Category Archives: Banking


SBI launches online application service for youth

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Country’s largest financer State Bank Of India Card has on August 28, 2012 launched an online application service which aims to acquire about 3,000 customers through its initiative in the next four months. With the new service the bank aims to acquire 3,000 customers through the online mode by December 2012.

Kadambi Narahari, the CEO of SBI cards and Payment services said, “Click2Card is another innovative service offering and is in line with our digital roadmap. This new platform will offer significant customer benefits, the primary being convenience”. State Bank of India is the largest credit card issuer.

The company has so far issued about 23 lakh cards and aims to open 25,000 accounts next year through online mode. Narahari revealed that last year the company opened 4 lakh accounts through all the distribution channels adding the SBI Card intends to add 5.6 lakh card in the current financial year.

The new service is targeted towards the young internet savvy customers across India who are increasingly transacting on the internet . Narahari said that Click2Card allows the customers to enter their details on a specially designed secure web interface. The new service also allows the customer to have real time experience and gets an update on his status on his or her request instantly.

Photo Credits: Hindu Business Line


Jet Airways launches co-branded credit card along with ICICI Bank

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Indian carrier Jet Airways which is the second largest private airline announced the launch of its co-branded credit card with ICICI Bank. Jet had earlier announced the tie up earlier with HDFC Bank for its flying miles programme.

Now the company is ready to monetise the flying miles and spin it off as a separate division soon. The airline said, “In keeping with the lifestyle of the evolved traveller, the card privileges extend beyond exclusive travel benefits to offer premium lifestyle benefits as well”.

The cards will be offered in three different variants, Rubyx , Sapphiro and Coral which iwll be in partnership with American Express and Visa. The JetPrivilage members will be allowed to convert daily purchases to flying miles.

The customers will also have an option to apply for a standalone American Express or Visa Credit Card or enjoy the benefits of both cards with a single application. Nikos Kardasis , the CEO of Jet Airways said, “The new card brings together ICICI Bank’s expertise in credit cards and affluent banking with Jet Airways’ strength in service excellence with a wide network to provide customers with an innovative card that will reward them with benefits at home and when travelling abroad”. The airline also said that the Jet Airways ICICI Bank Credit Cards will be available under an attractive pre-booking offer of up to 5000 JP Miles valid till September 30, 2012.


Public sector banks resume operations after strike

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The operations of the public sector banks resumed on August 24, 2012 after a two day strike which was called by the unions. The normal banking operations resumed which included the millions of piled up cheques.

The unions of the public sector bank employees were protesting against the banking sector reforms and outsourcing of non-core services to the private players. C, H Venkatachalam the All India Bank Employees General secretary said, “Most of the customer-related services like clearing of cheques and demand drafts and lockers were badly impacted. Crores of cheques were held up. Government treasury operations were also affected. Now banks have resumed all the services”.

Venkatachalam added that the loss to the banks due to the strike could not be quantified. The ATMS which ran normally on the first day of strike ran out of cash on August 23, 2012 and hampered the day to day activities.

On Friday as soon as the banks started, rush was seen in various branches as people sought to conclude the held-up transactions. The employees of 24 public sector banks and 12 private banks participated in the strike. The general secretary said that the union will meet again in a couple of days to discuss the future course of action.
Photo Credits: The Hindu


Now ATM machines to also accept deposits

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The Indian government on August 18, 2012 said that the banks have been asked to upgrade their ATMs to double up as cash collecting machines. This will help to mobilise the Rs. 11 lakh crores lying as cash with people.

The public sector banks have also been asked to double the number of ATMs from about 63,000 in the next two years. Finance Minister P Chidambaram spoke about more number of ATMs after reviewing the working of the state owned banks and financial institutions.

Chidambaram said, “People must take to banking … Something like Rs 11 lakh crore lies as cash in hands of people. That Rs 11 lakh crore money should not lie in hands of people, it should lie in banks”. The finance minister argued that more people could take to banking if there are more branches and facility to draw money whenever they needed and out it back when they do not require it.

The minister added, “Banks should also intensify door-step banking, in bazaars, markets to collect the daily collection of shops in order to mobilise the savings of the people”. The minister also informed that the public sector banks have about 63,000 ATMs in different parts of the country. Chidambaram said that the goal is to double the number of ATMs in two years.


Card usage and penetration of ATMs low in India

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on August 3, 2012 said that the penetration of ATMs (automated teller machines) is still very low compared to the other emerging markets. The RBI added that the penetration is low despite the fact that the number of ATMs have increased by 25 percent every year.

D Subbarao, the RBI governor said, “Although there has been a steady year-on-year 25 per cent growth in the number of ATMs in the country, their penetration as measured by the number of ATMs per million population is still very low when compared to other emerging markets”. In terms of proportions, India has the west number of ATMs and point of sales terminals.

Subbarao added, “Disappointingly, the penetration of debit cards has been shallow. One disincentive is the business cost to merchants”. The governor said that so as to increase the penetration of ATMs in India the RBI has permitted the non-bank entities to deploy ‘White Label ATMs’ especially in the smaller centres on own and operate basis.

The Reserve Bank has also decided to introduce differentiate MDR for debit card transactions. Under the new policy the MDR for usage of debit cards should not exceed 0.75 percent of the transaction value for transactions up to Rs. 2000.