Thursday, October 29, 2015

Digital Kumbh-Good Bye, Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015 - Welcome Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016-WiFi enabled

          ‘Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015’, which concluded recently, was the first Kumbh Mela where technology dominated for a flawless execution.

          The Nasik edition of Kumbh kicked off on 14th July 2015 (Tuesday) and the curtain came down on 25th September 2015 (Friday). Technically, the ‘Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015’,  is in progress and will come to an end by 11th August 2016

          In the coming months, there will be numerous articles on the various facets of  ‘Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015’.

b)    No missing case reported at world’s largest religious gathering
c)     Police Arrangements At Glance
d)    MIT Media Lab, Camera Culture Group

          A number of teams came together, put aside their egos and worked towards the success of ‘NASHIK KUMBH MELA 2015’.

          New Digital innovations played a major role in the smooth conduct of ‘NASHIK KUMBH MELA 2015’.

Smart Citizens for a smart city

          These innovations were conceptualized over the last couple of years.

          The most remarkable achievement of ‘Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015’ was ensuring  that not a single visitor was MISSING or LOST during the ‘Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015’ period.

Nashik : Bharat Bharti Started Help Line In 16 Indian Languages At Kumbha Mela
          The only digital innovation which could not be deployed in mass scale at ‘Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015’ was the Digital Wallet or ePayments.

          References to my earlier posts on the scope of ePayments in ‘Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015’ can be read here.

          Additional readings on the preparations for ‘Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016’ are as under:

Modi government could nominate 'Kumbh Mela' for Unesco's cultural heritage list
Coin seekers Kumbh from Feb 5 2016
Tech touch to Simhasth-2016 in Ujjain; to be Wi-Fi enabled
Madhya Pradesh holds Travel Mart 2015

          In the last 15 months,
01)  Innovative approaches to Safe ePayments have been deployed by Banks and eWallet companies.
02) Awareness levels amongst Indian public has zoomed
03) eCommerce companies are widening the catchment area for eTransactions through exciting deals and new products
04) Major eWallets can now be used in the offline mode. Eg:

  • Citrus pay to tie up with Woohoo for offline wallet payments
  • Pay the Smart Way with Oxigen Wallet
  • Axis Bank Launches LIME
  • ZipCash is a Digital Currency
  • MobiKwik Partners with WHSmith India to Enable Digital Wallet Users to Shop Offline
  • These offline usages reflects the changing mindset of physical stores to transact in Digital Money
          The ‘Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016’ is 6 months away and there is hectic activity at the ground level for a flawless ‘Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016’ experience for the pilgrims.
Infosys has already taken the lead to digitize ‘Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016’

Infosys will develop software to manage Ujjain Kumbh mela next year: Sikka
Elaborating on the discussion around Kumbh mela, Sikka said post the meeting, the teams have already started brain storming on the solutions.
“Ujjain is very close to where I was born. I was born in Shajapur in Madhya Pradesh and we will be very happy to do that. We have been thinking  about how we will do this, to make software for the kumbh mela, clean toilets. It was a very very productive meeting,” he said.
The CEO added that the company will look at offering software for participants and organisers.
“Clean toilets is (also) one of them (initiatives) as lakhs of people will be using them, things like self cleaning toilet, water free urinals, etc,” he said.   

However, there is no mention of Digital Transactions.

So, which eWallet company will lead the race for Safe eTransactions at ‘Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016’?

          Disclaimer: I am not associated with any eWallet organization. My only mission is to spread the Joy of Safe eTransactions. Nothing more, Nothing less.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Consecutive Holidays – Golden opportunity for alternate eTransaction Modes

Dusshera celebrations are taking place all over the country. The festival runs for 9 days which in turns translates into holidays depending on the importance in the respective States.
 There will be consecutive holidays at certain cities from 20th to 27th Oct’15. Holidays has been summarized as below.

            RTGS/NEFT as usual will be closed on Sundays and 4th Saturdays. RTGS/NEFT will be closed on 22nd October, 2015 too.
           This provides a golden opportunity for alternate eTransaction modes to be in the limelight.
            Major alternate eTransaction modes are:
  • ·        IMPS
  • ·       Card-to-Card transfer through ATMs
  • ·       eWallets
  • ·       Mobile Wallets

 ATMs might run out of cash, hence this would also encourage alternate eTransactions.
 In the festive spirit, it would be great if the Banks and Card Issuing companies waive service charges during this period.
 This would go a long way in boosting Digital Transactions in our country.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The rise and rise of White Label ATMs in India

          White Label ATMs are spreading their wings all over India. As on 30th September 2015, 10,000 + WLM have been set up.
          The operator wise numbers are as under:

