Banking and Finance Current Affairs | December 2020

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Banking and Finance Current Affairs | December 2020

 Banking and Finance Current Affairs - December 2020 

29th December, 2020

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance joins hand with J&K government for PMJAY SEHAT

Bajaj Allianz has partnered with Jammu & Kashmir government for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY)- Social Endeavour for Health and Telemedicine (SEHAT) scheme. Under this scheme, universal health cover of Rs. 5 lakhs will be provided to around 21 lakh people in the state. The premium of the health insurance will be borne by the J&K government. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has already extended the benefits of PMJAY to around 6 lakh families since 2018. The new scheme will enable the J&K residents to avail free medical assistance by showing the Health Card issued by the government.

28th December, 2020

Central Bank of India signs MoU with SIDBI for using its ARM to boost the MSMEs

Central Bank of India has signed an MoU with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for using its Asset Restructuring Module (ARM) Do-It-Yourself (DIY) web-portal. It will help the bank’s customers owning Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to submit their Restructuring Plan to Central Bank of India easily. SIDBI has appointed Credit Counselors to provide free of cost assistance to the MSME units for preparing Restructuring Plan.  

Unicas sets up the world’s 1st Crypto-Currency Bank in India

Unicas has set up the 1st physical Crypto-Currency bank in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The Crypto-Currency Bank will allow its account holders to make transaction in Crypto-Currency like BitCoin, Etherium etc. Unicas is a Joint Venture of UK-based Cashaa and United Multistate Credit Co-operative Society of India. The Unicas Bank will also provide information and guidance like convenience and security offered by Blockchain Technology. Unicas will also lend paperless instant credits of the INR value of the Cryto-currency available in the bank holder’s wallet to the loan seeker. 

ICICI Bank collaborates with Google Pay, will issue FASTags

ICICI Bank has collaborated with Google Pay for issuing the FASTags used for speedy transit through the toll plazas on the National Highways. FASTags are used to pass through the NHAI toll plazas without stopping to pay the toll tax at the booths using the FAST lane. The users of Google Pay can now buy or recharge their FASTags through the payments gateway of ICICI Bank.  ICICI has become the 1st bank to partner with Google Pay for issuing the FASTags to the vehicle owners.

24th December, 2020

RBI cancels Subhadra Local Area Bank’s license

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the banking license of Subhadra Local Area Bank under Section 22 (4) of Banking Regulation Act, 1949. RBI has suspended the banking operations and additional business activities of Subhadra Local Area Bank from 24th December, 2020 under Section 5 (b). The bank did not meet the minimum net worth requirement for two quarters in the FY 2019-20. As per RBI, Subhadra Bank’s activities were also affecting the interests of its current and future depositors. The account holders of the bank will get their deposits back.

23rd December, 2020

ICICI Bank rolls out India’s 1st online platform for foreign businesses

ICICI Bank has become the 1st bank in India to launch an online platform dedicated to the foreign companies looking for expanding their business in India. The online platform has been named as ‘Infinite India’. The platform will fulfill the need of foreign firms for coordinating with multiple touch points to enable hassle-free trade expansion of foreign companies in India. The platform will also provide Incorporation services, Licenses & Registration services, Taxation & Compliance services and HR Services to the foreign firms.

21st December, 2020

PayPal’s Xoom adds UPI transactions for the NRIs for real time money remittance to India

 International payments platform- PayPal’s subsidiary brand, Xoom has added Unified Payments Interface (UPI) feature for enabling the Non-Residents of India (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) to send money easily to their friends and family residing in India. The UPI facility will be made available round the clock for 365 days a year. This will help the NRIs send financial aid to their families amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Xoom will remit UPI payments to 66 banks in India which include all the leading banks like SBI, BOI, ICICI, PNB etc.   

BoB signs MoU with Indian armed forces for launching Baroda Military Salary Package

Bank of Baroda has signed an MoU with the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) for launching Baroda Military Salary Package. BoB has also renewed the existing MoU with Indian Army and has introduced the package to Central Armed Police Force (CAPF). It was also presented to Indian Air Force (IAF). Baroda Military Salary Package will be offered to the retired as well as the serving personnel of the Indian defense forces. The package will include Personal Accidental Cover, Permanent Total Disability Cover, Partial Disability Cover along with free unlimited ATM transactions at all ATMs.

Central Bank of India unveils ‘RuPay Select’ Contactless Debit Card

Central Bank of India launched ‘RuPay Select’ Contactless Debit Card on the occasion of 110th foundation day. The new and unique debit card has been launched in association with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It comes pre-loaded with the feature of offline transaction and is the 1st of its kind debit card of the bank that focuses on wellness of the customers. Central Bank of India is the 1st Indian commercial bank to be wholly managed and owned by the Indians. It was established in 1911.

