhus used to take the holy dip in Trimbakeshwar, until 1838, when a clash between them led to bloodshed. Subsequently, the Peshwa ruler requested Shaiva sadhus to perform rituals at Trimbakeshwar and Vaishnavs to move downstream to Ramakunda in Nashik Kumbh Mela.
Q: Catchment of Nashik Kumbh Mela
Ans: The whole of West India and visitors from abroad

Q: Significance of Ujjain Kumbh Mela
Ans:    The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga situated here is the only Jyotirlinga which is facing towards South. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at the Mahakala is believed to be swayambhu (born of itself) deriving currents of power shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.
Q: Catchment of Ujjain Kumbh Mela
Ans: The whole of North India and visitors from India

Q: Primary NGO @ Nashik Kumbh Mela

Q: Primary NGO @ Ujjain Kumbh Mela
Ans: No major visible NGO however Nashik Kumbh Mela Innovation Center and Infosys are expected to lead from the front

Opportunities for LessCash tools at these Kumbh Melas’
This is in continuation of my earlier posts


Post 2 - Ideas to transform Nashik Kumbh Mela Kumbh Mela into LessCash Mela

Post 3 - Kumbh Mela 2015 @ Nashik-Why there should be no ATMs in the Mela Area

Post 4 - Cashless Payments for Simhastha Kumbh Mela - Nashik-Trimbakeshwar 2015. Who will bell the cat?

Q: Who can spearhead LessCash techniques in the upcoming Kumbh Mela’s?
Ans: Banks Vs PPI (Pre-paid Instruemnt) companies
PPIs companies are better placed to spearhead the LessCash techniques in the upcoming Kumbh Mela’s

4  reasons:-
01)  PPI companies can focus on their specialisation.
02) PPI companies can scale up the technology quickly.
03) PPI companies can rapidly penetrate the sellers club.
04) PPI companies can roll out new products quickly.

Brief definition of Pre-paid Payment Instruments:

 Pre-paid payment instruments are payment instruments that facilitate purchase of goods and services, including funds transfer, against the value stored on such instruments. The value stored on such instruments represents the value paid for by the holders by cash, by debit to a bank account, or by credit card.

The pre-paid instruments can be issued as smart cards, magnetic stripe cards, internet accounts, internet wallets, mobile accounts, mobile wallets, paper vouchers and any such instrument which can be used to access the pre-paid amount (collectively called Prepaid Payment Instruments hereafter).

The pre-paid payment instruments that can be issued in India are classified under three categories viz. (i) Closed system payment instruments (ii) Semi-closed system payment instruments and (iii) Open system payment instruments.

  List of Authorised eWallet Companies in India
Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as Stored Value Card Wallet (SCW) ‘Airtel Money’
Atom Technologies Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Atom Wallet’ and ‘Aquapay’
Citrus Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Citrus Cash’
DigitSecure India Private Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments e-wallet known as ‘HotRemit'
Edenred (India) Private Limited – nee Accor Services Pvt. Ltd.
Meal and gift paper vouchers, meal and cafeteria cards, gift cards. The products are mainly under the brand name ‘Ticket/Ticket Restaurant/Ticket Compliments’
Eko India Financial Services Private Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments
FX Mart Pvt. Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as
‘FX Money’
GI Technology Private Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments Card known as 'I Cash'
Idea Mobile Commerce Services Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Idea Money’
India Transact Services Limited,
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Ongo’
Itz Cash Card Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Pay on web’, ‘Mobile Wallet’ and ‘Itz Cash BSNL trust Card’
MMP Mobi Wallet Payment Systems Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘mRupee’
Mpurse Services Pvt. Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘mpurse wallet’
Muthoot Vehicle & Asset Finance Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments e-wallet known as ‘Muthoot Money’ and m-wallet known as ‘Muthoot wallet’
My Mobile Payments Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Money-on-Mobile'
One97 Communications Ltd.
Mobile based Pre-paid payment instruments m- Wallet known as ‘Paytm wallet’
One Mobikwik Systems Private Limited
Prepaid Payment Instruments known as ‘Mobikwik Wallet’
Oxigen Services (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Oxigen Wallets’
PayMate India Pvt. Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Paymate Wallet’
Pay Point India Network Private Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments known as 'Pay Pointz'
Premium eBusiness Ventures Private Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments
Pyro Telecommunications Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments m-wallet known as ‘SpeedPay’
QwikCilver Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments co-branded gift card known as ‘Issued by QwikCilver’
Reliance Payment Solution Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Jio Money’
Smart Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘PayCash’
Sodexo SVC India Pvt. Ltd
Paper based vouches known as
Meal, Catering, Gift Gold, Gift Exclusive and Gift Advantage. Electronic based vouchers, gift passes known as Meal Card, Premium E Gift Exclusive E gift and Say Rewards
Spice Digital Ltd
Pre-paid payment instruments
Tech Mahindra Limited
(Transfer of authorisation from erstwhile CanvasM Technologies Ltd.)
Pre-paid payment instruments (m-wallet) known as ‘MoboMoney’
Transaction Analysts (India) Private Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Transaction Assured’
UAE Exchange & Financial Services Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments m-wallet known as ‘X-Pay
UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as National Common Mobility Card (NCMC)
Vodafone m-pesa Limited
(Transfer of authorisation of erstwhile Mobile Commerce Solutions Ltd.)
Pre-paid payment instruments known as ‘Vodafone M-pesa’
Y-Cash Software Solutions Private Limited
Pre-paid payment instruments m-wallet known as ‘Y-Pay Cash’
ZipCash Card Services Pvt. Ltd.
Pre-paid payment instruments known as 'ZipCash Coupons'

Q: Usage mode’s of eWallets’
Ans:  Offline i.e physical card mode. Online i.e Mobile APPS, Internet

 Q: Milestones for eWallets companies
Ans: a) Establish Sellers Base
b) Address connectivity issues
c) Auto switch from offline mode to online mode as and when the network is available
d) Robust grievance handling mechanism
e) Quick Process to transfer from Sellers eWallet account to bank account or cash payout


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