Sunday, July 15, 2018

National Security Guard to experience the Joy of Safe ePayments

NSG signs pact with IRCTC to ease ticket booking for personnel. NSG is the first paramilitary force to opt for e-ticketing in lieu of Railway Warrants

          NSG with 7000+ members spread all over India joins the club of Safe ePayments.
National Security Guard (NSG) is an Indian special forces unit under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It was raised in 1984, following Operation Blue Star and the assassination of Indira Gandhi, "for combating terrorist activities with a view to protect states against internal disturbances".

          IRCTC unveiled a special eTicketing facility  for NSG personnel. National Security Guard personnel will not have to face hardships to get railway tickets as India’s elite federal contingency force has signed an agreement with IRCTC for provisioning of e-ticketing facility.

The pact will eliminate the need of using Railway Warrants by NSG officers/personnel travelling on duty in trains.

Earlier, the NSG force personnel were supposed to visit Railway Reservation Counter to exchange their Railway Warrant for reserve tickets.

As per the pact, IRCTC will be extending the ticketing facility to NSG headquarters which later on may be extended to field units also.

IRCTC will be extending this scheme through advance deposit to facilitate hassle free service from payments at the time online ticket booking. NSG is the first central paramilitary force to opt for e-ticketing in lieu of Railway Warrants.

          The memorandum of understanding was signed today between the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation and the NSG at the headquarters of the special force here.

This system will eliminate the need of carrying railway warrants by the NSG personnel.

Purchasing tickets through railway warrant system is a cumbersome and lengthy process as it requires the NSG staff to go to a railway reservation counter to exchange a railway warrant to reserve tickets.  

A railway warrant is a voucher issued for train travel for certain categories such as government employees, security force personnel and retirees at subsidised rates or free of charge, exchangeable for a ticket.

Under the MOU, the IRCTC will be extending the ticketing facility to the NSG headquarters and it may be later provided to the field units.

NSG administrative headquarters is at Mehram Nagar, Palam and operational headquarters at Manesar.

          NSG has 5 regional hubs 26 SCG Mumbai, 27 SCG Chennai, 28 SCG Hyderabad, 29 SCG Kolkata and 30 SCG Gandhinagar.

NSG is under the authority of Ministry of Home Affairs. However it is not categorised under the uniform nomenclature of Central Armed Police Forces.

It has a special forces mandate, and its core operational capability is provided by the Special Action Group (SAG) which is drawn from the Indian Army.

The Special Rangers Group (SRG), the police component of NSG, which also handles VIP security, is composed of personnel on deputation from other Central Armed Police Forces and State Police Forces.

The NSG personnel are often referred to in the media as Black Cats because of the black outfit and black cat insignia worn on their uniform.

Read about Rail Warrants here.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Now, withdraw cash from Karnataka Bank’s PoS terminals

          The Press Release sent to Mumbai Stock Exchange can be read here
          The primary objective of Karnataka Bank to offer cash withdrawal at it’s POS terminals is to increase  transactions and fee income of merchants opting for its POS terminals.

Karnataka Bank on Monday joined the league of many other banks to offer cash at its point of sale (PoS) terminals installed at various merchant establishments throughout the country.

Customers holding debit cards of any bank or open system prepaid cards issued by banks in India that are enabled for cash withdrawal at PoS terminals may utilise the facility to withdraw cash up to ₹ 1,000 in Tier I and Tier II cities and up to ₹ 2,000 in Tier III, Tier IV areas and rural areas. Karnataka Bank has over 13,100 PoS terminals installed across the country.

The customer withdrawing cash at a merchant establishment need not pay any fee to the merchant. However, the card issuing bank may charge a small fee for such withdrawals, at 1 %, subject to a maximum of ₹ 10 as prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India.

Karnataka Bank plans to levy 1 % charge as allowed by the RBI, a senior official of the Karnataka Bank said. Out of ₹ 10 collected as fee, ₹ 3 is shared with the merchant and the balance among other partners of the bank, the official added.

