Economy & Banking Current Affairs July 2015 Month
ICICI Bank Launched ‘Voice Password’ Facility
- The largest private lender, ICICI Bank, has launched a service on May 25, 2015 where customers can make transactions using just their voice, without using other means of authentication like a password.
- Over 33 million savings bank and credit card customers will be able to use the service.
- The technology solution works on unique ‘voice prints’ which comprise over 100 characteristics, including voice modulation, speed, accent and pronunciation, which are impossible to imitate.
- The voice print is siored and matched whenever the customer calls from the registered mobile number.
SBI Inked Pact with Amazon for Payment, Commerce Solutions
- The largest public sector bank State Bank of India, signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with the e-commerce player Amazon on May 20, 2015 to develop payment and commerce solutions for customers and small businesses.
- The SBI seeks to enrich customer’s payment experience and opening up the windows of e-commerce to its Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) customer’s base through this agreement. Amazon will gain surely SBI’s SME customers after they adopt the online payment platform for their businesses.
- The SBI, country’s largest lender, will also provide loans to SME customers who supply products to Amazon to help them increase their operations. The bank may also look at selling its financial products on Amazon in near future.
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GMR Infra, GIIC Inked MoU for Kakinada SEZ
- Kakinada SEZ Private Limited, a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited, has signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) on May 18, 2015 with Guizhou International Investment Corporation (GIIC).
- The MoU aims to set-up 2000 acres industrial park in Andhra Pradesh for Chinese high-end equipment manufacturing companies.
- The GIIC would invest $ 500 million in developing the infrastructure and various facilities of the industrial park. Chinese companies that would set-up units at the park would additionally invest $ 2-3 billion on their operations over five years.
RBI cut Repo Rate by 25 bps in Monetary Policy Review
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.25% from 7.5% in the central bank’s monetary policy review on June 2, 2015, with inflation easing and weak investment and consumption demand.
- The RBI slash the rate by considering the risks of a possible increase in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve later this year and upside inflation risks.
The Central bank kept the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4%.
- In this regard, the RBI made it clear that banks will need to first cut their lending rates in response to the previous policy rate easing, and only then further policy rate cuts will be entertained.
The RBI to Introduce PPI for Mass Transport System
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on May 28, 2015, proposed to introduce a separate category of semi-closed Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) for Mass Transit System (PPI-MTS) which can be used within the mass transit systems and will have a minimum validity of six months from date of issue.
- Such PPIs will be re-loadable instruments subject to an outstanding limit of ? 2000 at any point of time. PPI for mass transit systems handle a large number of small value cash payments. It will facilitate the migration to electronic payments in line with the country’s vision of moving to a less-cash society.
SBI Loans Now Available Online
- The State Bank of India (SBI), largest lending bank of India, launched an online customer acquisition solution on May 29, 2015 through which one can apply for home, car, education and personal loans online.
- In this regard, an application is launched that will help customers gauge their eligibility and get a quote personalised to their requirement. The customers will instantly get an e-approval on filling the online form.
- Thereafter, the bank officials will contact customers and complete all the loan formalities. Customers can also upload all necessary documents online. This will help in reducing the processing time of the loan.
Telengana Government Signed an MoU with Google
- The government of Telengana has signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with Google, the Global Internet services company, on May 11, 2015 at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.
- As per the agreement, Google will build its largest campus outside the USA in Hyderabad with an investment of Rs. 1000 crore. The global search engine giant will build the facility on 7.2 acres in Gachibowli, the IT corridor in Hyderabad.
- This agreement is signed to support the ambitious Digital Telangana programme, particularly the component that intends to promote digital literacy amongst school children. Google was urged to utilise the CSR component for channeling the hardware infrastructure, content and training to government schools across the State.
- The proposal resonates with Google’s ongoing efforts in the Chrome Notebook education model, which has already been piloted in four schools in Warangal district six months ago.
MIDC, SIDBI Signed Agreement to Finance MSMEs
- The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has entered into an agreement with SIDBI Venture Capital Limited to provide easy finance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for their growth on May 9, 2015.
- As per the agreement, both the MIDC and Small Industries^ Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Venture Capital have jointly created funds in the ratio of 3 : 7 to the tune of ? 200 crore to provide immediate finance to the MSMEs.
SBI Launched RuPay Platinum Debit Card
- The State Bank of India (SBI) launched a RuPay Platinum debit card in association with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on May 7, 2015. The RuPay card comes with a special feature for the convenience of customers that is accepted at all payment channels—ATMs, PoS and e-Commerce.
- The card would be initially issued free to customers maintaining a quarterly balance of ? 50000. The card offers various benefits like 5% cash back on utility bills, complimentary airport lounge access, personal accident death and permanent total disability insurance cover of ? 2 lakh, among others.
Indian Army, Signed MoU on Defence Salary Package
- The Indian Army signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with Bank of India (Bol) on May 8, 2015 that pertain to the defence salary package of the Army personnel. The first MoU between Bol and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was valid for a period of three years.
- The features of the MoU are includes the standard bundle of concessional services including free drafts, free cheque books, free funds transfers to any bank in India through RTGS or NEFT and free ATM cards among others.
- The Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) cover has been doubled to ? 10 lakh, including air insurance, home loan insurance on Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO) for deaths on account of war/external aggression/terrorist attack up to ? 50 lakh.
- Two major additions are the applicability of PAI and overdraft facility to pensioners and waiver of Merchant Service Fee (MSF) for transaction on Bol POS Terminal installed at CSD Canteens for Bol Card holders. The MoU also has a provision for yearly review of specific features and requests.
Prime Minister Inaugurated ICICI Bank’s First Branch in China
- On the last day of his three-day visit to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated first branch of ICICI Bank in Shanghai (China) on May 16, 2015. The new branch had received the formal regulatory approval in March, 2015 to commence operations.
- The new branch would begin with 17 banking professionals handling different functions including corporate banking, operations, finance and treasury.
- With a total consolidated asset base of $ 132 billion, ICICI Bank is India’s largest private sector bank. It is present in 17 countries, earlier had a representative office in China, which it had opened over ten years ago in 2003.
World’s Largest Islamic Clothing Company to Partner Snapdeal & Set-up Store on their Portal
- East Essence, an international clothing brand that blends Islamic modesty with cutting-edge design, going to open an online store at e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal. In this regard, it partnered with Snapdeal on May 13, 2015.
- East Essence was established in 2007 in the Silicon Valley of California. It has presence in 68 countries and has annual sales of $ 40 million, or about ? 256 crore. It plans to make India a manufacturing hub for international markets.
- India is the world’s second largest Muslim-majority country, with the community representing 14.2% of total population. That’s nearly 170 million potential consumers, completely catered by unorganised players at present.
SBI Launched Contactless Debit and Credit Cards with ? 1 Lakh Fraud Cover
- State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest bank and the largest issuer of cards, has launched contactless debit and credit cards sbiINTOUCH on May 15, 2015. The card also comes with a cover of ? 1 lakh fraud cover.
- The sbiINTOUCH cards uses Near Field Technology (NFC) that enables users to make payments by waiving or tapping the card near the contactless reader instead of swiping or dipping it for secure and hassle-free service.
- The SBI will upgrade all its existing 2.20 lakh Point of Sale (PoS) machines to NFC technology. Currently, it has 500Qi NFC enabled machines and it plans to launch 10000 hew PoS which will accept contactless cards.
‘Apple’ bought ‘Coherent Navigation
- The tech giant, Apple, has confirmed the acquisition of Coherent Navigation, a Global Positioning System (GPS(-related company on May 17, 2015. This acquisition will further boost Apple’s location technology and services.
- Coherent Navigation which is formed in 2008 known for its High Integrity GPS system. It combined signals from mid-earth orbit GPS satellites with low-earth satellites to offer improved precision and accuracy.
- The acquisition is just one of the series of map-related technology • deals made by Apple in recent years. Earlier, Apple acquired mapping start-ups Embark, HopStop.com and BroadMap. Apple Maps was phased out by Google Maps in 2012.
‘Reliance Jio’ Signed Pact with ‘Huawei’ for 4G Devices
- Reliance Jio Infocomm, telecom arm of Reliance Industries Limited, has signed a pact with Chinese firm Huawei for sourcing various 4G devices which includes smartphones, tablets and mifi dongles.
- Reliance Jio will get benefit from this pact in order to launch 4G service in 2015 in around 5000 towns and cities, accounting for over 90% of urban India and over 215000 villages.
- It is mandatory for all Indian telecom companies including RJio to roll out the 4G services by August 31, 2015 as per the licensing agreement granted in 2010. They must roll out the services in at least 90% of the service areas, failing which the Department of Telecom will have the right to withdraw the radiowaves.
‘Myntra’ Acquired Bengaluru-based ‘Natives’
- Myntra, an e-commerce portal for fashion and lifestyle products, has acquired Bengaluru-based mobile app development platform company, Native5 on May 7, 2015. This acquisition will strengthen and expand Myntra’s mobile technology team.
- Native5 was founded in 2012 and builds tools and services to enable cross platform app development on the cloud. The Native5 team has built a hybrid development platform for mobile and Myntra wanted to use their expertise to strengthen its mobile offerings.
- Native5 is Myntra’s second technology led acquisition. In April, 2013, Myntra acquired Fitiquette, a San Francisco-based technology solution, a virtual fitting room. Myntra itself acquired by Flipkart.
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‘Snapdeal’ Acquired Hyderabad-based ‘MartMobi’
- Indian e-commerce major Snapdeal has acquired Hyderabad-based mobile technology startup, MartMobi on May 25, 2015. This acquisition will help the firm strengthen its mobility platform for merchant partners. As per Snapdeal, about 75% of orders are coming from mobiles-based devices.
- MartMobi was founded by Pramod Nair and Satya Krishna Ganni. It creates mobile sites and apps for e-commerce stores, small and medium-sized businesses.
- With over 150 clients, it enables seamless connectivity with the customers’ existing back-end systems in addition to a real-time analytics engine to improve conversions and user engagement. Currently, it has a 15 member team.
ArcelorMittal, Signed Pact with SAIL to Set-up Steel Plant in India
- Arcelor Mittal, Luxembourg;based steelmaker and Steel Authority of India (SAIL) signed an MoU on May 22, 2015 to set up an automotive steel manufacturing facility in India. The project will be set-up through a Joint Venture (JV).
- The proposed JV will construct a State-of-the-Art cold rolling mill and other downstream finishing facilities in India which will offer technologically advanced steel products to India’s rapidly growing automotive sector.
- The agreement will provide a huge fillip to the Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ programme, coming as it does on the eve of NDA’s first anniversary. ArcelorMittal is a leading steel supplier to the global automotive sector and has a global market share of 17%.
So, This is the Economy & Banking Current Affairs of July 2015 Month. I hope it will be very useful for you. If you have any suggestion or question then feel free to ask via comment.