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Online Personal Finance Magazine
No beating about the bush.
For a mobile obsessed country like India, immediate payment service or IMPS could be a boon, provided the policymakers are interested in promoting this solution
The interbank mobile or immediate payment service (IMPS) from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) finally appears to be taking wings. Anyone anywhere can use IMPS to make a payment. For example, one can pay the grocery bill to the shop owner through a mobile phone, provided both are registered IMPS users with their respective banks. Similarly, one can pay a taxi fare to the taxi driver, directly through IMPS. Therefore, IMPS paves the way for all kinds of payments through banks, from a mobile handset.
With so many benefits, it is inexplicable that this system is not being pursued and implemented with more focus and dedication. “IMPS is a real time interoperable payment mechanism and warrants a network effect with a higher number of participating members in the ecosystem. The number of members in the ecosystem has only now reached a critical mass to provide for incremental volumes on IMPS. It is noteworthy that IMPS achieved one million a month approved transactions in the month of September 2013, over a span of about three years. However, the growth, thereafter, has been eight fold in the short span of 15 months,” said Ram Rastogi, Head Product Development-IMPS, NUUP & NACH, at NPCI.
With IMPS, you can transfer money to anyone with a mobile and seven-digit Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) number and that too within minutes. IMPS allow customers to make 24x7 instant interbank payments to individuals, or merchants via mobile phone, Internet or ATM. According to RBI guidelines, a customer can transact up to Rs50,000 a day through IMPS, provided he/she is using end-to-end encryption (provided by the bank). Transactions up to Rs1,000 a day can be facilitated by banks without end-to-end encryption.
Although IMPS offers instant payment transfer, due to the high transaction fee (about Rs5) several bank customers are reluctant to use it. In addition, not many bank customers are aware about obtaining a seven digit Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) number required for IMPS. The user also must have her mobile number linked with her bank account to use this facility. This is because, instead of using bank account number, the money is transferred using mobile number (registered and linked with a bank account) and MMID combination. In addition, the user (sender) is also required to use mobile personal identification number (MPIN) to authenticate the transaction.
After keeping low for almost four years since its launch, IMPS volumes in terms of transactions and value have more than doubled since April this year.
According to data from NPCI, as on November, IMPS witnessed 78.11 lakh transactions worth Rs5,415.60 crore compared with 31.67 lakh transactions valued at Rs2,154.23 crore as on March 2014. In pure term of growth, this increase appears quite good, however, IMPS as a medium for payment transaction has a lot to catch up with traditional instruments like cheque payments or new age real time gross settlement system (RTGS) and national electronic funds transfer (NEFT).
“In order to promote Mobile banking in India, NPCI has developed a USSD based mobile banking platform called National Unified USSD platform (NUUP). NUUP is available across all GSM service providers and in multi-lingual format over and above English language, with 10 regional languages including Hindi,” Mr Rastogi told Moneylife.
For 2013-14, RTGS witnessed a volume of 8.11 crore transactions valued at Rs734.25 lakh crore. Similarly total paper clearing, including cheque truncation system, MICR and non-MICR clearing, saw 125 crore transactions worth Rs93.02 lakh crore. Total retail electronic clearing, including ECS, NEFT, IMPS and National Automated Clearing House (NACH) witnessed a volume of 110.83 crore transactions with the value of Rs47.86 lakh crore, says data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Compared with the huge volumes and transaction amounts, the contribution from IMPS looks miniscule. But with the deep penetration of mobiles, coupled with increased bank accounts, IMPS is bound to grow at exponential volumes, provided it gets due attention from the government and policy makers. At present, the awareness about IMPS is also low amongst several bank customers as well as bank officials.
Mr Rastogi added, “71 member banks currently with NPCI cover all the public sector banks and almost all the private sector banks. These members together cover more than 90 to 95% of the banking customers. However, there is a lot to be desired from member banks in terms of popularizing IMPS to their respective customers.” This will happen in someone can suggest to the Prime Minister to include IMPS in his Digital India initiative.
How to use IMPS?
Registration for Remitter (sender):
•Register yourself with the mobile banking service of the bank.
•Get Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) and MPIN from the bank
•Download software (Application) for mobile banking (ensure the compatibility of mobile with the application) or use the SMS facility in your mobile if your bank provides IMPS on SMS
Registration for Beneficiary (receiver):
• Link your mobile number to the account in the respective bank.
• Get Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) from the bank
For Remitter (To send money):
•Login to the application and select the IMPS menu from the mobile app or use the SMS facility in your mobile if your bank provides IMPS on SMS
•Get Beneficiary Mobile number and MMID
•Enter Beneficiary Mobile number, beneficiary MMID, Amount and your MPIN to send
•Await confirmation SMS for the debit in your account and credit in beneficiary account
•Note the transaction reference number for any future query
To receive money:
•Share your mobile number and MMID with the remitter
•Ask the remitter to send money using your mobile number and MMID
•Check the confirmation SMS for credit to your account from the remitter
•Note the transaction reference number for any future query
According to ASCI’s release 61 advertisements, or over half the advertisement banned were for Health and Personal Care category
As many as 113 out of 144 complaints flagged by Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) were upheld in November 2014 by its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC).
