Thursday, September 24, 2020

Thank you Apple India Online for including UPI as a payment channel


Apple Online Store is now officially open in India and there are a wide variety of payment options.

The Apple Fan can choose to pay for his/her product via

·        Credit Card, Debit Card or EMI of Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, Discover, Diners Club, RuPay Brands

·        Net Banking

·      UPI

·        Credit Card on Delivery

Cash On Delivery is not yet activated due to the ongoing Covid19 Pandemic

It is a great feeling to see UPI as a payment option from Day 1 on Apple Online Store

 Apple has tied up with BillDesk for facilitating the UPI Payments

Monday, September 21, 2020

All Electricity Boards please follow the Kerala Model of 5% discount for Online Bill Payments


Should all States/UTs follow the Kerala example? 5% Discount for Online Bill of Kerala Electricity Bill Payments

To encourage Digital transactions and eliminate Cash / Cheque transactions, KSEB is offering 5% discount for online bill payments.

The 5% discount is the biggest offer so far offered amongst State Electricity Boards.

Very few state electricity boards offer a discount for online bill payments.

Normally, Payment Apps viz Paytm, Amazon Pay, etc offer cashback for 1st time users. This attracts users and the users before payment of any electricity bill search Google for cashback offers.

The 5% discount offered by KSEB is in addition to the cashback offered by different payment apps.

The only drawback in Online Bill Payments, if for any reason, stupid or otherwise, the payment gets reversed after some time.

This leads to a very bad customer experience. The reversal is more painful, when the digital bill payment is paid via a third-party bank account or wallet.

BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System) major benefits:

01) Biller’s customers can pay their bills in cash too across numerous touch points. The customers will get instant receipts of the payment. The only pain point is the processing fee per bill, if any charged by the collecting agents. The processing fee may be less as INR5/- . This discourage customers to pay via Cash at BBPS Counters and pay at the Biller’s physical collection only.  

Ideally, customers should not pay more than the bill amount and the processing fees of the BBPS touchpoints should be paid by the biller only.

The billers operating cost of own physical collection centres will be far more as compared to the processing fees paid to BBPS Cash collection touch points.

It would be beneficial to the Utility companies, if they offer 5% discount or cashback for digital payment of bills. It’s a win-win situation for the companies as well as the customers.

Hopefully, other states will follow the Kerala model very soon.


Few Examples:

Karnataka BESCOM statement dt. 16th February 2015.

The honourable KERC has approved a rebate of .25% on the bill for those consumers who pay their bill through ECS. Moreover, ECS consumers will not be on the disconnection list. Consumers account will be debited only on the due date and not before that.


Reference Articles:

Watch the video of Kerala State Electricity Board 5% Cashback Offer|Electricity Bill Payment Online @

KSEB not to cut off connections over non payment of bill; to levy penalty instead @


12.69 lakh people who paid the electricity bill online for the first time got 6.05 crore cash back

12.69 lakh consumers got 5 % cash back announced by KSEB for the first time to pay the electricity bill online. From May to August, a total of 6.05 crore rupees was given for cashback in this way.

In May, 6,78,162 people, 1,74,614 in June, 2,11,984 in July, and 2,04,262 in August paid the electricity bill for the first time using online payment system.

5 % cash back offer for first time online payment available till 2020 December 31




Friday, September 18, 2020

0 and O should be banned in Alphanumeric Financial Identification Number String


This means, letter 'O' and numeral '0'


Q: What are Financial Identification Numbers?

Ans: Financial Identification Number is a number used to identify a Financial Document in an organization.

In everyday life, Financial Identification Numbers are visible at:

01) Bank Account Numbers

02)                Bank Customer Identification Numbers

03)                Insurance Policies

04)                Demat Account

05)                Mutual Fund Account Numbers

06)                Telephone customer master account numbers

07)                Utility companies’ customer master account

08)                Social Security Numbers

09)                Aadhaar Numbers

10) Income Tax PAN Number

11)  House Tax Account

12) Customer’s profile identification number in various government, semi-government, public, private bodies

13) Virtual Account Numbers

14)  Etc

Any unique number assigned to users that identifies them to the entity establishing the account can be said to be a Financial Identification Number.

 A social security number, bank account number and credit card number are common account numbers.

 An account number can be assigned to any category of individuals or organizations, including employees, customers, vendors and contractors.

Not Necessarily Numeric or Stored as Numeric

Account numbers may contain a combination of alphabetic characters and numeric digits. However, even when they are only numeric, they are often stored in the computer as an alphanumeric "character" field.


Q: What is an Alphanumeric number?

Ans: Alphanumeric Definition: The definition of alphanumeric is something that contains letters and numbers.

A password that requires both letters and numbers is an example of an alphanumeric password.

A computer keyboard is an example of an alphanumeric keyboard.

The most confusing characters in Alphanumeric Financial Identification Number  are letter 'O' and numeral '0'

There are numerous examples where customers have suffered because of “letter 'O' and numeral '0'” in the same financial identification number.


When displaying the Financial Identification Number, the computer font used may cause the customer to misread the alphanumeric characters (if any) in the account number.

The customers may commit typos while entering the beneficiary account during the payment initiation.

The customers may quote “letter 'O' instead of numeral '0'”, and hell breaks loose.

Not only customers, customer service executives may tend to get confused between letter 'O' and numeral '0', while noting down the Financial identification Number is the organisation’s record




It is very common to misread the letter 'O' in an account number as the numeral '0'.


Payments made to such mistyped accounts are considered invalid and are refunded to the customer's account within 1 working day. This could cause inconvenience to customers as they have to wait for 24 hours when large amounts should be refunded.