To whether a merchant is obliged to dispense cash to a customer, the official said that it depends upon the availability of cash with the merchant. It also depends upon whether the PoS terminal is available for cash dispensation as in many urban areas, the terminals would be busy catering to merchants customers. However, in rural areas, PoS terminals may not be that busy and hence, the maximum withdrawal limit is kept at ₹ 2,000, he added.

The release quoted Karnataka Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer M.S. Mahabaleshwara as saying, “Cash@PoS virtually transforms Bank’s PoS terminals as Mini ATMs. It has many benefits to the merchant establishments and cardholders. As it enables recycling of cash with merchant establishments, the retailers account is automatically deposited with cash without having to visit the branch.

It is also an avenue for income generation for the merchants as they will receive fees/incentives on such transactions which will be reimbursed/paid by the bank. On the other hand, it provides an additional channel for customers for withdrawing cash from his/her bank account at the convenience of place and time.”

This new facility will reduce the need for Bank account holders to visit the nearest ATM for cash withdrawals

Monday, July 2, 2018

Reserve Bank of India imposes monetary penalty of INR60 million on Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited

          Reserve Bank of India has informed to public at large that it has imposed, on June 19, 2018, a monetary penalty of ₹ 60 million on Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited.
The penalty was for contravention of Master Directions on Issue and Pricing of Shares dated April 21, 2016 (the Directions) issued by RBI.

This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of Section 47A (1) (c) read with Section 46 (4) (i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 taking into account the failure of the bank to adhere to the Directions while issuing bonus shares to certain non-resident entities.

History of TMB Bank

The history of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd., the then Nadar Bank Ltd., dates back to 1921.

The thought of establishing a bank under the guidance of the able Nadar business community was mooted out in the Anniversary of Nadar Mahajana Sangam held at Tuticorin in 1920.

The proposal was effected soon. The bank was registered on May 11, 1921 as “The Nadar Bank Ltd”.

A group of dedicated men with shrewd acumen and sound integrity had been constituted as Board of Directors and they elected Shri M.V. Shanmugavel Nadar as Chairman on Nov 04, 1921.

The bank was opened by Shri T.V. Balagurusamy Nadar, the then President of the Nadar Mahajana Sangam and the bank threw open its door to the public on Nov 11, 1921 at 9am in Ana Mavanna Building at South Raja Street, Tuticorin.

Spreading the wings of TMB:-

·       The bank was having only 4 branches until the year 1947 at Tuticorin, Madurai, Sivakasi and Virudhunagar.

·       The bank had also a branch at Colombo in the year 1937 and the same was closed in the year 1939.

·       The bank has now 509 full fledged branches all over India.

·       The first branch outside the State of Tamilnadu was opened in the year 1976 at Bangalore.

·       The first fully computerized branch was opened at WGC Road, Tuticorin on Dec 09, 1984.

·       The bank had established its first currency chest in 1993 at Madurai & has industrial finance branches at Coimbatore, Chennai and Secunderabad.
·       The Bank has launched ATM Card from Nov 11, 2003.

Nadar (also referred to as Nadan, Shanar and Shanan) is a Tamil caste of South India and Sri Lanka. Nadars are predominant in the south Indian districts of Tuticorin, Kaniyakumari, Tirunelveli and Virudhunagar.

The Nadar community was not a single caste, but developed from an assortment of related subcastes, which in course of time came under the single banner Nadar. Nadars are predominant in the south Indian districts of Tuticorin, Kaniyakumari, Tirunelveli and Virudhunagar.

Nadar climber was the largest subsect of today’s Nadar community. A few subsects of the Nadar community, such as the Nelamaikkarars, were traditionally wealthy landlords and money lenders.

Historically, most Nadars were cultivators of palmyra trees and jaggery and a few were also involved in the toddy trade. Nadar climbers had faced discrimination from major upper castes in some regions.

