Current Affairs April 2016 - Banking


News 1 - Banks adopt new MCLR formula to lend loans

MCLR Formula

Beginning April 1, RBI directed banks to price fixed rate loans of up to three years based on Marginal Cost of Funds. The Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) is lower than base rate in some cases resulting in lower EMIs for borrowers. Most of the banks were deciding lending rates based on their average cost of funds.

Banks will set their lending rates under the marginal cost of funds (deposits) every month, which will be based on the rate offered on new deposits, which would reflect the market rates.

News 2 - DCB launched India's first Aadhaar enabled ATM facility

Aadhaar Enabled ATM

The Development Credit Bank launched an Aadhaar-based ATM usage facility. It is a first of its kind facility in India. The customer can transact using his biometric details instead of the PIN at the ATM.

The user can key-in the 12-digit Aadhaar number or swipe the card at an automated teller machine (ATM) to start a transaction, but at the stage of confirming the identity, it requires biometric details rather than the PIN.

News 3 - Federal Bank ties up with Singapore headquartered Phillip Capital

Federal Bank

The Federal Bank, the Indian Banking major in the private sector, entered into a strategic partnership with Phillip Capital (India) Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of the Singapore headquartered Phillip Capital group, for managing NRI Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS).

The tie-up with its Indian subsidiary will thus be a significant value-add to the NRI clientele of Federal Bank to offer a full range of quality and innovative services to retail, corporate and institutional customers using the wide global network of Phillip Capital and their experience and expertise in providing consistent and world-class customer service.

News 4 - Airtel M Commerce received RBI license to start payments bank

Airtel M Commerce

The Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd. has become the first entity to receive the final approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start a payments bank. Airtel M Commerce is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel.

The RBI had granted in-principle licenses to a total of 11 entities to start payment banks in the month of August 2015. Of which, Kotak Mahindra Bank has picked up 19.9% stake for Rs 98.38 crores in this Airtel M Commerce Services.

News 5 - Federal Bank launched Campus Wallet for Students

Campus Wallet for Students

The Federal Bank has tied up with Chillar Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd. to promote the latter’s 'Campus Wallet'. This is a student Identity Card integrated with banking technology.

The wallet facilitates students to make payments in various outlets that include stores, canteen, library, etc. within their school or college campus, without opening a bank account. They can make payments by flashing the cards at the special swiping machines installed at these locations. Parents can pre-load the desired amount via card payment or net banking.

News 6 - Unified Payments Interface launched by National Payments Corporation of India

National Payments Corporation

Unified Payments Interface launched by National Payments Corporation of India jointly with Reserve Bank of India (RBI). UPI will provide uniform mobile payment due to increasing smart phone adoption and deeper penetration of mobile data. It will be a single app for accessing different bank accounts. UIP is an advanced version of NPCI’s Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) which is a funds transfer service.

This Mobile based payment will provide multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any bank) of a participating bank, easy fund routing 24X7 and merchant payments under one roof.

News 7 - FSS to provide UPI solution for 6 major Indian banks


FSS, a leader in payments technology and transaction processing, announced partnership with 6 major Indian Banks to provide UPI solution. FSS is the one among the first payments technology companies to be providing UPI PSP solution on a hosted platform for major Banks across the country.

The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) facilitates easy and seamless person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transaction experience for end customers. With the support of FSS UPI, Banks can now provide customers with the facility to transact on-the-go from their mobile phones, with a click of a button.

News 8 - BRICS Bank Disburses $250 Million Loan for Renewable Energy Project to Canara Bank


The New Development Bank (NDB) of BRICS countries has handed out a multi tranche $250 million to India’s Canara Bank for renewable energy projects. It is a part of $811 million financial assistance been given to Brazil, China, South Africa and India by the bank. The project will result in generation of 500 MWs of renewable energy and savings of about 815,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

News 9 - RBL opens first dedicated branch for startups


The RBL Bank launched an exclusive branch for start-ups in Bengaluru making it the first private sector bank to open a dedicated branch for start-ups. The branch was inaugurated by Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India.

The branch will assist entrepreneurs in setting up new companies/enterprises and offer a host of banking products, including foreign exchange services, remittances, cash management and a range of value-added services. The bank also provides mezzanine funding for start-ups through partners and accelerator funds, up to ₹25 crores.

News 10 - New Zealand's stunning $5 bill named best banknote of the year


New Zealand’s five-dollar note has been selected among nearly 40 eligible designs from a record 20 countries to emerge a clear winner to be named as the banknote of the year for 2015 by the International Bank Note Society.

The note incorporated some of the advanced security features and also beautifully showcased New Zealand’s history, culture and heritage. The note is printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company in Ottawa. The new $5 and $10 notes released by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in October are part of its Brighter Money range.

News 11 - Experian India launched the new fraud detection scheme

Fraud Detection Scheme

The Global Data Analytics company launched its 'Hunter Fraud Score' in India. It is a new scoring mechanism that measures the probability of fraud in a credit application across banking and insurance industries.

It will help retail finance providers and insurance companies significantly increase their efficiency in fraud detection. The new application comprises several rules that work towards identifying inconsistencies in credit applications.

News 12 - DBS Bank launched 'mobile-only bank' in India

DBS Bank

The DBS Bank which is Singapore’s largest and a leading bank in Asia, officially unveiled Digibank, India’s first mobile-only bank. A revolutionary offering, Digibank brings together an entire suite of ground-breaking technology – from biometrics to artificial intelligence (AI) – to enable customers to enjoy a whole new way of banking. Digibank is a completely paperless, signatureless and branchless bank.

Digibank will provide customer service via a 24x7 artificial intelligence-driven virtual assistant, which understands natural language and has learning ability, so that it is able to respond in real-time.

News 13 - EPF interest rate increased from 8.7% to 8.8% for 2015-16

EPF interest rate

In a major climb-down after persistent pressure from the trade unions and political parties, the government raised the interest rate on employee provident fund (EPF) contributions to 8.8% for 2015-16 against 8.7%.

The provident fund rate was 8.75% in 2014-15 and the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) had recommended to make it 8.8% for this fiscal. However, the finance ministry had rejected the recommendation and had approved only 8.70% interest, citing lower earnings. Trade unions had threatened to intensify agitation from September if the government did not comply with the demand of higher EPF interest rates.