18th December, 2020

PayU and Google Pay to jointly unveil tokenized payments for Indian merchants

PayU has partnered with Google Pay to introduce tokenized payments flow for the merchants in India. Tokenized payment is a new mode of online transaction which will enable the UPI users to make repeated payments of same amount without entering the amount again and again. The payments will be made in the form of tokens having certain amount of money which will be fixed at the time of making the tokens. This feature will be launched to help the users to make easy and secure UPI transactions at crowded shops.

RBI extends restrictions on PMC Bank till 31st March, 2021

 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the restrictions on Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Limited (PMC) till 31st March, 2021. PMC Bank was placed under moratorium due to bad loans, financial irregularities and fraudulent transactions. The financial viability of the bank will be reviewed by RBI from 23rd December, 2021 to 31st March, 2021. RBI imposed restrictions on PMC Bank for the first time till 23rd June, 2020, which got extended to 22nd December, 2020 which further got extended till 31st March, 2021. Surinderpal Singh Ram Singh is the CEO of PMC Bank which has its headquarters in Mumbai.

16th December, 2020

NPCI enables offline transactions in RuPay cards and introduces reloadable-wallet feature for retailers

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has added a new feature in its RuPay card for making offline transactions. The RuPay cardholders will now be able to make contactless offline payments at the Point of Sale (POS) terminals without the internet. A new feature of reloadable wallet has also been added by NPCI to help the retail businesses and merchants in making secured transactions on daily basis. With the help of RuPay National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), users can buy metro, bus and rail tickets at a greater ease and at faster speed than a regular card.

15th December, 2020

India Post Payments Bank launches DakPay

DakPay app has been jointly launched by India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and Department of Posts for carrying out digital transactions online. The account holders of India Post Payments Bank will now be able to send money to any other bank account by simply scanning the Quick Response (QR) code. The app will also provide financial and banking services including Domestic Money Transfers (DMT) and payments in merchant stores and e-commerce websites. UPI transactions will be carried out by the app through Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS).

14th December, 2020

Edelweiss General Insurance unveils 1st of its kind, Open API Gateway

Edelweiss General Insurance has launched 1st of its kind Open Application Programming Interface (API) Gateway for enabling full-fledged digital collaboration with its business partners. This will enable Edelweiss General Insurance to integrate their systems into the technology platform of the company. Open API Gateway will provide better experience regarding policy information, policy purchase and post issuance needs. The Open API Gateway grants access of the documents and leverage samples to all the business partners.   

13th December, 2020

SEBI forms CFID to counter promoter frauds

Market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has formed a new department for countering frauds of the promoters of the companies. The newly formed department has been named as ‘Corporation Finance Investigation Department’ (CFID). CFID will be involved in the investigation of diversion of funds, bank loans and resources by the company promoters. CFID has been formed after encountering the cases of Cox and Kings and DHFL. Company promoters of DHFL and Cox and Kings have diverted more than Rs. 12,000 crores and Rs. 7,000 crores respectively.

Automated Banknote Processing Centre to be setup at Jaipur

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will set up Automated Banknote Processing Centre (ABPC) at Jaipur, Rajasthan. ABPC will deal with storage and receipt of fresh banknotes coming from the currency printing press along with the retrieval and dispatch of the banknotes. ABPC will also destroy the soiled notes. The operations mentioned earlier in the article will be carried out by ABPC in automated fashion. As of now RBI is the only issuer of banknotes and it is also manages the currencies.

11th December, 2020

RBL Bank joins hands with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance to enter into a Bancassurance Partnership

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has signed a Bancassurance Partnership agreement with RBL Bank for promoting its products across India. A Bancassurance Partnership involves the sale of insurance products through the branches of a bank. Under this agreement, RBL Bank will sell the insurance schemes of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance through 398 branches distributed among 28 states of the country. RBL Bank has more than 8.9 million customers across India. Vishwavir Ahuja is the MD and CEO of RBL Bank.

Google Pay and PhonePe jointly accounted for over 82 % of the UPI market volume in November 2020

As per National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) data, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platforms Google Pay and PhonePe jointly accounted for 82 % of the volume of UPI market in November 2020. Google Pay accounted for 960.02 million transactions worth Rs. 1.61 trillion whereas, PhonePe accounted for 868.4 million transactions worth Rs. 1.75 trillion in the month of November. The data also reveals that over 86 % of the UPI transactions by value have been preformed via Google Pay and PhonePe jointly in the previous month.

