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SBI Card imposes Rs 100 fee on cheque payments

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Mumbai: In a bid to discourage cheque payment, SBI Card has decided to impose a charge of Rs 100 on payments below Rs 2,000 made through the cheque drop box.

The fees would not be levied to SBI account holders as cheques are cleared as an intrabank transfer in such cases. However, non-SBI cheques would attract a fee even if deposited across the counter in branches.

SBI Card MD and CEO Vijay Jasuja said, “We are only looking at recovering clearing cost. When we are talking about digitisation and all modes are available, what is the need of paying by cheque?.”

He cited a problem, wherein the company loses out every month in the process. He said, “A large number of cheques were being dropped late into the boxes and subsequently disputes were raised on late payment charges. We have done a deep analysis. It is not possible that every month the bank is making a mistake in cheque collection”.

He further said that 92% of cardholders settle their bills through non-cheque mode and only 8% use cheques for payment. He added, of these 8%, around 6% have bills of over Rs 2,000 and it is only the remaining 2% who are going to get affected by the decision.

While the company is disincentivising cheques, it is providing incentives to those paying online by way of higher reward points.

SBI Cards currently have 14 modes of bill payments and most of these modes need internet over mobile or desktop.

After cash disincentivising, cheque disincentivising would come as a long hit to consumers. Using cheques is a popular choice for paying monthly bills and fees.

Wefornews Bureau

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Key Indian equity indices open in green

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Mumbai, Feb 23: Key Indian equity indices on Friday opened on a higher note with healthy buying in metals, consumer durables, banking and auto stocks.

Around 9.17 a.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 36.85 points or 0.35 per cent to trade at 10,419.55 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which traded at 33,832 points, traded at 33,924.59 points — up 105.09 or 0.31 per cent from its previous session’s close.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 33,926.59 points and a low of 33,832 points.

The BSE market breadth was bullish with 867 advances and 325 declines.

On Thursday, the equity indices closed with marginal losses on the back of volatility infused by futures and options (F&O) expiry along with negative global cues and a weak rupee.

The Nifty50 closed lower by 14.75 points or 0.14 per cent at 10,382.70 points, while the Sensex fell by 25.36 points or 0.07 per cent to close at 33,819.50 points.

IANS

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New WhatsApp Terms of Service reveals close collaboration with Facebook

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New Delhi, Feb 22: In an apparent hint that Facebook is set to monetise its WhatsApp operations, a new Terms of Service (ToS) spotted in the Google Play Beta Programme says that WhatsApp will work with Facebook companies over the next year to help businesses connect with its 1.5 billion users.

WABetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp Beta programmes, said that in the latest 2.18.57 version, WhatsApp has laid down plans to work closely with Facebook companies.

“For example, you might see Facebook options to start a conversation with a business on WhatsApp,” the new ToS read.

“If you use Facebook Company Products, we will ask Facebook to use the information it has about you and your interests to help us provide you a way to connect with businesses in a relevant and personalised manner through informational and marketing messages, business directory listings, [and other sponsored content/ads] on WhatsApp,” it added.

WhatsApp will also work with Facebook to measure the effectiveness of these connections for itself and the businesses.

“Once we start to work with Facebook on these relevant and personalised experiences, you’ll be able to manage the experience in your [Facebook ad settings and ad preferences] [and we will tell you when these are available],” the Facebook-owned messaging service said.

It, however, said added: “When we share your personal information with other Facebook companies, it will only be used to provide services to WhatsApp on our behalf in accordance with our instructions and terms or to help ensure the safety, security, and integrity of WhatsApp and other Facebook company products.

“Nothing you share on WhatsApp, including your phone number, will be shown on Facebook or any of the Facebook company products, unless you choose to show it,” the company said in the new ToS.

In the latest Beta version, WhatsApp said it is working to find useful ways for its users to connect with businesses on WhatsApp so they can receive things like order, transaction and appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications, product and service updates, marketing messages, business directory listings to discover businesses on WhatsApp, and other sponsored content/ads from these businesses.

To help businesses communicate better with their customers in India, WhatsApp last month officially rolled out “WhatsApp Business” — a free-to-download Android app for small businesses — in the country.

The new app, available on Google Play Store, will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for its users to chat with businesses that matter to them.

The app will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses and website.

It will also save time with smart messaging tools like quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you’re busy.

IANS

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Key Indian equity indices open on negative note

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Mumbai, Feb 22: Taking a cue from global markets, the key Indian equity market indices on Thursday opened lower ahead of futures and options (F&O) expiry.

The Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had closed at 33,844.86 points on Wednesday, opened lower at 33,817.09 points.

Minutes into trading, it was quoting at 33,726.79 points, down by 118.07 points, or 0.35 per cent.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 51-scrip Nifty, which had closed at 10,397.45 points on Wednesday, was quoting at 10,341.60 points, down by 55.85 points or 0.54 per cent.

On Wednesday, bargain hunting by investors lifted the key Indian equity indices ahead of the F&O expiry, snapping a three-day losing streak.

According to market observers, healthy buying in IT, technology, media and entertainment and banking stocks added to the upward trajectory of the benchmark indices.

The Sensex was up by 141.27 points or 0.42 per cent at the Wednesday’s closing. In the day’s trade, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index had touched a high of 33,911.36 points and a low of 33,702.50 points.

The Nifty too, was up by 37.05 points or 0.36 per cent.

On Thursday, Asian indices were mostly showing a negative trend.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was trading in red, down by 0.91 per cent, Hang Seng down by 0.97 per cent while South Korea’s Kospi was also down by 0.49 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite index was the only quoting in green, up by 1.91 per cent.

Nasdaq closed in red, down by 0.22 per cent while FTSE 100 was up by 0.48 per cent at the closing on Wednesday.

IANS

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