Tata Communications Payment Solutions Ltd – Dost har mod par
Tata Communications Payment Solutions Ltd., under the brand name ‘Indicash’, is the leader with 6,000+ ATMs
Tata Communications Payment Solutions Ltd., website can be viewed @
Indicash ATMs can be deployed in 4 unique formats i.e Offsite, Porta Cabin, Shop in Shop(SiS), Lobby Format
Franchisees are welcome to be a partner of TCPSL success. The franchisee can offer space own or rented.  A fixed cost is to be paid to TCPSL toward maintenance, cash loading and holding charges. The franchises earn on every transaction at the ATM. Such a model is a win-win as instead of TCPSL paying a fixed payment to the franchisee, the franchisee has business interest in attracting footfalls to its ATMs.
A unique advertising tool is the ‘Own the Room’, wherein Brands can have static as well as dynamic advertising in the ATM room.
TCPSL and FINO Pay Tech have collaborated for mutual benefit. Through this exclusive teamwork, TCPSL will install Indicash™ ATMs at the existing FINO Money Marts, the retail outlets of FINO PayTech.

BTI Payments Pvt. Ltd.   
BTI Payments Pvt. Ltd. under the brand name India1 ATM has 2,500+ ATMs.
One of the unique features on advertisement offers is ‘co branding on transaction slips’. Through this co branding, there is increased visibility for the brands.
BTI Payments installed its 500th ATM in Adavuladeevi, a Tier 5 town in Guntur,Andhra Pradesh.
All India1 ATMs are Dip and Draw machines.

Hitachi Payment Services Pvt. Ltd.
Hitachi Payment Services Pvt. Ltd. has under its wings 1,100+ ATMs. It has christened its ATMs ‘Money Spot’.
One innovative trait of ‘Money Spot’ is card-card money transfers service across banks
As on date there is no dedicated website for Hitachi Payment Services Pvt. Ltd. White label ATMs. The main website has a sub section mentioning the same.

Vakrangee Ltd.    
          Vakarangee Ltd intends to deploys it ATMs in Vakrangee Marts. Vakrangee Marts are its touch points to to deliver services to citizens through cutting-edge technology.
3,500 + of these Vakrangee Marts are already operational. The aim of Vakrangee Marts is B2C services i.e – direct cash disbursement and recharge coupons to delivering items such as automobiles or high-end consumables.
Vakrangee Ltd has deployed 180 ATMs till September 2015.

Muthoot Finance Ltd

Muthoot Finance Ltd. has deployed 150+ ATMs under the brand name ‘Muthoot ATM’.
          Muthoot ATMs are equipped with  Bio-metric and voice recognition. They are also User friendly, even to the differently-abled.
          No separate website as on date    

          RiddhiSiddhi Bullions Ltd.
          RiddhiSiddhi Bullions Ltd. under the brand name ‘STATE ATM’, has 110+ ATMs on ground.

AGS Transact Technologies Ltd.                    
AGS Transact Technologies Ltd.    is still finding its feet with 14 ATMs deployed

Benefits of White Label ATMs
01)  Spread the basics of electronic banking in Tier IV to Tier VI towns
02)  Introduce bank customers to machine banking
03) Introduce bank customers to Safe eTransactions
Additional Reading:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Directions to Mercantile Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd., Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)

Reserve Bank of India on October 7, 2015 vide Press Release issued specific directions to Mercantile Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd., Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)

The directions were issued by Reserve Bank of India to safe guard the interest of the public

The directions are as under and are applicable from the close of business on October 06, 2015,  shall not, without prior approval in writing from the Reserve Bank of India :-

  • ·       grant or renew any loans and advances,
  • ·       make any investment,
  • ·       incur any liability including borrowal of funds and acceptance of fresh deposits,
  • ·       disburse or agree to disburse any payment whether in discharge of its liabilities and obligations or otherwise,
  • ·       enter into any compromise or arrangement
  • ·       and sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any of its properties or assets except to the extent and in the manner provided, among others, hereunder :

*    A sum not exceeding 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only) of the total balance in every savings bank or current account or any other deposit account by whatever name called, may be allowed to be withdrawn by a depositor provided that wherever such depositor is having liability to the bank in any manner, i.e. either as a borrower or surety, the amount may be adjusted first to the relevant borrowal account/s.

*    Renewal of the existing term deposits on maturity in the same name and same capacity.

*    Such expenditure as permitted in the captioned Directions.

*    May invest in Government / SLR approved securities.

