Consumer Issues
United India launches mobile premium payment facility

United India Insurance launched 'M-Power'-- an application that can be used by its customers to pay their premiums using a mobile phone

Chennai: Public sector insurer United India Insurance has become the first in the country to offer customers a facility to pay their premium through mobile phones, reports PTI quoting a top company official.
The Chennai-based insurance company launched 'M-Power'-- an application that can be used by the public to pay their premiums using a mobile phone.
"This is very aptly called M-Power. Empowering customers to make their premium payments through mobile phone", G Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director of United India Insurance told reporters, after launching the service.
United India, which collected Rs8,179 crore premium in 2011-12, is the first insurance provider in both life and non-life insurance to offer this service, he said.
According to him, United India has about two crore customers. "I think in the next two years, at least 5% to 7% of our customers will use this platform to pay their premiums," he later told PTI.
Srinivasan said the platform would also be used to educate people in rural areas on insurance.
He said they would also conduct a series of campaigns over the next few weeks promoting this concept.
When asked if they would also look into paying claims through this mode, he said, "That will be the next step".
Private sector lender Standard Chartered Bank is one of the partners with United India for collecting premiums through various modes, including cheque payments.
"We are key partners with United India Insurance Company. This year we are expecting a premium collection of Rs 4,000 crore (of the total insurance premium collected by United India Insurance)," Standard Chartered Bank Managing Director (Transaction Banking), Regional Head-Products, South Asia Amareesh Gulati said.
Besides providing this service to insurance companies, Gulati said they were also talking with some FMCG players to offer this service for their customers.
On the outlook for this year, Srinivasan said they are expecting a premium of over Rs10,000 crore. "We grew by 23-24% (year-on-year) last year and we plan to collect Rs10,000 crore of premium income," he said.
He said they would focus on retail, personal, small and medium sector portfolio during this year.
As part of creating awareness on the insurance industry, Srinivasan said they had also planned to conduct insurance literacy programme in 75 schools across the country.


Finance Ministry for zero charges on e-transfer of funds up to Rs1 lakh

In order to promote cashless transactions, the Finance Ministry has asked all nationalised banks to cut fees to zero for electronic transfer of fund of up to Rs1 lakh from Rs5 per transfer

New Delhi: To promote cashless transactions, the Finance Ministry has asked public sector banks to take steps to reduce the fee to zero for electronic transfer of funds up to Rs1 lakh, reports PTI.
Currently, most banks charge a maximum fee of Rs5 per transfer of funds up to Rs1 lakh from one account to another through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system.
Transfer of funds up to Rs10,000 through NEFT system attract a maximum charge of Rs2.50 per transaction.
In a recent communication to the state-owned banks, the Ministry had asked them to "take action" to reduce the NEFT charges to zero for value up to Rs1 lakh.
However, some banks are yet to intimate the Ministry about the action taken by them to reduce the charges, sources said.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has, however, retained maximum charges of Rs15 per transaction for electronic transfer of funds beyond Rs1 lakh to less than Rs2 lakh. 
The government has been asking banks to encourage transactions through e-payment channels so as to reduce the number of transactions through cheques and other expensive modes of transactions.
The public sector banks have also been asked to identify top 20% branches in respect of business volumes to bring down the number of cheque based transactions by at least one-fifth in the current financial year.
The banks have also been asked to ensure that all payments and disbursements by them, except sundry payments, are made only electronically.
The RBI had recently said that it is "desirable" that the benefits accruing on account of increasing volume of transactions are passed on to the customers so as to incentivise greater use of the electronic payment system.



Apoorva Raval

4 years ago

Here Ministry is talking about zero fee on NEFT, but do they know Foreign Pvt Bank are charging full fee in spit of AQB of 25000, it full fledge cheating my Foregin Bank like Standard Chartered who charge 5 rs for NEFT upto 1 lac but provide unlimited check book, I don't understand what they want to encourage.. Net Banking or Branch banking which is more.. expensive for bank and customer..

Some time this so called foreign bank behave senseless.

Reliance MediaWorks, Galloping Horse to buy Digital Domain for $30.2 million

While RMW will hold 30% stake in James Cameron's Digital Domain Productions, majority stake would remain with China-based Galloping Horse America

New York: A bankruptcy court in the US has approved the proposed $30.2 million sale of Hollywood film-maker James Cameron's Digital Domain Productions to Reliance MediaWorks (RMW) and China-based Galloping Horse America, reports PTI.
Following the approval from the US Bankruptcy Court in District of Delaware, the companies are set to sign final agreements for transfer of the business of Digital Domain Media, which has provided special effects to Hollywood blockbusters like 'Titanic', 'Transformers' and 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'.
The winning joint bid for the company, which had filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, was announced yesterday by Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group's RMW and China's Galloping Horse, which provides film and TV financing, production, distribution, advertising and publishing services.
"A joint venture, led by Galloping Horse America LLC in partnership with Reliance MediaWorks has submitted the winning bid to acquire the visual effects, Mothership Media and certain other businesses and assets of Digital Domain and subsidiaries for $30.2 million at a 21 September 2012 auction in New York," RMW had said in a statement yesterday.
While RMW will hold 30% stake, the majority would remain with Galloping Horse in Digital Domain joint venture.
The two companies will acquire all assets constituting the businesses of Digital Domain in feature films, advertising, visual effects, commercial production, studios in the US and Canada and a co-production stake in the feature film "Ender's Game".
The businesses will continue to operate in the normal course, with the joint venture assuming ownership.
RMW has been working with Digital Domain for past few years on various projects.


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