Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Axis Bank ‘Thought Factory’, @Bangalore

29th June, 2016 is a red letter day in the annals of Bangalore FinTech industry. On this day, Axis Bank announced the launch of innovation lab with an in-house innovation team.

The innovation lab spread over 10,000 sq ft will launch a 3 month accelerator program where start-ups will be mentored.

“We will enable start-ups to raise money by introducing them to investors and Axis Bank also has the option to invest in some of these as appropriate,” the bank’s Executive Director for Retail Banking Rajiv Anand said.

The idea behind the initiative, called ‘Thought Factory’, is to take innovation to the next level and also keep abreast of changes in technologies, he said.

The bank will work with companies in various stages of maturities, including those at the ideation level, he said, adding that there can be two-way benefit to the lender through the initiative.

It can either get existing problems solved by start-ups or integrate their solutions into its business, Anand said, stressing there will not be an exclusivity clause while undergoing the mentorship programme.

The first of the accelerator programmes, conducted by Zone Startups under an advisory board comprising of external members, will start in a month, he said.
The bank will be looking at disruptive solutions in technologies such as block-chain, artificial intelligence, mobility and cloud as part of the ‘Thought Factory’, he added.

The bank is experimenting with emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, mobility, and cloud to bring about disruptions across functions including Credits, Deposits, Wealth Management, Mobile Payments, and Security, etc.

The innovation lab will have an in-house innovation team and a dedicated accelerator program to work closely with the startup community that are redefining banking in the digital era.

The short-listed startups will be taken through a structured mentorship program for fine-tuning, validating and scaling their business.

The highlight after the 3 month program would be the Investor Day. The Investor Day to facilitate funding for the short-listed startups. Axis Bank may also offer to invest in high potential startups before the Investor Day.

The bank is set to tie up with Wells Fargo - the American financial services company and two more banks from United Kingdom and Singapore. The bank is seeking collaboration with international banks on emerging technologies like block-chain, artificial intelligence, mobility, and cloud.

While the bank declined to comment on the tie-ups it confirmed that they were actively looking at international partnerships to drive digital innovation. "For the first time I am seeing that banks are willing to collaborate with each other. There is a bank out of the US that is actively talking to us, there is bank out of Singapore and one from UK who is happy to work with us," said Rajiv Anand, Executive Director (Retail Banking), Axis Bank told ET.

"Thought Factory" will work closely with the Fin-tech start-ups. The bank also plans to reach out to startup hubs across India through roadshows for curating the best fit startups for the program.

It will also work with NASSCOM and engage various VC partners who want to leverage on emerging technology.

Additionally, Axis Bank has also launched ‘Hack for Hire’ programme for identifying talent from across the country through Hackathons for the in-house innovation team at Thought Factory.

FinTech innovators look out for more. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

BBPS welcomes Spice Digital into its fold

          The building blocks of BBPS are slowly getting ready. Spice Digital has received an in-principle approval from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate under the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).

Readers are aware that BBPS is a centralized bill payment system that will allow users to use a single website or outlet to pay all your monthly or repetitive bills such as mobile phone and electricity.

Reserve Bank of India has said that it is communicating the decision of who gets a licence directly to the applicants. Hence, the full list of In-principle BBPS license holders will slowly trickle down in the next couple of weeks.

Last week, newspapers announced that Spice Digital is one of the operators to receive the in-principle approval from Reserve Bank of India.

In May 2015, Spice Digital obtained a licence from RBI to operate a semi-closed digital wallet. It launched the digital wallet under the brand name ‘Spice Mudra’, in September 2015. The company also said that the wallet would be integrated with Spice’s handsets to enable easier payments for customers.

Spice Digital operates 4 verticals under its Financial Services Umbrella. The 4 verticals are:

01)  Domestic Money Transfer
02)         Spice Mudra
03)         Spice Mudra App
04)         Spice Safar

Read here more about Spice Digital

Spice Digital ‘Enablers’, are one of the five finalists of UPI Hackathon.

Monday, June 27, 2016

RBI imposes penalty on The Industrial Cooperative Bank Ltd., Guwahati

          Reserve Bank of India has imposed a monetary penalty of INR5,00,000/- on The Industrial Co-operative Bank Ltd., Guwahati.

