Beam mobile financial service making forays into villages

Subscribers not having bank account can purchase Beam pre-paid cards to load money in their beam subscriber account and perform a variety of transactions

Claimed to be first of its kind in the new age payment methodology, Beam mobile infrastructure, that provides a complete set of financial products on cell phone devices for banked and unbanked population, has reached 5 million customers in less than two years of launch.

After acquiring Reserve Bank of India’s certificate of authorisation in November 2009, Beam has made a major foray especially in rural areas.

Subscribers not having bank account can purchase Beam pre-paid cards to load money in their beam subscriber account and perform a variety of transactions. It is available in the denomination ranging from Rs1 to Rs10,000.

It has currently spread its business in 27,000 villages across the country, Anand Shrivastav, chairman & managing director of the Rs200 crore company, told PTI.

“We aim to cover the entire six lakh villages of India by the end of 2013,” he said adding the company hopes to enlist 25 million people for its services by that duration.

Giving details of the service, Shrivastav said Beam is a mobile payment system that reaches millions of unbanked Indians through the most convenient mobile platform.

It helps in mobile, DTH recharge, travel tickets booking, paying utility bills and movie tickets among others, he added.

Shrivastav said: “We plan to add services in insurance and micro-pension subject to approval from RBI and PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority).”

Catching up with the modernisation trend, Shrivastav said 60% of its customers are in the age group of 16-24 years. Besides, a large numbers of elderly people are also availing its services mainly for kirana (grocery) purposes. He said, Beam services can be availed via two modes of delivery, Tech Savvy subscribers and non savvy walk-in-customers.

Stating that the aim is to empower rural unemployed, Shrivastav said the company recruits ‘sahayaks’ who have at least secondary level of education besides working knowledge of English. “Presently we have appointed 10,000 sahayaks in 305 districts in 13 states,” Shrivastav said. “We aim to appoint one sahayak in each of the 6 lakh villages of the country by 2013 end,” he added.

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HDFC Life launches Sampoorn Samridhi

Sampoorn Samridhi offers the benefits of both an endowment plan and a whole life plan

Private insurer HDFC Life has launched a traditional product, Sampoorn Samridhi, which offers the benefits of both an endowment plan and a whole life plan.

“Sampoorn Samridhi is a flexible and affordable life insurance product for all customer segments, which offers a lump sum payout at the end of the selected term to fulfil long term goals,” HDFC Life executive director and COO Paresh Parasnis said in a release.

HDFC Life Sampoorn Samridhi provides the flexibility in premium paying frequency —monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual as well as the options in deciding the term of the policy, he said.

Customers, whose sum assured is Rs5 lakh and above, can avail of a discount of 5% on the basic premium, Parasnis added.

The eligibility for HDFC Life Sampoorn Samridhi is from 18 till 60 years with a minimum premium of Rs12,000 annually. Premiums paid are eligible for tax benefits, it said.

It is a joint venture between Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and Standard Life plc, the leading provider of financial services in the United Kingdom.

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Standard Chartered launches mobile banking application

Standard Chartered Bank has launched an innovative mobile banking application in India, called Standard Chartered Breeze

Standard Chartered Bank has launched an innovative mobile banking application in India, called Standard Chartered Breeze. The product gives customers greater ease of use and a higher degree of convenience, through an intuitive and design rich interface.

Standard Chartered is one of the first players in India to deliver a comprehensive and rich mobile offering, compatible on over 700 handsets. Breeze has been developed based on extensive consumer research.

Standard Chartered Breeze is designed with the consumers’ mobility needs in mind. Customers can access Breeze with their existing online username and password eliminating the need for multiple passwords making the offering secure and convenient.

Matthew Norris, chief information officer, India and South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank also said, “Breeze is a comprehensive banking platform that enables our customer to personalise how they see, move and manage their money with ease. This new application by Standard Chartered will serve as a key customer touch point that complements the Bank’s physical branch network.”

The Breeze application was built for Android devices using Adobe Creative Suite and Platform technologies including Flex, Adobe Flash Builder, and Adobe AIR 2.5. All other instances of Breeze and associated mCommerce was built in partnership with Monitise, Monitise plc is a leader in Mobile Money solutions.

Standard Chartered has created a micro-site that includes a more detailed product description, demo and tips on how to use Breeze.

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