NPCI launches mobile payment system

NPCI launches mobile payment system

Mumbai: Reserve Bank of India backed non profit company, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Monday launched a first-of-its-kind, 24-hour interbank mobile payment system (IMPS) that will allow bank customers in the country to remit money to any other bank account in India for free using only their mobile phones. Mint had reported about the system in the first week of October. Currently seven banks, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, HDFC Bank Ltd, Axis Bank Ltd and Yes Bank Ltd are already live with the servcie while Coporation Bank, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank and Canara Bank are among seven others are in the process, said A.P. Hota, managing director and chief executive officer of NPCI.

The NPCI system will be the first in the world to allow such transactions between individuals that will be routed in tandem through the bank and mobile services provider.

There will be a cap of Rs50,000 per day on mobile transactions, as per RBI guidelines. Senders will have to be registered for mobile banking with their banks, while both the sender and receiver must get a special Mobile Money ID (MMID) from the bank, besides sharing their mobile numbers with the bank.

SBI has already registered 8.5 lakh cutomers uunder this system while ICICI has got 4 lakh people registered, Hota said.


ED moves fresh charges against Raju

New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate(ED), the agency investigating violations of money laundering in India, has moved a fresh complaint to attach more than 50 properties of B. Ramalinga Raju, who is facing trial for committing fraud to the tune of Rs. 14, 000 crore, according to an ED official who spoke to Mint on condition of anonymity. ED has already attached properties worth more than Rs. 1000 crores which were purchased by Raju and his family member allegedly purchased by using the funds diverted from Satyam computers. Raju is an undertrial lodged in Hyderabad jail. When Mint contacted Raju’s lawyer Bharat Kumar, he declined to comment, "I have nothing to comment", he said. The ED official cited above said, "These properties are spread across Nagpur and Telengana region and estimated at Rs. 120 crores. The court has given us a hearing on December 7."

—Appu Esthose Suresh

Union Bank offers alternative to micro finance in AP

Hyderabad: In a bid to reach out to rural poor women borrowers and offer them an alternative to micro finance, the state-owned banker Union Bank of India Ltd plans to extend credit support to women self help groups, which are part of mutually aided cooperative societies, said chairman and managing director M.V. Nair.

These loans are in addition to the regular bank loans availed by the SHGs, mainly aimed at meeting emergent requirements of the members and to drive them away from approaching micro finance institutions (MFIs), which were charging exorbitant interest rates.

Talking to reporters in Hyderabad on Monday, he said, “Not all the members in SHGs get adequate loans from banks, which is driving them to approach MFIs and borrow at higher rates."

Terming the ordinance brought in AP government to rein in MFIs as “positive in the long term for the MFI sector," Nair said, “the primary concerns with the MFI sector is over charging, over lending and coercive recovery practices, which we hope would be addressed after the Malagam committee of RBI submits its report."

However, Nair said the positive role MFIs played in reaching to the rural poor and meeting their credit requirements should be acknowledged.

There are 9.3 lakh SHGs in AP that are united at village level as village organizations (VOs), which in turn are associated at mandal level as mandal mahila samakhyas (MMS), registered under mutually aided cooperative societies (MACS) Act 1995. In all, there are 36,391 VOs and 1,099 MMS in the state.

“On the request of AP government, we have decided to extend loans to these women SHGs through MMS, initially to 20 MMS and based on the success we will extend loans to all the 1,099 MMS across the state in phases," said Nair.

Saying that the state government is backing the project, he hoped that the project would be successful which should enable the bank cover all the MMS in phases.

The bank proposes extend loans to these MMS at 10% interest rate per annum, wherein each MMS will be given 50 lakh credit. In the first phase, the bank is releasing 10 crore of loans to 20 MMS on Monday, said Nair.

At 50 lakh per MMS, the total requirement of SHGs registered under the MACS Act stands at some 550 crore in AP.

Nair said the bank does not find any risk to its exposure of some 291 crore to MFI sector, covering some 45 MFIs across the country. Of this, the exposure to AP alone stood at 90 crore comprising 15 MFIs.

—C.R. Sukumar