Mercantile Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd., Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)  shall also not incur or extinguish any other liability unless specifically approved in writing by the Reserve Bank of India.

The issue of directions by the RBI should not per se be construed as cancellation of banking licence by RBI. The bank will continue to undertake banking business with restrictions.

Validity of Instructions: The instructions will remain in force for a period of six months from the close of business on October 06, 2015 and are subject to review from time to time.

          Meerut has plenty of tourist attractions with the top attractions being Augharnath Mandir, Hastinapur and St. John’s Church.

          A variety of street food too is available in Meerut.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Transit Gift Hampers-Untapped by eCommerce Players

          How would you feel if you received a Gift Hamper on a rail journey from your loved ones?

          How would you react if a gift hamper awaited in your hotel room from your loved ones after a tiring day in office?

          Would you be surprised if a gift hamper was delivered to your Paying Guest accommodation?

          The traditional online Gift Hampers do not serve the aspirations of the ‘Middle of the Pyramid’.

          Gift Hamper’s in one form or other are part of Indian culture. In the western world, the tradition of the charitable gift hamper or the Christmas hamper has spread.

These days, gift hampers can be given for any occasion - baby gifts, corporate gifts, birthday gifts, Mother's day gifts.

There are a number of online portals which cater to the Gift Hamper market.

However, the concept of Transit Gift Hampers is yet to be rolled out by any eCommerce Portal.

All the eCommerce portals specialise in static Gift Hampers only.

Majority of the Gift Hampers are priced over INR500/- with no mix and match facility.

Type ‘Gift Hampers India’, in any web engine, to view the range of available Gift Hampers in India.

The Grocery eCommerce sites do not allow storing of multiple delivery addresses. One emailed and mobile phone number can have only one delivery address.

This does not allow the online shopper to surprise his near and dear ones.

My spouse had gone to her mom’s place in Hyderabad and I wanted to surprise her with a fruit basket from BB. Unfortunately, I could not do so, as I could not add a temporary delivery address to my account.

Transit Gift Hampers will be welcome by the following recipients:-
01)  Train passengers on long distance trains
02) Tourists on long sightseeing tours
03) Spouse’s on official tours
04) Kids residing in Paying Guest Accommodation
05)  Senior citizens staying along chatting with their kids on Skype
06) Special Groups viz Teachers on ‘Teachers Day’, Engineers on ‘Engineer Day’,
07) etc

Range of Transit Gift Hampers:-
          Local variety, no hi-fi items, fresh quality, mix n match preferred to  tailor the recipients      taste
Price Range of INR250/- to INR500/- with delivery charges capped to INR100/-

01)  Delivery Address
02) Delay in recipient reaching the delivery address
03) Cancellations?
04) Returns if required
05) Recipient Feedback
          Nil expect existing franchises at Railway Stations might object

Additional Reading:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Can Mudra Loans collections be routed through Bharat Bill Payment System (BPPS)?

          An introduction of Mudra Loans is available at the following links:
01)  MUDRA website
03) Collections Business potential
04) NDTV

          An introduction of Bharat Bill Pay is available at the following links:
a)     The Hindu

          This article highlights the pains in collecting the Mudra Loan instalments.
          Times of India

          In addition, banks are devising flexible repayment mechanism with instalments that can be paid on a weekly basis at some of the banks. "From a collection point of view the challenge is to ensure that a street vendor or a repair shop owner can pay the instalment at his doorstep and does not waste time coming to a bank branch. We are working on ways to address this issue and we may rope in collection agents," the PNB executive said.
          Majority of the Mudra Loan borrowers are unwilling to spend in long queues at bank branches to repay the monthly instalments.
          Conventional payment methods like PDCs(Post Dated Cheques), ECS-Debit (Electronic Clearing Service), ACH-Debit will not work here.  
          The preferred repayment mode will be cash in low denominations.
          The cost to Banks in Mudra Loan repayments in Bank Branches will be high, approximately upto INR150/- per transaction. This cost includes the ‘missed customer’, cost.
          Mudra Loan borrowers prefer simple and safe repayment options.
          The BPPS can be the perfect choice to route Mudra Loan repayments.
          The benefits outweigh the negatives.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Small Finance Bank - RGVN (North East) Microfinance Limited, Guwahati

          RGVN (North East) Microfinance Limited, Guwahati has been granted in-principle approval to set up a Small Finance Bank in India. They have to submit the Application for final approval within 18 months.