A martial art that has been called Southern-style Kalaripayattu was historically practised by the Nadars.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd., Basti - Penalised

Reserve Bank of India has informed to public that it has imposed a monetary penalty of ₹ 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh only) on Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd., Basti for opening on-site ATM without obtaining prior approval from RBI.

Reserve Bank of India had issued a Show Cause Notice to the bank, in response to which the bank had submitted a written reply. After considering the facts of the case, and the bank’s reply in the matter, the Reserve Bank came to the conclusion that the violation was substantiated and warranted imposition of penalty.

          As per NPCI website, Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd., Basti has 1 ATM on the NFS network.

Basti district (Hindi: बस्ती जिला, Urdu: ضلع بستی), is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh state, India and Basti town is the district headquarters. Basti district is a part of Basti Division.

Basti was originally known as village. The origin of the name Vaishishthi is attributed to the fact that this area was the Ashram of Rishi (sage) Vashistha in ancient period. Lord Rama with his younger brother Laxman had been here for some time with Rishi Vasistha.

The tract comprising the present district was remote and much of it was covered with forest. But gradually the area became habitable, it cannot, with any degree of certainty, be said how the district came to known by its present name on account of the original habitation (Basti) having been selected by the Kalhan Raja as a seat of his Raj, an event which probably occurred in the 16th century.

In 1801,. Basti became the Tehsil headquarters and in 1865 it was chosen as the headquarters of the newly established district.

UPI – Process for scheduling maintenance activities & SMS alerts to customers. Customer’s Demand

          Indians are adopting NPCI_UPI channel to push a large number of personal digital transactions.   

These high volumes are taking a toll on the Bank’s channel and banks are resorting to frequent downtime activity.

The customer’s dissatisfaction has been noticed by NPCI and vide Circular No NPCI /UPI/OC No.51 /2018-19 dt.27th June, 2018, has issued guidelines on the ‘Process for scheduling maintenance activities’.

The circular also mentions about mandatory SMS alerts for manual entries posted to customer’s accounts.

One of the most customer-friendly features of the UPI Apps is the ‘Raise Concern’, option available in each successful transaction.           This channel provides an unbiased view of customer’s feedback to NPCI


UPI has seen significant growth in number of financial transactions in the recent months. While this indicates that UPI is being adopted as a preferred payment method, it also necessitates that customer experience on UPI transactions is seamless. Basis the analysis that we carried out, we are highlighting two of the critical issues that have come to the fore:

1. UPI is an online payment system and services are available 24X7 for customers. We have seen surge in transactions during night hours as well. However, it has been noticed that some of the member banks are often taking downtime during peak hours. This results in declining of high number of transactions and customer dissatisfaction.

2. Further from detailed analysis of complaints, it has been observed that the main reason for complaints are attributable to banks not sending transaction status/confirmation (SMS alerts) to customers for debit/credit entries in the customer’s account. These include online entries & manual entries post reconciliation.

In order to ensure highest standards of customer service, member banks are therefore advised as under:

1.     Software patches released by the switch vendor/s must be rigorously tested in the test environment before applying to the production system.

2.      All scheduled activities related to switch, CBS middleware, DR drills etc which require downtime should be carried out only during the non-peak hours i.e. between 00:00 Hrs. to 05:00 Hrs. preferably on public holidays, Saturday and Sunday.

3.     This will help to avoid customer dissatisfaction and non-availability of UPI services during peak hours.

2. It is also advised that member banks must send SMS alerts to the customers as and when bank passes debit/credit/reversal entries for UPI online transactions or any entries passed post reconciliation.

This shall help customers to understand the status of transaction/complaints proactively and bring down the complaints ratio at an ecosystem level.

o   So go ahead and do more UPI transactions.       
o   You can send or receive monies from account holders of 100+ Banks
o   You can pay your bills through UPI
o   What else do you require to adopt UPI as your preferred Digital Transactions Channel