Citizens' Issues
NCR says it records India's highest image-based cheque clearing
Technology company NCR Corp said it processed about 1 million instruments on Wednesday using its image-based cheque clearing solution implemented for the Reserve Bank of India, which NCR claims is a record.
 
"This is the first step towards introducing electronic cheque clearing in our country which will enable cheques to be cleared 50% faster than before, ensuring more timely credits," said Navroze Dastur, general manager for payments, NCR.
 
In a release, NCR said this is the largest volume of cheque clearing and settlement in the world outside the USA. This work is being done as part of the bank's cheque truncation system (CTS) project—a key banking initiative of national importance in the National Capital Region of Delhi.
 
NCR's electronic check presentment with image exchange (ECPIX) solution which went live in February 2008 achieved a volume of 550,000 instruments per day by June last year.
 
With all banks in the National Capital Region of Delhi now going live, NCR has set a new benchmark for 1 million instruments per day in the country through image-based cheque clearing. The inter-city cheque clearance will be done in a single working day which earlier would take two working days for clearance, it said.
-Yogesh Sapkale [email protected]

 

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Cooperative Banks don’t report defaulters

If at any point your request for a loan is rejected by any PSU or a private bank on account of bad credit history, you can still avail credit through your neighbourhood cooperative bank.
 
This is because the RBI has omitted co-operative banks in the regulation that requires banks to report delinquent cases to the credit bureau.
 
As per the RBI guideline, it is mandatory for banks to be a member of at least one credit bureau. At present, Credit Information Bureau of India Ltd (CIBIL) is the only credit bureau operational in India. CIBIL is promoted by the State Bank of India (SBI), Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC), Dun & Bradstreet Information Services India Private Limited and Trans Union International.
 
Three more credit bureaus including Experian, High Mark and Equifax are expected to start their operations in India in the next four to six months from now. “A final go-ahead from the RBI is awaited,” said Siddharth Das, executive vice president, High Mark Credit Information Services Private Ltd.
 
With a view to bolster financial stability of the PSU and private banks and arrest the delinquency rate, the RBI had issued a regulatory framework by allowing banks to access information on the potential borrowers and their creditworthiness from credit bureaus.
 
Surprisingly, the credit guidelines the RBI has issued to the banks do not include urban and rural cooperative banks in India.
 
Cooperative banks have turned out to be hot picks for people whose request for loans has been rejected by PSU or private banks, on account of bad credit history.
 
Several cooperative banks including The Saraswat Cooperative Bank, The Shamrao Vithal Co-operative Bank, Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank, etc, have suddenly become fiefdoms for people with bad credit histories. Apart from this, credit societies have suddenly found high net-worth customers approaching them for loans.
 
“This is an area where the RBI needs to look into,” said Das.
 
“The role of a credit bureau is to pull together borrowing and paying habits of individual customers from different banks across the country. We are here to help the lenders assess credit-worthiness of an individual and their ability to pay back a loan,” he added.
 
“Our role is not to reject loan request of any individual. Our role is to collate credit information contributed by our members (banks) and help them in making credit decisions. The credit information includes details of loans and credit cards of every individual. Lastly, it is the prerogative of a bank to refuse or sanction loan and not the credit bureau,” said Das.
—Vidyut Kumar Ta [email protected]

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NASSCOM calls for police enquiry into the illegal sale of medical records
 
NASSCOM has called for a speedy police enquiry into the case of alleged illegal sale of private medical records through IT companies in India. The case was busted in a sting operation by a British television news channel. “It is vital that medical records and other sensitive data are kept secure and confidential.  There can be absolutely no compromise on this point. The Tonight programme has highlighted a case in which it seems that some data from the London Clinic has fallen into criminal hands.  We are calling for a speedy police inquiry and for robust sanctions to be taken against any criminal,” said a statement released by NASSCOM on the issue.
 
“Given the scale of movement of data in the globalised world, incidents such as what has happened are stray incidents that are not reflective of the industry as a whole. Security is and will remain our number one priority. India has established an excellent international reputation and we will not allow this to be compromised at any cost,” the statement further said.
 
As per the findings of the sting operation, medical records sent for computerisation to Indian IT companies were sold illegally in the black market. The files were sold by two men who claimed to have gained access to the information from IT companies. Thousands of medical files from top private hospitals in Britain are outsourced for computerisation to India every year.
 
A number of these files, which contain personal details of the patient’s health, name age and address are for sale in the black market, for prices as low as $4 each. The two men caught on camera involved in the black marketing, claim to have access to thousand more such files.
 
The documentary says there is a market for the records because unscrupulous companies want to sell insurance and prescription drugs to vulnerable patients. The news presenters for that particular sting operation too had approached the two salesmen, as marketing executives for health products
 
 

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