Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oriental Insurance Company - joins the ePayments route.

Oriental insurance company, is tying up with various Banks to embrace the ePayments mode completely.

This will add 6lacs+ transactions to the ePayments pool in our country, plus the additional ripples amongst it’s 15,000+employees and 50,000+associates.

OIC with its  1000+ branches spread all over India, should be looking forward to tie-up with multiple banks to completely migrate to ePayments.

First of the publicity block, is ING Vysya Bank, via a Press Release.
The Press Release can be viewed @

This is ING Vysya Bank’s second tie-up in the last couple of weeks in the ePayments arena. A couple of weeks back, it announced a tie-up with Life Insurance Corporation of India.
This continuous publicity should attract new customers towards ING Vysya Bank’s ePayments solutions.

The genesis of ePayments in Indian insurance industry, can be traced to  a July 2009, IRDA circular.
More can be read @

It took 2 years+ for major Indian insurance companies to fully appreciate the benefits of ePayments in their companies.

Chalo, better late than never.

By end 2012, all Indian insurance companies should have migrated completely to ePayments.
This will further reduce the load on Cheque Clearing in India, and also enable the policy holders to receive their funds quickly.
These funds will move into the retail market, thereby stimulating demand for products too.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

PNBRewardz - PNB Debit Cards Loyalty Program. Hm-not sure who the gainer is!!

To encourage it’s debit card holders to swipe their debit cards more at POS Terminals, PNB is running a Debit Cards Loyalty Program  i.e PNBRewardz.

The routine operations for this Loyalty Program lie with Loylty Rewardz. Hence, ‘Rewards’, is spelt as ‘Rewardz’!

The PNB Debit Card holder has to register him/her self for points accrual and redemption.
The registration process involves visit to the Bank’s ATM and than Internet access.

Every member of PNB Rewardz is eligible to accrue Points.
PNB Rewardz members can earn & accumulate Points for all their Spends at Point of Sales (POS) and online purchases using Punjab National Bank Debit Card.
With every Rs. 100 spent, you earn 1 point (Each point is valued at Rs. 0.25)

The minimum redemption value is 500points.
To earn 500 points, the customer has to swipe for  Rs50,000/-
I am not sure, whether this makes sense or not.
As no relevant statistics are published, the success of this program cannot be ascertained.
However, as the program is still run all over India, it must have achieved the Break-even point.

Punjab National Bank (PNB) is one of the 500 largest banks in the world, and enjoys a rich history and heritage.

PNB was the first Indian bank to be started solely with Indian capital. Established in 1895 at Lahore, and nationalized in 1969, in the first lot of 13 Banks.

PNB is 100% CBS and operates through 5,000+ branches, 444+  extension counters and 1855+ ATMs.

444 extension counters-Some Indian Banks do not have that many branches as PNB has extension counters!

Over it’s 100 years existence, PNB has added numerous feathers to it’s cap.

The bank was established in 1895 at Lahore. PNB's founders included several leaders of the Swadeshi movement like Dyal Singh Majithia, Lala HarKishen Lal, Lala Lalchand, Kali Prosanna Roy, EC Jessawala, Prabhu Dayal, Bakshi Jaishi Ram, and Lala Dholan Dass.

Lala Lajpat Rai was actively associated with the banks’s management in its early years. Lala Lajpat Rai’s brother was the first manager of Punjab National Bank.

Apart from 4500+ Branches in India, PNB has Overseas Offices at United Kingdom,  Hong Kong and Kabul. It has representative offices in Almaty, Shanghai, and Dubai.

The Bank is the first amongst the public sector banks to  come out with Voluntary  Retirement Scheme.

Way back in 2002, PNB embarked on a CBS for it’s wide network. It  tied up with Cisco Systems for  networking 3,870 branches and also was in talks  Infosys for the  implementation of a Centralised Banking Solution for it, via a Joint Subsidiary.

In 2004, PNB mandated  TCS to deploy HR Solutions. To make this a reality, TCS  joined hands with PeopleSoft to  handle  project mandated by PNB for a Human Capital Management and Payroll Solution.

Over the decades, few banks were merged into PNB, mostly as a rescuer for the other Banks.
In 1951, PNB acquired the 39 branches of Bharat Bank (est. 1942);

In 1960s, PNB amalgamated Indo Commercial Bank (est. 1933) in a rescue.

