Posted on August 13, 2008 by Vinay
Thumbs up: Obopay and Grameen Solutions partner together to provide microfinance services to clients. The initiative will be called the “Bank A Billion Initiative.”
The premise of the project is to provide access to basic financial services through cell phones, reducing the need for costly personal contact between financial institutions and their customers. The initiative hopes to take advantage of the rapid spread of cell phones in developing areas, especially in areas without access to microfinance services.
Thumbs down: Hot off the heels of their decision to stifle mobile banking services, the RBI has now increased the capital adequacy requirements for MFIs, which have concerned many of them in the field.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently tightened capital adequacy standards governing microfinance institutions (MFIs) in India, and several local MFIs worry the change may lead to the need to raise additional capital and increase interest rates.
Filed under: BoP, Finance/Credit, Government, Microfinance, Technology | Tagged: Grameen Solutions, MFIs, