Wednesday, January 1, 2020

No transaction charge on NEFT payments from Jan 2020

NEFT payments

NEFT Payment – Not chargeable

Banks will no longer be charging saving bank account holders for any NEFT online transactions from January 2020. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed banks with this instruction through a press release on 8th November. RBI has stated in the press release that this has been initiated to promote digital payment.

In its July statement it had mentioned, ‘In order to provide an impetus to digital funds movement, it has been decided to do away with the charges levied by the Reserve Bank for transactions processed in the RTGS and NEFT systems.

Banks in turn will be required, to pass the benefits to their customers’. NEFT is a disbursement system expediting funds transfer from one bank account to another. An individual can avail this service through the option of utilising Internet banking or visit the branch in his area, though not all the branches provide this service.

Customers will not have to pay any charges for the transaction they undertake through the standard NEFT system.

Smooth Settlement of Transactions

To enable customer with easy banking transaction comprising of NEFT payment transfer, RBI has made banking transaction all through the day against only working hours on weekdays.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, in its monetary policy mentioned that the revised timings would be effective from December this year. Earlier NEFT was made available till 7.45 pm on working days.

Besides this, NEFT was not operational on the 2nd and the 4th Saturday of the week. The central Indian bank had commented, “in order to facilitate smooth settlement of these transactions in the accounts of the banks maintained with RBI, it has been decided that the Reserve Bank will extend the collateralised liquidity support, which is currently available till 7.45 pm on NEFT working days, round the clock.

Motivate Digital Transaction

When an individual initiates the transfer of funds, the same is reflected in the recipient’s account within hours. No restrictions are there on the minimum or maximum amount on the funds to be transferred.

However, they could be some amount of restrictions, on individual banks on the per transaction sum. In this regard to motivate digital transactions, RBI had presented a proposal on the anniversary of demonetisation. FASTags has been proposed by the central which would permit customers to pay for parking fee as well as at the fuel station.

 Due to digital payments, a high of 96% of overall non-cash retail payment had been established during October 2018 to September 2019. The National Electronic Funds Transfer – NEFT together with Unified Payments Interface UPI system, at the same time had managed 252 crores and 874 crores transactions with a yearly growth of around 20% and 263% respectively.

Acceptance Development Fund

The central bank had mentioned in a statement that `this rapid growth in the payment system, inter-alia had been facilitated by a series of measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India. To empower it further every citizen with an “Exceptional (e) Payment experience” and provide her access to a bouquet of options, the RBI said it proposes to “mandate banks not to charge savings bank account customers for online transactions in the NEFT system with effect from January 2020”.

Its intentions are to make operational the Acceptance Development Fund in order to enhance the acceptance infrastructure from January 1, 2020. In order to assess the requirements for group of QR codes together with merits of their co-existence or merging from the systemic and consumer point of view, a committee would be formed.

Moreover the central bank intends to enable all authorised payment systems and instruments (non-bank PPIs, UPI and cards, to connect with National Electronic Toll Collection NETC FASTags. As per the statement, it is mentioned that `going forward, this will facilitate the use of FASTags for parking, fuel etc., payments in an interoperable environment.’

Development of Synergies

This announcement from RBI had come up on the third anniversary of the significant resolution of the government for demonetising Rs 500/1,000. It was on November 8, 2016, that Rs 500 & 1,000 which were in circulation had been banned with RBI coming up with new currency notes of 2,000 and 500 respectively.

Moreover Reserve Bank of India mentioned that the benchmarking application taken portrays great position appreciated by the country in numerous factors with regards to payment systems. The banking regulator mentioned that it simplified RuPay card acceptance in Bhutan.

This would enable the activity with the payment system regulators in the other jurisdictions. Moreover it would also share its knowledge in the development of synergies thereby reducing the time and the cost in inward remittances, particularly in maintransmittal corridors.

Increase Digital Payment

According to the Founder and VP of Sarvatra Technologies, Mandar Agashe, the abandonment of charges on the online transaction namely RTGS and NEFT, makes it obvious that RBI is pushing the bank on increasing digital payment. This initiative would particularly benefit small traders marketing in small value transaction and functioning on small margins.

For these traders, the transaction would be of great importance to them. Besides this, RTGS and NEFTtend to be economical in comparison to the other modes of payment. For instance cheques involve end to end management for transaction till its ultimate settlement.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Financial Service: Things You Need to Know About the Future of Money

Financial Service

Digital Bank – Monzo & Revolut

In recent times several changes have taken place in the financial service segment. Individuals seem to depend more and more on technology which has been progressing by leaps and bound with the passage of time. Technology is being utilized in making decisions with regard to financial services. The method of spending and earning funds has taken a drastic change in the present scenario. With the entry of digital technology, every bank seems to consist of an app to support the payment and handling of the accounts.

The latest digital banks like Monzo and Revolut are said to be quite effective in getting an overview of one’s finance details without the need of waiting in queue for the same. According to Hugo Cornejo, head of design for Monzo commented that there are one million customers in the UK with current accounts. One spends money in a store and the customer receives a notification- it’s not rocket science’. Presently several traditional banks tend to depend on legacy technology infrastructure in order to assist the prevailing bank accounts. However the same is undergoing a change at a slow pace.

Digital Companies – Financial Services 

Though the individual may be well acquainted with monetary issues, financial documents and terminology can seem to get quite complicating. All the hard work for the customers is automatically taken care of by startups such as Revolut by rounding up purchased to the nearest pound and saving through its built-in feature. Chad West, CMO of Revolut, commented that `it gives convenience to the customer which is something you don’t really see from traditional banks.

 Digital companies also tend to move financial services into a convenient space. Revolut provides travel together with phone insurance and commission-free trading. Monzo, on the other hand, classifies in assisting the individual by helping them to maintain a budget and also give an insight into the quick review of the major spending details.

Challenger Banks 

People’s trust in financial service had been shaken during the financial crisis years back. This has been one of the motives why challenger banks had to step in and take over several of the customers. Imran Gulamhuseinwala, head of Open Banking LTD, which is a government, backed non-profit entity, facilitates data sharing between the incumbent banks for the sake of the customers. He further added that they were building trust and security for any consumer and open banking is opting in and not opt-out. For the financial services, these are of more significance and challenger banks have been catering in providing their customers with total control together with more independence than incumbents.


It would be very negligent in estimating the future of finance without mentioning cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, being an unconventional topic a few years ago, they had come into mainstream financial services.

Though the publicity had died down and its valuation had dipped, there is plenty of knowledge to be gained with regards to business. This would relate to how the new currencies have been utilized and the prospect of enhancing it further. Cryptocurrencies can be a possibility in digitizing prevailing arrangements in the development of the economies mainly deprived as strong as a traditional financial service infrastructure.

 CEO Elizabeth Rosiello, of Bitpesa, a blockchain-based start-up which tends to make the transfer of currency between frontiers markets in Africans countries and around the globe much easier stated that they have been utilizing a disruptive model with a layer of technology together with some start-up grit to shape on this informal economy. She added that they have digitized a model that was already in existence.

Blockchain Utilised- Not Best Model

Cathy Mulligan, the head of the Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research, in the meantime commented that though blockchain could be utilised, it would not be the best model. At times, developing and implementing blockchain could be considerably costly than merely utilising a database.

The Central at Imperial is in its initial stage though it has been functioning for several years and is operative with numerous commercial as well as administrative partners in helping elucidating cryptocurrencies. A professor at the London School of Economics, who has been specializing in the Chinese economy, Keyu Jin, stated that one of the reasons for success on Chinese business was that they had not been burdened by tradition. She commented that `renovating something is more difficult than starting from scratch.

 If a company does not have the burden of tradition, it is easier for them to update. When the capability for the customers to purchase cryptocurrency was launched by Revolut, the same was possible with a click of a button, a thing which the other financial institutes were not capable of doing. Chad West, CMO at Revolut stated that `it’s not good enough that banks are reactive. The finance world should be seen as innovators, along the lines of what Amazon and Tesla were doing.

Insight on the following Startups-

Coconut was the winner of Wired Smarter Money Start-up. The app had been designed for freelancers and independent workers. Its purpose was in elucidating the complexities of accounting and assisting people in receiving their payment in time. Some of it is dependent on automation like a real-time forecasts of the prospects of what would be the tax bill considering the prevailing cash flow.

It notifies customers on the expenses and reminders to take images of their receipts. Present Coconut provides only a free basic model though plans to launch a `Grow’ mode at a price of £4.95 per month. This enables users to manage VAT, send invoices and share payments together with histories on spending with an accountant, in-app.


Canopy tends to function as a platform linking property-owners with people leasing their property. It also assists tenants in building a credit history. Instead of going through an expensive process over and over again, tenants follow a process of RentPassport which is shared with the property owners according to their needs.


Fluidlyutilises past data together with machine learning processes. It also has the capability of estimating the future cash flow for small businesses and freelancing people. Moreover, it can also assist with calculating and follow up on late accounts statements.


Flux has the tendency of an option to `liberate receipt data’. It is associated with banks such as Barclays and Monzo wherein one can automatically trace the complete purchase history via one’s bank account.

Oval Money app is for consumers who do have much insight on financial procedures and assists them in tracking their savings and expenses mechanically

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Artificial Intelligence in Indian banking: Challenges and Opportunities

Artificial Intelligence in Indian banking Segment

Artificial Intelligence is speeding up as the latest technology for companies all across the globe to distinguish understanding for the individuals. Artificial Intelligence goes much beyond chat bots and banks in India need to consider adopting this technology. The technology has been making amazing progress each day enabling businesses inaccepting the Artificial Intelligence for most of the numerous applications. Banking segment has been making headway in Artificial Intelligence and has been exploring and implementing this technology in numerous ways. The basic application that Artificial Intelligence comprises of is bringing in smart chat bots to support the customers, initialling services for the customers as well as having a robot for self service at the banks. Banks can utilise Artificial Intelligence in Indian banking to bringing in additional efficiency in their system of operation, thereby reducing security risks and fraud that occur in the banks.

AI function with Humans – Future

Research firms seem to be confident of Artificial Intelligence in Indian banking sector. According to the report of Fintech India by PwC in the year 2017, worldwide expenses on AI applications had reached $5.1 billion, an increase from $4 in 2015. Interest is being diverted towards the banking sectors too.

As per the latest Accenture Banking Technology Vision 2018 report it is said that about 83% of the bankers in India are of the opinion that Artificial Intelligence in Indian banking would be functioning together with humans in the years ahead which is on the higher side than the 79% average of the world.

According to a report, “93% bankers in India stated that they utilise data to drive critical and automated decision-making. More partner-supplied customer data means a higher degree of responsibility for banks. Yet 77% Indian bankers agree that most firms are not prepared to confront impending waves of corrupted insights from falsified data”

Artificial Intelligence in Indian banking- Enhance Economy

Rishi Aurora, managing director, financial services of Accenture commented that “Artificial Intelligence in India is not something new. For ages the universities and research institutions have been functioning in the capacity of social transformation. With the assistance of technologies, it has now become accessible and economical.

Huge businesses and start-upsnow perceive various opportunities since Artificial Intelligence has now become conventional. According to study, it has been shown that with the implementation of this technology, Artificial Intelligence in Indian banking has the capabilities of enhancing the billion to almost $1 trillion to the economy in India towards 2035. Implementation of Artificial Intelligence is presently at its developing level with plenty of hard work to be put for its total accomplishment.

According to Darshan Shah, MD, South Asia, LenddoEFL, a Singapore-based fintech company, stated that with the application of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to the various segments in the banking sector, it has supported them in providing a much more personalised as well as efficient services to their customers. Through this, banks now have the potentials of comprehending the preferences and expectations of their customers.

Robots – Service of Customers

Consequently, there is an improved result in computerization of back-end workflows. Over 36% of huge financial institutions, as per several industry reports have been investing in these technologies and almost 70% have plans for the same in the near future. Last year, State Bank of India, which is one of the largest banks in India, had conducted `Code for Bank’ hackathon.

This was with the intention of motivating developers in buildingresult leveraging innovative technologies like Artificial Intelligence in Indian banking together with Blockchain in the banking segment. The other banks in the private sectors such as HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank have gone ahead in introducing chat-bots in servicing their customers. Some have also moved ahead in placing robots for the service of their customers. Canara Bank had installed Mitra and Candi robots, last year at some of their places of work.

Personal Payment Experience

Varun Rathi, cofounder and COO, Happay, which is a Bangalore based start-up, targeting digital payment solutions commented that, `Artificial Intelligence are being utilised by disbursement companies to provide personalised payment experience to the consumers. With the use of AI and scrutinizing payment history patterns, the system of payment can prompt the desired payment instrument suitable for purchase at checkout.

These personalised consumer experiences tend to increase expenditure thereby creating stickiness to product, consumers tend to utilise. Chief architect, of Pune based Persistent Systems, corporate CTO; Abhay Pendsehas conveyed some of the common usages of Artificial Intelligence in Indian banking:

  • Detection of Fraud – irregularity exposure can be done in increasing the accuracy of credit card, scam detection together with anti-money laundering.
  • Helpdesk & Customer Service – Interfaces of Humanoid Chatbot could be utilised in enhancing efficiency thereby decreasing charges for customer interactions.
  • Risk Management –Personalised products could be provided to consumers by scrutinizing their data perform risk analysis and eradicating errors.
  • Security –unauthentic emails, suspicious behaviour, logs analysis can be traced to avoid securitybreaks
  • Digitization & automation – back office processing – Using document data with the help of OCR and thereafter utilising machine learning or AI in creation of perceptions from data text would assist in bring down the processing time in back office.
  • Wealth management for multitudes – Tailored folders could be done by Bot Advisors for customers taking in consideration lifestyle of account, appetite for risk, likely returns on investment etc.
  • ATMs – to detect and prevent crimes and frauds, image or face recognition could be utilised for real time camera images and enhanced AI techniques like deep learning to be used at ATMs.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

How to Invest in StartUps

How Start-ups Investment Works

A group of investors tend to get together with a concept to an innovative solution weighing all the pros and cons to their new innovation. They come with some concept which would work and provide the revenue with their concept. The innovative idea then goes to the next level of turning it into a business and then goes to fulfill their goal of that idea. Here the need to obtain advice is essential from experienced entrepreneurs who have met success in the same field. To invest in initial stage startups there are two options:

  • To invest in a priced equity round, wherein the investor purchases shares in startups at a fixed price 
  • To invest in convertible securities wherein the amount of investment ultimately gets converted into equity. Capital – Needed Element
In the initial stage of startups, investors tend to depend on family, their colleagues or close acquaintances. However there could be some restrictions as to the number of individuals who could invest in these startups. This is due to legal limitations according to Legal Zoom. To start a business, capital is the much needed element and personal savings and personal borrowing are said to be the most two common possibilities for the same.

Personal savings are of two types namely cash and cash equivalent saving and retirement account. While personal savings could be utilised, the need of borrowed fund does not arise since the funds are already available for the start-ups. However there is a risk here since very often investor may not have the necessary subsidy for the startups. Moreover it could also be a gamble on investing their entire savings which may or may not succeed. The said funds could at a later stage in life,be utilised during retirement, or for any other purpose.

Personal borrowings could be beneficial for businessmen with good credit scores together with high personal disposable worth. Funds for the business can be obtained by way of personal loan or by applying for a new credit card. Here the possibility of the risk could be delay on payments, lowering the credit score and getting into further debt.

Crowdfund Capital Advisors – Crowdfund Investing Company 

As per Crowdfund Capital Advisors a crowdfund investing company, over 1,000 companies had registered with the SEC to raise subsidy on online portals where $137 million had been dedicated to such start-ups. Several start-ups had been subsidized in 80 various industries extending from restaurants to salons to logistics businesses. Some new portals such as Microventures, NextSeed, Republic, Seedinvest, StartEngine together with Wefunder, assist distinct investments in start-ups.

Progress Prudently & Cautiously

Some startups could generate disruptive novel products which could improve the economy. And an investor could face some risk by investing if he does not progress prudently and cautiously in the investment. Recent research has portrayed that more than 94% of fresh businesses tend to flop in its first year of startups. One of the common reasons is the deficiency of subsidy wherein money tends to play an important role in any business. Capital is the essential element which moves from a given idea to revenue generating business. Most of the entrepreneurs tend to get stuck due to this deficiency in their business. In startups, investment could be worthwhile personally as well as financially wherein there is a contribution in capital formation and creation of a job.

Concerns While Investing 

The following concerns need to be considered while making an investment in any startups business:
  1. Investment should be done in an area one is familiar with. It is the best option of reducing the risk and one should have an understanding of the market that the start-ups functions in. One must have a better insight while projecting the probable success of the business. One should also ensure that the business in question tends to have a mountable model enabling it to grow to a point which would provide the revenue back that had been pooled in investing. A couple of years back, Securities and Exchange Commission had employed certain procedures in enabling businesses to raise funds by means of crowdfunding for those interested in making an investment for start-ups. 
  2. You should do your own research in obtaining information and conduct your own diligence by scrutinizing the main documents, and ask questions regarding the management team.This will enable the investor in influencing your decision on the startups. 
  3. In order to consider which entity one should use in making the investment, the investor needs to consider certain factors like the tax structure, its investment portfolio, personal conditions. Funding in startups can be done by sole person or through family trust or Individual Retirement Account – IRA. 
  4. Before making an investment in any start-ups businesses, one should ensure to complete some of the paperwork needed like an ascribed investor questionnaire together with verification of the investor’s identity prior to investing into the company. 
  5. While investing, the procedure is to get into a signed agreement with the party concerned, which set out the terms of the agreement. The document in some cases are held in bond till certain criteria are fulfilled 
  6. Based on the arrangement of the deal, the investor can transfer the resources to an escrow account for security that is held by a third party till the release of the fund to the company when some of the conditions are completed. 
  7. The documents and/or funds are released to the company when the conditions of the bond are fulfilled. Take Stock of Expertise & Expectations
Opting for an investor is more important than obtaining the required subsidy. It needs a certain amount of commitment. According to Entrepreneur, one needs to take stock of the much needed expertise together with the expectations before approaching a certain investor. One should consider the recent dealings, together with the services provided, the expectation they may have for the leaders of the company and the level of involvement required in the overall operation of the company. It is also essential to have a definite exit strategy in order, for any kind of investment, especially in the case of start-ups. Investors need to be transparent on how and when they would be in a position to withdraw their initial investment together with the related gains.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Filing Your Taxes- Watch Out for Phishing Scams

Online Phishing

For a long time, taxpayers had been notified by the Internal Revenue Services – IRS, to be cautious of online phishing where in crooks impersonate the organization utilising fake emails, websites or text messages to get hold of sensitive information. Online phishing had beaten an agency’s `dirty dozen’ list with the most predominant scams, last month.

However scammers tend to do much more than deception as the Internal Revenue Services. Designing fake online accounting tools such as QuickBooks have been done by some and still others pretend to be tech support agents.

Over 100 websites have been discovered by cyber-security firm `Lookout’which had been registered and designed to trick people attempting to file their taxes. The objective of the domain is to hook enormous groups of potential victims. As per the Internal Revenue Services, over 135 million Americans had filed their taxes electronically last year.

Domains Created to Gain Login Credentials 

It was also observed by Lookout that online phishing by the tax scammers had begun early and in December dozens of the websites had been designed from the time people had started receiving their W-2 forms. It is said that some were also tricked in the United Kingdom.

Several of the domains seemed to be created to get hold of login details or sensitive information such as passport number through online phishing. While the other types persuaded users to download malicious software.

A basic scam which was discovered by Lookout, were sites which would copy accounting tools from the company Intuit. They design popular software such as Quickbooks and TurboTax. It is said that these sites tend to utilise similar domain names like the real ones, namely `quickbook’ or `’ Most of the time these domains are created with the intention online phishing and stealing the login details of the users for the genuine sites.


Approach of Attack – SEO Optimization

It was also discovered that a type of site appeared to fit a classic online scam during the tax term, posing to be tech support. Most of the users do not tend to use tax software often and hence it was useful for most of the users to use it for assistance while navigating through it. Online phishing sites, such as ` and `, unfortunately tend to wait for them.

According to security intelligence researcher at Lookout, Jeremy Richards, had stated that the approach of attack is an SEO optimization thing which means that the scams tend to catch users who could be navigating sites such as Google or Bing for assistance.

Support service posing as `support’ technicians at the 1-800 number listed at these sites usually ask for remote access to user’s system with the intention of stealing important information. Other tricks are to utilise the number to sell fake and unwanted software. Identical sites have also been created to imitate the technical support of Apple and the podcast Reply All did an examination in 2017, on similar tech support fraud.

Malevolent Marketing Network

Richard also found more than 50 tax connected domains belonging to the same malevolent marketing network. The modus operandi of the scam is not certain. However when the users visit the site, they are then directed to download malware concealed in the guise of software updates. This is a clever way of online phishing and getting hold of login details or sensitive information.

According to Richard, online phishing sites redirects the user to Google if they don’t arrive at the correct phishing trap, else they present a 404 error. Lookout utilised AI too designed in 2017 in order to get to know about the tax scams. This tool monitored the internet infrastructure organizations such as the companies offering free web hosting, for suspicious types of domains. With the help of this tool, Lookout located thousands of new online phishing sites daily and regularly cautioned companies whose websites were being hacked by the scammers.

Utilise Password Manager 

The tool was unable to provide clear information on the working of the same since it only watched for the websites. For instance if the scammer would send an email prompting the user to click on a fake IRS link, the same could be detected by Lookout though not the email. Richard commented saying `it’s like we see blood on the floor but do not know where the knife is’.

Some of the other scams reported, were found using social media in targeting users providing fabrication of fake tax breaks to gain sensitive information.According to IRS, these scammers tend to get in touch with users through mail and not through email. If one has not received a letter then it is uncertain of any electronic communication coming from the agency is genuine. Sincere tech support agents need not see the user’s screen or gain login information to assist the users.

It is always a good suggestion to utilise password manager rather than reusing the same password for various accounts. There is plenty to learn on the various operations of the scammers. However in the meanwhile users need to be cautious and alert with these scammers and be free from online phishing.