In 1986, PNB acquired Hindustan Commercial Bank (est. 1943) in a rescue. The acquisition added Hindustan's 142 branches to PNB's network.

IN 1993, PNB acquired New Bank of India, which the GOI had nationalized in 1980

The major development in Punjab National Bank in the last 6 months, is acquisition of 30% stake in MetLife India at an undisclosed amount.

In Oct 2011, PNB’ the Country’s second largest public sector bank, completed all formalities to acquire 30% stake in MetLife life insurance. PNB is expecting to start selling life insurance policies of MetLife from 14 January 2012 across the country.

Another unique initiative of PNB is PNB PRERNA”, an association of the wives of the Bank’s senior management. The association through its voluntary initiatives undertakes  activities like distribution of food to the poor and needy, provision of computers, books, stationary items to poor girl students at various orphanages and schools etc.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

World Series Hockey 2011 - Let it take place!!

The World Series Hockey 2011, is expected to start on 17/12/2011, and already Hockey players are being warned not to part of it.
In case of participation, they risk of being not considered for National team opporutunities.

More on the World Series Hockey 2011, can be read @

As a sports enthusiast, it makes sense for me for WSH 2011 to happen. Simple, this is ‘the opportunity’, Indian Hockey players to earn some decent money.
It is irrelevant to ponder who are the sponsors, as the only aim in life is to earn money.

Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India, should keep aside their differences atleast for this WSH 2011 series and let the players and the viewers have a great time.

Once WSH 2011 is over, they can go back to their warring ways.

Indian VolleyBall League, Karnataka Badminition League, have helped players to earn decent money and at the same time, engaged people’s attention.

The same is expected of WSH 2011, and many hockey lovers are looking forward to WSH 2011. Give Hockey a chance in it’s motherland.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Allahabad Bank - CashPOS - Debit Card Offer. Did you know?

Allahabad Bank - CashPOS - Debit Card Offer. Did you know?
It was a pleasant surprise, to know Allahabad Bank is having Debit Card usage offers.
The offers can be viewed at

One key differentiator Allahabad Bank has is the Meals at Barista Lavazza
Offer 2 - 10% Discount Voucher For Next Purchase
10% discount vouchers will be given to first 50 Allahabad Bank cardholders each month who use their debit card to avail the cashPOS facility at each of the promotion outlets
The discount vouchers can be used for the next purchase during the Promotion Period at any of the Promotion Outlets

The Barista Lavazza CashPOS was started in June 2011, and this is India’s first cash withdrawal factiity at the Point of Sale in a retail store.

The origins of Allhabad Bank go back to Nineteenth Century.
Allahabad Bank is the  Oldest Joint Stock Bank of the Country.
Allahabad Bank was founded on April 24, 1865 by a group of Europeans at Allahabad.
Thus, the History of the Bank spread over three Centuries - Nineteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-First.
Allahabad Bank was part of the first wave of Bank Nationalisation in 1969.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Indusind Bank - Debit Card Cash Back. Did you try it out?

The Debit Card Cash Back offers are getting interesting day by day. Each Bank is trying to innovate.

The basic principle is same a) minimum qualifying amount b) maximum cap per card
The differentiators are in the marketing campaigns.  
Indusind bank too has rolled out a Debit Card Cash Back offer from 01/10/2011 to 31/12/2011.

Minimal details of the program can be viewed @

The key differentiator here is that the cash back amount is the last 2 digits of the Rupee value in the transaction.

  • The quantum of Cash Back would be “last two Digits” of the Rupee Value of the Total Transaction. When the last 2 digits of the Rupee Value are “00” the Cash Back for the Transaction would be Rs 100. This is illustrated with examples below:
  • Transaction Value on eligible MCC (Rs.)
  • Cash Back(Rs.) - last two digits of the Rupee value
  • 2688.22
  • 88
  • 3397.21
  • 97
  • 4200.07
  • 100

The gate limit is Rs2500/-, and the limit is 10 eligible transactions per card, during the campaign period. This translates a cash back of Rs1,000/- for a spend of Rs25,000/-.

Well, this is in line with other ‘Cash Back’ offers in the industry.

Indusind Bank is part of the Hinduja Group. Hinduja Group has varied interests in  Banking & Finance, Transport, Energy (Oil & Power) as well as the new economy of Technology, Media and Telecom.

Hindujas’ new abode in England, is the 100-million-pound palace near Buckingham

ING Vysya Bank signs MoU with LIC for ePayments.

