Showing posts with label rupay card atm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rupay card atm. Show all posts

Monday, December 29, 2014

RuPay debit cards could be the Jan Dhan Yojana’s undoing

The lack of formal banking and cash is one of the toughest constraints in the rural areas of India. The Jan Dhan Yojana might be the best strategy to overcome this. But this ambitious scheme has one critical flaw that could ruin it and result in its failure to deliver on promises: the RuPay debit card. To ensure the success of the yojana, it is essential that the RuPay debit card plan be shelved, because it poses a huge reputation risk — the failure of the card could have damaging consequences for the scheme as a whole.

For families which have been offered bank accounts under the scheme, the advantages of a cash-based economy are just a step away. Except in the case of the lowest deciles, poor families do have some assets but, in the absence of a ready market for them, they are forced to make distress sales for even routine transactions. Having cash in the bank and, more importantly, a way to easily deposit and withdraw money, will be a force-changer for these families once the banking habit spreads.

The weakness in the system comes from the introduction of the debit card. It introduces the risk of a third party meddling with the savings bank deposits of crores of first-time account users. Earlier government programmes have become non-starters for similar reasons. But before going into this in detail, just imagine the landscape the debit card would create for new bank account holders. Recollect the tense times we went through when we first got cards — debit or credit. Recollect those tentative moments eons ago, when we operated an ATM machine for the first time.

In lakhs of villages across India, instead of offering frugal banking, we are trying to replicate these experiences. The debit card has to be preserved, kept reasonably dust free and intact for its magnetic strip to operate. Though the account won’t be frozen if the card is not used, the accident insurance cover gets cancelled if it is inactive for 45 days.

But this isn’t the chief obstacle. Repeated observations of auditors and independent studies about previous government schemes throw up two concerns. First, there is always one stage or point at which the beneficiary has to approach the district administration or the bank to get into the scheme. This is the point at which money could leak out of the scheme. The second concern is complication. The RBI list of frequently asked questions on the Jan Dhan Yojana, sent to all banks, acknowledges this — the “branch manager will have to advise all the related risks to the illiterate account-holder at the time of issuance of RuPay card”. The RuPay debit card is in line to be the leakage point from the scheme. It has the weakness of being complex and requiring a third party to administer.

The results could be devastating. Remember, for instance, in the Integrated Rural Development Programme, the loan scheme had two components: a subsidy provided by the government and a loan given by the bank. People may recall the standing instructions issued by bank headquarters to hand over the subsidy to the district or zila parishad representative but not to disburse the loan. The recipient got some money, the officials took a cut, and there was no pressure to repay a loan.

The Jan Dhan overdraft could meet the same fate, of being parcelled out, with the account holder getting the smallest share. To reduce the hassle and risk of keeping the card with themselves, a sizeable percentage of people, typically the weakest, might give it to someone else for safekeeping — a village leader or the bank manager. This is a real risk. The account holder knows if she does not put more money in the bank, she is safe from further loss, so, she will keep her account dry. Yet the safekeepers could purloin the account holder’s share of government subsidy.

The RuPay debit card’s problem is that it is a physical object and, like any government property, lends itself to widespread misuse. A far better option would have been a frugal banking plan based solely on a single-number platform like Aadhaar, with biometric identification, or a telecom number-based identification platform like M-Pesa for the Jan Dhan account holders to remember and use. Every benefit could have been credited to this account.

The debit card adds nothing to the experience of operating a bank account for the new entrant but has all the elements necessary to wreck it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Life insurance cover under Jan Dhan comes with riders


Keen to push through its financial inclusion plan, the government has finalised the life insurance cover to be provided under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. But unlike expectations, the cover has several riders, meaning that not all those who have opened an account under the scheme would be eligible for life insurance.

For starters, the Rs 30,000 life insurance cover would be limited to just one account holder per family. “The person should normally be the head of the family or an earning member of the family and should be in the age group of 18 to 59,” the guidelines state.

While the beneficiary will have to mandatorily exit the life insurance scheme at the age of 60 years, the cover is at present available only for a period of five years till 2019-20, after which it will be reviewed.

In addition, the eligibility criteria state that life insurance would be available only to those people opening a bank account for the first time between August 15, 2014 and January 26, 2015.

Further, the person must have a valid RuPay Card and biometric Card linked to the bank account or in the process of being linked to the bank account.

The Centre has also excluded various categories of people from the scheme, including Central and state government employees, people whose income is taxable under the Income Tax Act, 1961 or TDS is being deducted from the income, and their families.

