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Airtel Payments Bank gets RBI nod to start enrolling new customers

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AIRTEL

New Delhi, July 12: After running into rough weather due to Aadhaar-related e-KYC issues, Airtel Payments Bank on Thursday said it has received requisite approvals from the Reserve Bank of India and UIDAI to start acquiring new customers.

“Airtel Payments Bank has received requisite approvals from The Reserve Bank of India to start on-boarding new customers. Airtel Payments Bank has also been permitted by the UIDAI to resume the on-boarding of customers using Aaadhaar based e-KYC. We thank the authorities for the approvals,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

“We remain committed to the government’s vision of financial inclusion and banking for all,” he added.

In an interview to IANS last week, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said: “The bank had started off very well, but we got into regulatory issues. We are working very closely with authorities (RBI and UIDAI) and hopefully this will be back to business soon and start acquiring customers. Right now have 30 million customers in the bank and the wallet. Operation is continuing for existing customers, but we are not acquiring new customers.”

Airtel Payments Bank on May 24, 2018 announced the appointment of Anubrata Biswas as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

The appointment comes five months after former CEO and MD Shashi Arora stepped down in December.

The RBI on March 9 slapped a penalty of Rs 5 crore on Airtel Payments Bank Limited for violating KYC norms, an official statement said here.

“The Reserve Bank of India has imposed, on March 7, 2018, a monetary penalty of Rs 50 million on Airtel Payments Bank Limited for contravening the ‘Operating Guidelines for Payments Banks’ and directions issued by RBI on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms,” the RBI statement had said.

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Tesla plans cheaper $25,000 electric car within 3 years: Elon Musk

Musk also announced that as well as purchasing batteries from Panasonic and LG Chem.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk

San Francisco, Sep 23 : Elon Musk has said that Tesla plans to produce an electric car with a price tag of $25,000 within the next three years.

The aim, said Musk on Battery Day on Tuesday, is to make Tesla electric cars more affordable for the masses.

“That will basically be on-par or slightly better than a comparable gasoline car. This has always been our dream to make an affordable electric car,” he said during the virtual presentation.

The cheapest Tesla Model 3 that made its debut in February 2019 currently costs $35,000. it offers a 350-km range, a top speed of 210 km per hour and acceleration from 0-100 km per hour in 5.6 seconds.

“Tesla says has only been made possible by shifting sales to an online-only platform and by winding down physical outlets,” reports ZDNet.

Tesla is known for the Model Y, Model S, Model X, and Model 3 product lines.

“For a lot of people, they want to buy a Tesla, but they simply don’t have the money. We could make the car infinitely desirable, but if someone does not have the money, they won’t buy it,” Musk said.

The Tesla CEO also announced the development of a new battery cell and a reduction in cell cost per kilowatt-hour.

The main announcement was Tesla’s new larger cylindrical cells. It was claimed the new batteries will provide five times more energy, six times more power and 16 per cent greater driving range.

“But the technology announced is likely to take years to implement. Tesla’s approach includes integrating the battery so that it forms part of the structure of the vehicle, thereby reducing the effective weight of the battery,” reports the BBC.

Musk also announced that as well as purchasing batteries from Panasonic and LG Chem.

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Bharti Airtel, VIL shares plunge after Jio unleashes postpaid tariff war

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Jio Bharti Voda

Mumbai, Sep 23 : Shares of telecom majors Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) were under pressure on Wednesday after Reliance Jio announced a range of postpaid plans with several benefits, to take on both Airtel and Vodafone Idea in the postpaid segment.

Brokerages retained their bullish stance on Bharti Airtel NSE -7.64 % even after billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio on Tuesday unveiled postpaid plans, bundling up to 500 GB of data and subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney + Hotstar.

Shares of Bharti Airtel, however, traded 5.78 per cent lower at Rs 443.80 at around 11:30 am (IST), while Vodafone Idea traded 5.56 per cent down at Rs 9.68 at around the same time. On the other hand, the benchmark BSE Sensex was up 0.62 per cent at 37,966.

JioPostPaid Plus for mobile customers will have a monthly tariff varying from Rs 399 to Rs 1,499 with different benefits, the company said in a statement.

According to ICICIdirect, the move creates a new layer of tariff-based competition in the segment that was so far unchallenged and lucrative.

“Both Airtel, Vodafone Idea (VIL) are exposed to this risk of churn, the pressure on VIL will be more. The theme of prepaid tariff hike in near term also remains questionable. We await incumbent’s move before incorporating any impact in our financials and valuations. We retain ‘Buy’ on Airtel with an unchanged target price of Rs 700 given comfortable leverage and superior customer quality. However, we maintain ‘Sell’ on VIL with an unchanged target price of Rs 6 per share, given the difficult path ahead to assure survival.”

Reliance Jio added that the main objective of the newly-launched JioPostpaid Plus service is to provide superior services across connectivity, entertainment, and experience.

“There can’t be a more opportune time to introduce JioPostpaid Plus. After having earned the trust of close to 400 million satisfied customers in the prepaid smartphone category, we want to extend our customer obsession to the postpaid category,” Akash Ambani, Director, Jio, said in a statement.

Axis Capital sees this as an attempt by Reliance NSE 1.21 % Jio to add high-Arpu customers and shift some of its customers from prepaid to postpaid.

“There will be no impact on incumbents as only 5 per cent and 8 per cent of Bharti Airtel and VIL customers are on postpaid plans. Most postpaid are enterprise customers who are sticky and incumbents also have comparable plans which can match Jio with some tweaking. Incumbents provide additional features like handset protection. We see it as a positive for the sector as it will attract a new generation of OTT aficionado subscribers which will expand the postpaid market,” Axis said while maintaining a positive stance on Airtel and Reliance Industries.

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Airlines on verge of collapse, may shut if situation doesn’t improve: GoAir to SC

SC deferred the hearing of the case for refund of air tickets booked during lockdown period till September 25

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GoAir

New Delhi: A day after aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) informed the Supreme Court (SC) that passengers who booked tickets during lockdown are eligible for refunds, the government recommended that airlines pay 0.5% interest for delayed refunds.

While both Vistara and AirAsia opposed the levy of interest stating that many of their customers prefer credit shell, country’s largest airline IndiGo said it refunded the tickets for the lockdown period in full.

The government also said it is open to considering the interest of any particular segment of passengers if adversely affected.

New Delhi: A day after aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) informed the Supreme Court (SC) that passengers who booked tickets during lockdown are eligible for refunds, the government recommended that airlines pay 0.5% interest for delayed refunds.

While both Vistara and AirAsia opposed the levy of interest stating that many of their customers prefer credit shell, country’s largest airline IndiGo said it refunded the tickets for the lockdown period in full.

The government also said it is open to considering the interest of any particular segment of passengers if adversely affected.

Meanwhile, GoAir pleaded with the apex court that many airlines were on the brink of collapse and might shut down if If the situation doesn’t improve.

SC has deferred the hearing on airlines’ fare refund case for September 25.

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