          The Bank is situated in Pan Bazaar, Guwahati.

          Pan Bazaar in Guwahati, is an important part of the city centre on the southern bank of the river Brahmaputra.

The District Court (Kamrup) is major landmark of this area. The area also includes many libraries, major government offices and a shopping district. Restaurants and bookshops in the area provide a unique environment.

It is also a major wholesale market for drugs and pharmaceutical products and a hub for printing and publication. Kachari Ghat, next to the district court is an important local river port.

Place of interest: -- Pan Bazaar is known as one of the cultural and educational hotspots of Gauhati. Area is house for many historic buildings like of Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti, Assam State Museum and District Library. The Nehru Park and Sukreshwar Temple are other major tourist magnets of this area.

          Pan Bazaar has plenty of restaurants serving mouth-watering cuisine.

          The monetary penalty was for violation of the provisions of para 4 (i) of circular dated September 18, 2002 on Guidelines on Know Your Customers Norms and Cash Transactions read with para 1.7 of the Annex to circular dated September 21, 1993 and para 6 of circular dated March 21, 2006 on ‘Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002-Obligation of Banks in terms of rules notified thereunder-UCBs’.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Electronic Transactions @ Rio Olympics 2016

          The preparations for Rio Olympics 2016 are in the last stage. Last minute fine-tuning is being done for a memorable experience for all the Participants.

          Participants at Rio Olympics 2016 are Athletes, Sports Officials, Support Staff, Volunteers, Spectator Guides, Tourists etc.

          The Games open on 5th August 2016 and go on till 21st 2016.

          The games are spread over 37 venues, with 206 participating countries in 42 Sports Disciplines further divided into 306 events.

          Rio de Janeiro has 32 venues, plus five football co-host cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Manaus, Salvador and São Paulo.

          Millions of financial transactions take place during the run-up to the Games and also during the games.

          The Olympics are the planet’s most prestigious and most viewed games. Countries from diverse cultures participate in the games.

          The Olympic Games offer wonderful opportunities for promoting Safe ePayment techniques.  Innovative payment technologies too can be rolled out, but on a limited scale. This is to minimise damages if any, due to failure of the innovations.

          VISA is the official Card Sponsor for Olympics since 1986. Visa is the only card accepted at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues and for any official Rio 2016 related transaction.

          To help fans attending the Olympic Games, Visa has released a series of recommended travel tips, directing cardholders to:

  • Notify their issuing bank or financial institution of potential travel plans, including the fact that they will be using Visa debit, credit or prepaid cards abroad to avoid any issues while traveling. Issuing banks can also provide information about travel-related benefits for Visa account holders.

  • Register for SMS notification with their specific bank, or bank’s transaction notification service, allowing travellers to track transactions on their Visa accounts.

  • Opt-in for services, such as Mobile Location Confirmation via the issuer’s banking app or Visa’s Travel Authorization Tag.

  • Set up automatic bill pay for their credit cards for peace-of-mind while traveling abroad.

  • Consider paying via a chip-activated terminal with a credit or debit card upgraded with chip technology for enhanced security.

  • Look for the Visa or PLUS logo at point-of-sale to ensure international payment cards are accepted.

Monday, June 13, 2016

RBI imposes penalty on Sri Kalahasti Co-operative Town Bank Ltd., SriKalahasti, Andhra Pradesh

 Reserve Bank of India has imposed a monetary penalty of INR1,00,000/- on Sri Kalahasti Co-operative Town Bank Ltd.,

Sri Kalahasti Co-operative Town Bank Ltd., is located at North Mada Street, SriKalahasti, Andhra Pradesh

The monetary penalty was for violation of Section 20 and Section 20 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (As Applicable to Co-operative Societies) and directives/guidelines of the Reserve Bank on loans and advances to directors and their relatives.

The town of SriKalahasti is famous for one of the most famous Shiva temples in South India

SriKalahasti temple is the only temple which remains open during Grahanam (Solar and Lunar Eclipse) also.

The temple is located on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi, it is 36 km away from Tirupathi in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradhesh.

Another famous temple in SriKalahasti is the Bhakta Kannappa Temple

It is also the origin of the popular textile painting art called kalamkari.

Srikalahasti is popularly known as "Dakshina Kaashi".

Nearby tourist places near Srikalahasti

Sunday, June 12, 2016

RBI imposes penalty on Agroha Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd., Hyderabad, Telangana

          A monetary penalty of INR1,00,000\- has been imposed by Reserve Bank of India on Agroha Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd., Hyderabad, Telangana.

          The monetary penalty has been imposed for violation of directives/guidelines of the Reserve Bank on loans and advances to directors and their relatives.  
          Agroha Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd. is located at: 21-2-750, Patel Market, Reqab Gunj, Reqab Gunj, Hyderabad, Telangana 500002.

          The local menaing of Gunj in Hyderabad is MARKET. There are a number of localties with suffix as ‘GunJ’, in Hyderabad.

Examples are : - Afzal gunj,Rani Gunj ,maharaj gunj,Shahinayat Ganj,Misri-Gunj,RIKAB GUNJ, Osmangunj,Shamsher Gunj,Mehboob Ganj,SHAH GUNJ,MUKHTYAR GUNJ,Kishan Ganj,Shamsha Ganj,Darya Ganj,

Saturday, June 11, 2016

India’s only BankTech Museum is in Hyderabad, Telangana

India’s only BankTech Museum is in Hyderabad, Telangana
          The city of Hyderabad known for its Pearls and Biryani, has added another feather in its cap. India’s only Bank Tech Museum was formally inaugurated on April 28th, 2016 in Hyderabad, Telangana.

          At present, the BankTech Museum is housed in IDBRT campus, located at ‘Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology’, Castle Hills, Road No.1, Near NMDC, Masab Tank, Hyderabad-57.

          The main aim of BankTech Museum is to depict the changes in the Banking sector in the last few decades. The incredible journey of Banking Technology in India is told well at BANKTECH MUSEUM .

          The depiction is not limited to India, but draws inspiration from around the world.
          The BankTech Museum  was inaugurated by Dr. A. S. Ramasastri, Director, IDRBT, Hyderabad.

          The Genesis of IDBRT can be read here.

          BANKTECH MUSEUM not only throws light on the past, but also throws light on the future.

          The ‘Looking Forward’, section showcases the future of Financial Technology in India.
          The present BankTech Museum covers Banking Technology through six segments:

Segment No 1: Game Changers
This section showcases the pioneers right from Ada Lovelace to Tim Berners-Lee who revolutionized the world of science and technology through their contributions. The section presents in brief their key contributions, beginning with the invention of the first computer programme.

Segment No 2: Front Runners
A collage displaying 21 renowned innovators brings together path-breaking innovators in the field of computer science. The collage includes Charles Babbage (the father of computer), John von Neumann (pioneer of quantum mechanics), Donald Knuth (father of the analysis of algorithms), etc.

Segment No 3: Experience Centre
The Experience Centre takes you through the evolution of banking technology over the decades and the Banking Technologies coming next through the following sections:
Banking Technology – presents the evolution of banking technology since the days of mechanization in the 1960s.

Payment Systems – presents the journey of payment systems starting with coins, paper currency till the present day IMPS.

Delivery Channels – presents the progress of delivery channels such as ATMs, credit & debit cards, internet and mobile banking and the advent of digital wallets, video banking, social banking, etc.

RBI & IT – presents the pioneering efforts made by RBI in enabling use of Technology in the Indian Banking and Financial System

Future Banking – provides a peek into banking technologies of tomorrow such as omni channels, wearables, virtual currency, gamification, and augmented reality.

IDRBT Initiatives – presents the initiatives taken by IDRBT to make Banking Technology happen in India.

Segment No 4 : Looking Forward
This section showcases futuristic banking technologies such as digital cash solutions.

Segment No 5 : Knowledge Corner
The Knowledge Corner is a treasure trove of decade-wide collection of books on technology since the 1900s.

Segment No 6 :Activity Centre
This centre is a vintage collection of exhibits which captures the evolution of computing and storage devices, communication systems and cryptography. It displays tools and devices such as Facit Machine, Metal Slide Ruler, TI Calculator, Abacus, Punch Cards, Transmitters, Morse Code Telegraph Key, Decoders and Ciphers.

So next time, when you visit Hyderabad do drop in at BankTech Museum