“Persons who are included in the Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana covering 48 occupations defined under the Scheme, and their families” have also been excluded. Further, other eligible account holders who have life cover on account of any other scheme of the Bank against the account will have to choose between the two life covers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the scheme on August 28, this year with the intent of financially empowering the people by opening bank accounts for two persons in every household.
Additionally, they are to be given a RuPay debit card, accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh and an overdraft facility.

The government has targeted 7.5 crore households under the scheme. At present, 9.04 crore accounts have been opened with total deposits of Rs 7,006 crore. However, 6.68 crore accounts continue to be dormant.  Life Insurance Corporation of India is responsible for the life insurance cover through a special fund for the purpose which has an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore from the Social Security Fund.

Eligibility criteria
* Insurance would be available only to those people opening a bank account for the first time between August 15, 2014 and January 26, 2015.

* While the beneficiary will have to mandatorily exit the scheme at the age of 60 years, the cover is at present available only for five years till 2019-20 after which it will be reviewed.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Co-op bank gives debit card power - Rupay Card

AHMEDABAD: The Kalupur Commercial Co-Operative Bank Limited (Kalupur Bank) on Wednesday became the first co-operative bank in Gujarat to launch RuPay debit cum ATM card for its customers. And by June, as many as 18 district co-operative banks will give RuPay debit card to over 1.3 crore customers in the state, giving them direct access to 1.6 lakh ATM centres and 8.75 lakh point of sale (POS) terminals (machines used by merchants in shops and malls to accept payment through cards).

RuPay is an Indian domestic card conceived by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and was launched in March 2012. Of the 175 co-operative banks in the state, 22 banks, including six scheduled co-operative banks, provide RuPay card to their customers.

Earlier, the banks issued RuPay card which enabled customers to make only ATM transactions while the new RuPay debit card will help customers to do shopping and also carry out online transactions. NPCI is in talks with e-commerce companies to include RuPay card in their payment options.

"We already have 54,000 customers who use RuPay card. Through RuPay card, we expect to cover one lakh customers," said V G Dadlani, general manager and CEO, Kalupur Bank.

The cost of using RuPay card is also low. "The cost is one-third in comparison to that of international debit cards. For every transaction through RuPay card, banks have to pay 90 paise irrespective of the amount while the cost for transactions through international cards comes at Rs 3 on average," said A P Hota, managing director and CEO, NPCI.

RuPay debit cards aim at financial inclusion of more people. "Over 1.3 crore customers of 18 district co-operative banks will join the national financial switch through RuPay debit card by June," said Ajay Patel, chairman, Gujarat State Co-op Bank Ltd.

National Bank for Rural and Agriculture Development (NABARD) will provide technology for RuPay cards at subsidized rates. NABARD will also connect the co-operative banks with core banking solutions (CBS) with the help of Tata Consultancy Services.

"Many co-operative banks have begun the process of providing services like RTGS, NEFT and internet banking to customers. The rest of the banks will get it in next 2-3 months. Also, all Kisan Credit card (KCC) holders will be given RuPay cards," added Patel.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

RuPay Cards to reach 25 m

The National Payment Corporation (NPCI) plans to almost double the number of RuPay Cards, the homegrown rival to Visa and MasterCard, to 25 million over the next two months.

“We have so far issued 14 million RuPay cards, and this will touch 25 million by the end of March,” NPCI Managing Director and Chief Executive Abhay P Hota said.  NPCI is the nodal agency under the Reserve Bank that manages the national payment switch and has developed the RuPay Cards.

RuPay Card, Reserve Bank and domestic lenders-promoted NPCI’s answer to Visa and the MasterCards which control the domestic plastic money market, was launched in April 2012.

It has seen as many as 210 banks, including all public sector banks and some of the leading private sector ones, issuing these domestic debit cards, Hota said. He agreed, however, that most RuPay customers are urban cooperative banks and regional rural banks.

He also said Citi and HSBC will join RuPay system by July. “Today our cards are accepted on all ATMs (1.45 lakh), 8.4 lakh merchant terminals and 70 per cent of the e-commerce merchants,” he said.

About the quick acceptance, he said, for all the stakeholders it makes immense business sense as NPCI charges just 90 paise as the fee per transaction — 60 paise from the merchant and 30 paise from the issuing bank — with the same kind of security; the same on a Visa or MasterCard is as high as Rs 4.

“Our switching fee is only 60 paise for acquiring banks and 30 paise for issuing banks per transaction,” Hota said. On profitability, Hota said, “We will break even by the end of the seventh year (2018-19).”

Hota ruled out entering credit cards business as of now but was confident of traction in the international debit cards. Till now, Bank of Baroda, Central Bank of India and Saraswat Bank have issued RuPay international debit cards, being offered with the California-based Discover Financial Services.