For this reason, we strongly recommend not to use the following characters in your handle, as they may appear ambiguous in certain fonts.

0 or O

1 or I

5 or S

8 or B

2 or Z


It will do a world of good if the ‘letter 'O' and numeral '0'’, are banned in the same Financial Identification Alphanumeric string.

Q: Is it not difficult?

Ans: As all the Financial Identification Numbers are generated by a Computer Application only, it’s not difficult to build the appropriate rules in the computer application.

Additional Reading Material:

Greece Bank Account Number - Length should be between 8 to 16 alphanumeric characters

Italy Bank Account Number - Length should be a maximum of 12 alphanumeric characters

Luxembourg Bank Account Number - Length should be 13 alphanumeric characters

Poland Bank Account Number - Length should be a maximum of 26 alphanumeric characters


Reference Document: Oracle® Cash Management User Guide - Country Specific Bank Account Validations @


What Is an International Bank Account Number (IBAN)?

An IBAN, or international bank account number, is a standard international numbering system developed to identify an overseas bank account.

The number starts with a two-digit country code, then two numbers, followed by up to third-five alphanumeric characters.

However, an IBAN does not replace a bank's own account number, as it’s only meant to provide additional information that helps in identifying overseas payments.

The IBAN is primarily used in international bank wire/account transfers.

The IBAN structure is defined by the international standard under ISO 13616-1:2007 and check digits are performed using MOD 97 (ISO 7064).



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Utility Bills Providers – Offer Cashback for early payment of your Bills


This is a #FinFiction Post

Just provide a cashback of 1% to your consumers and see the monies flow early into your accounts.

Consumers are willing to pay the bill within 3-4 days of the bill generated date if the respective utility companies offer a reasonable cashback.

Example 01) My Airtel Landline Account

Latest Bill Date is 12/09/2020

Due Date is 01/10/2020

Bill Amount is INR1532.00

I have opted for Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Automatic Bill Pay Module and my bank will debit my Bank Account on 27/09/2020 to remit the bill amount to Airtel.

If I am offered a cashback of say 1% i.e INR15/- for payment within 17th September, I will pay my bill withing 17th September, instead of waiting till 27th September.

Like me there will be lakhs of Airtel consumers are willing to take the early payment offer.

So, will Airtel roll out this offer and make itself happy.


Example 02) My BESCOM (Electricity Bill) Account

Latest Bill Date is 12th September, 2020

Bill due date is 1st October, 2020

Bill amount is INR1729.00

 I have opted for Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Automatic Bill Pay Module and my bank will debit my Bank Account on 22/09/2020 to remit the bill amount to Airtel.

If I am offered a cashback of say 1% i.e INR175/- for payment within 17th September, I will pay my bill withing 17th September, instead of waiting till 22nd September.

Like me, there will be lakhs of BESCOM consumers willing to take the early payment offer.

So, will BESCOM roll out this offer and make itself happy.


The cashback offer can be dynamic integrated with BBPS at the time of Fetch and Pay option.

Basing on the Fetch and Pay Date, the cashback amount can be calculated and displayed to the customer.



The cashback offer can be static, i.e Bill Date 12/09/2020, pay before 17/09/2020 and get a cashback of % in your next bill.






Monday, September 14, 2020

One Nation One Card Mobility Card to Go Live at Delhi Phase IV Metro Stations


Delhiites have to wait for a pretty long time to use the NCMC Mobility card at Delhi Metro stations.

As per the current plans, Delhiites will be able to use the NCMC on the Delhi Phase 4 metro stations.

The first train under Delhi Metro Phase 4 is planned to go live only in 2024 or 2026.

The exact launch dates will be announced once the construction works pick up speed and there is clarity on the end dates.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2019 had launched the indigenously-developed NCMC to enable people to pay multiple kinds of transport charges, including for metro and bus services across the country, through a common card.

However, in a major boost to travelers on the Delhi Metro Airport Express Lines, NCMC is expected to go live by this year-end.

Basically, the Delhi Metro Airport Express Train Line is independent of the main DMRC. It has its own AFC (Automatic Fare Collection) system. Hence, its bit easy for DMRC to integrate the NCMC into the Airport Express AFC.

The Delhi Metro Airport Express train line, known as the Orange Line, opened in February 2011.

A much-anticipated part of Delhi's expanding Metro train network, it cuts travel time to Delhi airport from at least one hour to about 20 minutes.

Trains, imported from Spain, travel the 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) at 120 kilometers per hour. Almost 16 kilometers (10 miles) of the track are underground.

DMRC Chief Mangu Singh Quote

“We are working to continuously improve our system, with better technological and other interventions, to improve our rolling stocks and energy efficiency. In Ph-IV, our AFC system will fully accept the national common mobility cards, which can be used in any cities,” he told PTI.

“Also, a mobile phone will effectively work as smart card, and riders will be able to use to enter or exit the AFC gates, in Ph-IV lines,” Mr. Singh said.

The managing director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, however, underlined that e-payment system and technology are fast-evolving and by the time the Ph-IV work is complete, new technologies may emerge.

“But, we have been working on it for quite some time, and the facilities of NCMC and entry and exit using mobile phones might be available by the end of this year on the Airport Express Line” he added.


Under the approved segment of Phase-IV, 61.679-km of new metro lines shall be constructed across three different corridors comprising 45 metro stations. 

These new sections shall provide interconnectivity among the already operational lines of the Delhi Metro.  Out of this, 22.35 kilometres will be underground.


The 3 approved corridors are:

Mukundpur-Maujpur - 08 stations

R K Ashram-Janakpuri West  22 stations

Aerocity-Tughlakabad - 15 stations



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