Companies asked to pull out their advertisements include Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
(Lifebuoy), Richfeel Health and Beauty Pvt. Ltd., Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.
(Goodknight), Dr. Batra's Homeopathy Clinic, Jasper Infotech P. Ltd. (Snapdeal), Essar Group (The Mobile Store), Mahindra Retail Pvt. Ltd. (Mom & Me) and Renault India Private Limited.
According to ASCI’s release 61 advertisements, or over half the advertisement banned were for Health and Personal Care category. Education advertisments were the next highest (33) to be banned followed by e-commerce, telecom, automobiles, food & beverages and others.
Prominent among those banned were:
Hindustan Unilever’s Lifebuoy advertisement failed to substantiate its very precise claim of “10x more germ protection” and “10x more skin care”.
Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (Goodknight) advertisement forgot the cautionary warning in its own product literature asking for the vapourizing machine be kept away from the reach of children. The ad has a child standing too close to the vapouriser.
-Philips Electronics India Ltd (Philips Kerashine Styling Kit) was in trouble in a road safety issue – a girl in the advt stands on the rear seat of a moving vehicle ‘showcasing a complete disregard for traffic rules’.
-Richfeel Health & Beauty Pvt Ltd (RichFeel Trichology Centre) The advertisement of RichFeel Trichology Centre could not substantiate its claim of ‘best hair care brand’ and providing the ‘best hair transplant’. It was also in trouble for violating the Central Council of Homeopathy Code of Ethics Regulations, Clause II 6.1 by mentioning the names of Dr. Apoorva Shah and Dr. Ferrari and soliciting patients in the advertisement.
-Dr. Batra’s Homeopathy Clinic had multiple advertismements banned. It made several discount offers with payment options that could not be substantiated as genuine. It could also not substantiate two other complaints about its ‘revolutionary, non-surgical hair growth treatment from France’ or that ‘77% have seen results in just 8 weeks’.
-Medihoney’s advertisement claimed that tes that weight gain is a result of low metabolism and its honey increases body metabolism causing weight loss. But it could prove its claims.
- Advertisments offering magic remedies are rampant in the media and many complaints were upheld against claims for products that promise cures to a wide range of illnesses. Many of these companies claim to offer ‘organic’ or ‘ayurvedic’ products and come from barely known companies. Some claimed the ability to cure alcoholism (Amba Health Clinic), brighten skin tones (The Colors Bar), infertility (Jimmy Health Clinic, Nagmata Dawakhana, Malpani Infertility, Fortius Herbal Clinic) and even Parkinson's disease (EMC Super Specialty Hospitals Pvt. Ltd). None of them could substantiate their claims.
-Jasper Infotech , i.e Snapdeal.com had, on 6th Oct. 2014, advertised in The Times of India regarding heavy discounts on pruchases from Snapdeal. However, while purchasing the products these products were not available and were sold out or the rates were higher while clicking the buy button.
- Essar Group (The Mobile Store) claimed 0% interest EMI on products with or without credit card but was not substantiated.
- Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd made the claim that its MTS 3G Plus TM network delivered strong average speed upto 9.8 Mbps, without mentioning that this may only be under ideal conditions. This was a matter that went into litigation and ASCI’s stand was upheld.
- Complaints against Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd (Datsun Go) and Renault India Private Limited (Renault) advertisements were upheld for making misleading claims in the matter of insurance.
- Coca-Cola India Inc (Coca Cola)’s advertisement contravened ASCI guidelines on Supers because its radio jingle was incomprehensible when it came to its claim that it contained no fruit juice.
- Other complaints upheld in this category including those regarding advertisements from Haldiram Foods International Pvt Ltd (Haldiram Prabhuji) for an ad that claimed to offer “any 2 packs of mixtures/ bhujia are available for Rs. 100/-” (which in the absence of any disclaimers, was found to be misleading) and one from ABMiller India Ltd. (Miller Ace Non- Alcoholic Malt Beverage) for an advertizement for Miller Ace Non- Alcoholic Malt Beverage which was concluded to be a surrogate advertisement for a promotion of a liquor product – Miller Beer.
- Educational institutions usually had their advertisements banned for claiming “job guarantee” (Mahanadi Education Society -Raipur Institute Technology – RITEE), 100% employment (Arcot Sri Mahalakshmi Women's Institute of Management), assured jobs (Bright Career Academy) or claiming to be “No 1” in their respective categories. They include institutions like Ramanujan College of Management, Kerala
- Small Industry Development Corporation Ltd (Kerala SIDCO), Shri Maharana Pratap Pvt. ITI, Academy of Future Analysis (AOFA) College, SVKM’s Narsee Monjee
- Institute of Management Studies, Swami Vivekanand University, Apollo Computer Education, ACME College of Engineering, Asian Institute, S R Institute of Management Technology (SRIMT), Institute of Technology & Management (ITM) and Institute of Computerised Financial Accounting (ICFA).
- Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Ltd (Bajaj Allianz): The advertisement claims to provide value added services such as 24x7 spot assistance, key and lock replacement cover along with the policy, fastest claims servicing through their 24 x7 call centre etc. The advertisement also claims “3400+ numbers of garages across the country”, “offer battery, fuel, spare keys assistance flat tyres, minor repairs and towing”, provide “Legal Advice and Medical Coordination”, “Message Service and Taxi Benefits Accommodation Benefits” and “Additional savings of upto 30% on medicines, eye care, dental care and many more outlets.” None of these claims were substantiated.
- Godrej Consumer Products’ advertisement for Cinthol deodorant got banned for denigrating alcohol based deos to establish its superiority. It seemed to suggest that alcohol-based deodorants alcohol based deodorants can melt the human skin by showing ball-pen art dissolving when sprayed with an alcohol deo.
- Mahindra Retail Pvt. Ltd (Mom & Me) was pulled up for its misleading claim of “Interest free EMI” although the interest was to bepaid after six months.
- JK Wall Putty claimed "seelan mein bhipapdee ka koi chance nahin” without providing any substantiating technical evidence.
- Videocon’s Split A/C ad also claimed 0% interest and zero process fee by Bajaj Finance - just pay Rs. 2014 and the balance in equal EMIs. A complainant had to pay the extra processing charges while purchase of the product.
- Others in this catergory include advertisements from Marathon Nexzone and Aims Max Gardenia Developers Pvt Ltd (Glory 46) regarding real estate claims, Hopewell Tableware Pvt Ltd (Larah Dinnerware) for claiming to be the strongest opal ware and the first choice of vegetarians without any proof, etc.
GVK says long queues for women is the Central Government’s Central Industrial Security Force's (CISF) responsibility and that stinking toilets are 'regularly monitored' for cleanliness
Last week when Dolly Thakore, noted TV anchor, dramatist and social crusader reached Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, she stood in a serpentine queue along with many other women as there was just one channel for security checks while for men there were six or seven of them.
Thakore faced a similar problem at the Jaipur Airport, and found this discrimination unfair. She shot off a letter to GVK, the private agency that is in a Private-Public Partnership with the government to run Mumbai Airport, requesting it to address this issue promptly. Thakore wrote to the Airport Terminal Manager, “While GVK has brought about transformation in comfort, convenience and sophistication of air travel, it seems to have ignored the New Woman on the move...at every airport there is only one Security Check for women and the queues are endless, while there are 6 or 7 such for men. It is time the Airport authorities recognised the woman on the move. Would appreciate a response and prompt action please. Her letter also raised the issue of inefficiently maintained women's toilets. “Could washroom staff be more alert and available at all times to maintain standards,” her letter added.
In response, an unnamed person by the name of “Team - Customer Service & Quality” replied that it is the job of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and that they have shared her feedback with them. The letter of this anonymous officer states, “As you are aware that processes like Security at all Indian Airports are handled by the CISF, We have shared your feedback with the CISF, alternatively you may directly write to them at [email protected]. All passenger feedback pertaining to them are shared with them for improvement in their services. Our management regularly conveys meetings with these agencies to ensure all processes are streamlined and minimize passenger inconvenience.’’
The moot point is, if “passenger inconvenience” is their priority, are they blind to the fact that women stand in endless queues? Also, if the management is holding regular meetings, did they need a citizen to bring this inconvenience to their notice? Like most Public-Private-Partnerships, GVK too seems to be shrugging off the responsibility of passenger inconvenience by pointing to the government authority, in this case, the CISF.
As for the women’s toilets and their appalling state, the anonymous officer of Team- Customer Service & Quality casually replied, “We would also like to inform you that our housekeeping team regularly monitors cleanliness of washrooms as well as the entire terminal building at all given points. However they have been briefed to be more vigilant while on duty and to increase the frequency of the washroom checks to ensure cleanliness is maintained round the clock.’’ Anyone who has visited CSIA Airport is aware of the dirty toilets ever since the Airport has had a grand makeover. Is it enough for GVK to merely “brief” the attendants to be more vigilant?
Finally, as if rubbing salt in the wounds, the anonymous officer signs off “Our Vision for CSIA: To be one of the World's best airports that consistently delight customers and be the pride of Mumbai.’’
Letter by CSIA to Dolly Thakore
Dear Ms. Thakore,
Greetings from CSIA, Mumbai!
This is with reference to your feedback with us received through email dated 24/12/2014 regarding your experience at CSIA.
At the outset, please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused to you during your journey through Mumbai Airport. We understand your concerns and appreciate that you have brought them to our notice. As you are aware that processes like Security at all Indian Airports is handled by CISF, We have shared your feedback with CISF alternatively you may directly write to them on [email protected].
All passenger feedback pertaining them are shared with them for improvement in their services. Our management regularly conveys meetings with these agencies to ensure all processes are streamlined and minimize passenger inconvenience.
We would also like to inform you that our housekeeping team regularly monitors cleanliness of washrooms as well as entire terminal building at all given points. However they have been briefed to be more vigilant while on duty and to increase the frequency of the washroom checks to ensure cleanliness is maintained round the clock.
Our Vision for CSIA: To be one of the World's best airports that consistently delights customers and be the pride of Mumbai
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)