          Sphere of Influence: -

Operations: Network of 116 branches in 5 Northeastern States viz. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim.
a)     Self Help Groups
b)    Joint Liability Groups
c)     Entrepreneurship Development Loan – Individual
d)    Micro Enterprise  Loan – Individual

Mr.Brij Mohan-Chairman in alumni of IDBI
Ms.Rupali Kalita, Managing Director is LDR Regional Rural Bank

One of the unique features of RGVN is ‘No penalty on delayed payment and prepayment’.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Small Finance Bank - Equitas Holdings P Limited, Chennai

     Midnight oil is being burnt in the Head office of Equitas Holdings P Limited, Chennai to quickly submit the final application to Reserve Bank of India for issuance of the final licence to commence Small Finance Bank business.

     EH is one of the 10 entities to which Reserve Bank of Indian has accorded in-principle approval for Small Finance Bank operations.

     EH commenced its operations in 2007.

Sphere of Influence:

Operational Areas: 7 States-124 districts-361 districts

  • Micro Finance
  • Vehicle Finance
  • Housing Finance
  • Food Security
  • Education Initiatives

Each product has dedicated staff to service the customers.

Shri Vasudevan P N – Chairman is alumni of Development Credit Bank

  • Disbursement for the FY 2014-15 - 2,129.04Cr
  • Disbursement since Inception - 7,309.29 Cr
  • Loan Outstanding as on end of the month - 2,143.95 Cr

  • MAR 2015 - No.of Customers as on end of the month - 22.92 Lacs
  • Out of which Customers in poorest districts - 8.05 Lacs
  • No.of Loans as on end of the month - 24.50 Lacs
  • Out of which no.of Loans in poorest districts - 8.80 Lacs
  • Out of which no. of poorest districts served - 50

Equitas has State of the art IT Infrastructure and is the First MFI to implement Core Banking Software

Thursday, October 1, 2015

eTransactions Initiatives in upcoming Bihar Elections

            The Bihar Elections will dominate the media for the next couple of months.

            The Bihar State Election Commission is the implementing agency in the whole state of Bihar.

            Massive manpower, equipment including vehicles is requisitioned and deployed the Election State Commission for smooth conduct of the elections.

            As the SEC does not have all the required resources on its rolls, deputation or hiring is the accepted practice.

             Human Resources are drawn from Government offices, Public Sector Banks, Public Sector Insurance Companies, Government undertakings etc.

            Honorarium as per existing rules is paid to the said personnel.

            A large number of vehicles are required to move the security forces and government forces to their designated locations.

            Normally, commercially vehicles from Travel agencies or owners are requisitioned by the SEC. The payments for usage of these vehicles are a mammoth logistical nightmare. At the end of the exercise, the dissatisfaction levels amongst the all the participants is high.

            To minimize customer dissatisfaction, the Bihar SEC has introduced a new software named ‘Completely Integrated Vehicle Management System'.

            As a Safe ePayments Motivator, the most exciting part of this software is the usage of online banking channels for direct payment to vehicle owners.

            This is just the beginning and in the coming elections more and more cash reimbursements will be migrated to the LessCash mode i.e Online.

            Based on the feedback received from the respective stakeholders, fine tuning will be done wherever required

It is estimated that at least 80,000 vehicles will be required to manage the movement of forces and government officials during the assembly elections to be held in five phases starting October 12.

As is the norm, the commercial vehicle owners will not have much of a say on whether to lend their vehicles for election duty given the requirement. However the vehicle management software is expected to ensure that intermediaries do not eat into rent payments.

Hiring of vehicles for smooth conduct of Elections:


  • ·       Hiring/requisitioning of vehicles as and when required by the empowered officials.
  • ·       Manual maintenance of Log Book
  • ·       Reimbursements through Cash after completion of the polling
  • ·       Manual maintenance of Audit trial.
  • ·       High TAT for cash payouts
  • ·       No advance released to vehicle owners
  • ·       High customer dissatisfaction

  • ·       Hired vehicle details are updated in the VHM
  • ·       Log book for each registered vehicle is automatically opened
  • ·       Requisite details keyed in the respective officers at end of the day
  • ·       Auto calculation of the charges as per the keyed in details
  • ·       On the fourth day 80% of the total auto generated charges credited to the vehicle owners bank account through ONLINE BANKING MODE
  • ·       Low customer dissatisfaction
  • ·       System generated audit trial

 5 Benefits of the new process:

  1. 1.     TAT reduction
  2. 2.    In line with Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s Digital India vision
  3. 3.    Highlight the benefits of Safe eTransactions tools in daily financial activity
  4. 4.    Testing ground for expansion of such tools in other cash payouts activities
  5. 5.    Enhanced visibility for eTransactions