Seeing this Press Release, the quotation, ‘the early bird catches the worm,’ immediately came to my mind.

The need for a tie-up, can be traced to the recent Policy decision of LIC, to route all its payments to Policy Holders i.e  Survival Benefit, Maturity, Loan, Surrenders, payments of Pension & Group Schemes etc.,  directly to the Bank Account of the Policyholder / Beneficiary w.e.f 01/10/2011.

NEFT was the Payment Channel to route the payments directly to the Banks accounts.

To activate this process, LIC had to work with a Bank. The Bank could have been it’s normal bankers or the Bank which first pitched a viable Payments Module.
AND the race was won by ING Vysya Bank with a MOU signed between ING Vysya Bank and LIC for ePayments.

The Press Release can be accessed @

As for the quote ‘ the early bird catches the worm’, origin can be traced to the 17th century.

This is first recorded in John Ray's A collection of English proverbs 1670, 1678:
"The early bird catcheth the worm."
Clearly, the title of the work indicates that this was considered proverbial even in the 17th century.

Incidentally, the ING history can also be traced to the 17th century, i.e The oldest legal predecessor of ING Group world-wide, is the Kooger Doodenbos from Koog, Noord Holland, founded in 1743

Business Prospects :
As per LIC website, in the financial year 2010-2011, payouts to 53 lacs policy holders were made. The payouts  were for Maturity Payouts as well as Survival Benefits.
53 lacs + payouts means on an average 3 lac payouts per month. This will propel ING Vysya Bank to the top 5 in the NEFT volumes.

The icing on the cake, will be when the Commission payouts to Agents also move from paper-based to ePayment mode.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oriental Bank of Commerce-Carry the Bank in your wallet!!!

OBC’s advertisement in Business Line of 08/11/2011, with the tag line – Carry the Bank in your Wallet, attracted me to have a more detailed view of the various services its customers can avail at its ATM’s.
Well, as per the Bank’s website, the following ATM Services are being offered to the customers:

   -- Balance Inquiry – The latest clear balance in the linked accounts can be ascertained.
   -- Cash Withdrawal, Fast Cash – The basic function of an ATM.
   -- Mini Statement – Normally, a printout of the last 5 transactions can be obtained.
    -- PIN Change – Be careful to remember, the next time you use the ATM card.
    -- Funds transfer (only among accounts linked to a card) – Some banks allow funds transfer to non-linked accounts too.
    -- Cash/ Cheque Deposit in selected ATMs – Not a popular option in our country.
    -- Income Tax Payment – More publicity will attract customer’s to try this option.
    -- Cheque Status Inquiry – Customers need not call up the branch or the phone banking team. This reduces the number of calls to the Branch or Phone Banking Team.
    -- Stop Payment of Cheques – This has to be an online facility rather than an off-line, as off-line mode, will increase the customer’s complaints.
    -- POS facility Activation/ Deactivation – Seems to be a new feature.
    -- SMS Alert Registration/ Modification of SMS Alert Mobile Number – Good to have.
    -- MPAY Registration and De-registration – This also will reduce the burden on Branches and Phone Banking team.

OBC was founded by the scion of the Thapar Group i.e , Late Rai Bahadur Lala Sohan Lal, in Lahore  a prominent city of Pakistan.
The partition necessitated the shifting of the new banks’ registered office from Lahore to Amritsrar. It is to be noted that, the Late lala Karam Chand Thapar, the then Chairman of the Bank, in a unique gesture honoured the commitments made to the depositors from Pakistan and paid every rupee to its departing customers
Another challenging period was between 1970-76. At one time profit plummeted to Rs.175, and this prompted the owner of the bank, the Thapar House, to sell / close the bank. However the then employees and leaders of the Bank came forward to rescue the Bank. The owners were moved and had to change their decision of selling the bank and in turn they decided to improve the position of the bank with the active cooperation and support of all the employees. Their efforts bore fruits and performance of the bank improved significantly. This was the turning point in the history of the bank

The bank was nationalized on 15th April, 1980. At that time total working of the bank was Rs.483 crores having 19th position among the 20 nationalised banks.
In 1997, two Banks namely Punjab Co-operative Bank Ltd., and Bari Doab Bank Ltd., were amalgamated with the bank under Government of India, notification on 7th April.

However, for some strange reason, the banks’ website, does not mention the history of the Bank.