9th December, 2020

West Bengal designates ICICI Bank for all financial transactions under NHM

West Bengal government has designated ICICI Bank for managing and carrying out all the monetary transactions related to the National Health Mission (NHM) in the state. ICICI emerged as the lowest bidder for the job among the other financial institutions. The bidding was carried out after the West Bengal government implemented the policy of a single bank account system through which all the financial transactions will be conducted through online software which will be integrated with the bank account of National Health Mission.

8th December, 2020

RBI cancels Karad Janata Sahakari Bank’s license

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the license of Maharashtra-based Karad Janata Sahakari Bank due to inadequate capital and low income prospects. RBI has restricted the bank from carrying out the business of banking with immediate effect prohibiting the bank from accepting deposits and repayment of deposits. As per RBI, over 99 % of the bank account holders will get full payment of their deposits from Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC). After the cancellation of the bank’s license, the bank will undergo liquidation for the payment of deposits of the account holder.

7th December, 2020

RTGS System to be available 24×7 from 14th December, 2020

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has officially announced that Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) System will now be available round the clock and throughout the year from 00:30 hrs, 14th December, 2020. India has now become one of the few countries to operate RTGS System on 24×7×365 basis. RTGS came into operation on 26th March, 2004 involving four banks. 24×7 availability of RTGS System will enhance flexibility of payments in the businesses and payments involving cross-border markets. National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) was made available round the clock in 2019.

ICICI Bank rolls out India’s first cross-platform digital payments app

ICICI Bank has launched ‘iMobile Pay’ application to enable its customers to make digital payments to any UPI platform with a single unified mobile application. It is India’s first cross-platform UPI payment application. The users can simply scan the QR code of the merchant UPI through the ‘iMobile Pay’ app and can carry out bill payments, money transfer, recharges etc. The app also comes with Spends tracker to keep a daily track of all the bank account and UPI transactions.

Bank of Baroda unveils AtmaNirbhar Women Scheme

Bank of Baroda (BoB) has launched the AtmaNirbhar Women Scheme to help the women to be financially self reliant (AtmaNirbhar). The scheme is a part of Baroda Gold Loan which is now available for the customers at 18 branches in 18 zones of BoB in India. Under this scheme, women can avail loans at a concession of 0.50 % along with agri-gold loan and retail loan at a concession of 0.25 % and 0.50 % respectively. The scheme was virtually launched by BoB’s Managing Director (MD) and CEO, Sanjiv Chadha at BoB Ramamurthy Nagar Branch, Bengaluru.

Kotak Mahindra AMC unveils India’s 1st REIT

Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company (AMC) launched India’s 1st international Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Mutual Fund on 7th December, 2020.It has been named as ‘Kotak International REIT Fund of Funds’. The Mutual Fund scheme will invest in units of SMAM Asia REIT Sub Trust Fund for providing lonhg-term capital appreciation and income. SMAM Asia REIT Sub Trust Fund is among the largest REIT Funds listed in the Asia Pacific region that is managed by Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui DS AMC Ltd.

4th December, 2020

NPCI and Yes Bank roll-out ‘Pay Nearby Shopping Card’ for the retailers

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Yes Bank have jointly launched a RuPay powered ‘Pay Nearby Shopping Card’ for the retailers for providing risk-free benefits of the e-commerce sector. The card offers a maximum wallet balance of Rs. 1 lakh and supports monthly and annual transactions of Rs. 5 lakhs and Rs. 25 lakhs respectively. The card also offers a digital safety lock over the card to enable its users to manually lock the card when not in use. The card has been rolled out in more than 10 lakh retail units across 17,000 PIN codes in India.

3rd December, 2020

RBI allows RRBs to access LAF and MSF windows

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted the access to Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) and Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) to the Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) for facilitating better management of liquidity of the rural lenders and for promoting further participation in the money market. RBI has granted the access to the RRBs after noticing the increased participation of these institutions in the money market. The money market is an important component of the economy that deals with funds involved for a short period of time i.e. a year or less.

2nd December, 2020

RBI stops HDFC Bank from sourcing new credit cards and launching digital facilities

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked HDFC Bank to temporarily stop the sourcing of new credit cards issued by the bank and also asked HDFC to refrain from launching different digital facilities. The action has been taken s a result of incidents of outages for multiple times in the internet banking, mobile banking and payment facilities of the bank in past 2 years. RBI has also mandated HDFC Bank to stop issuing any kind of new credit cards to its customers.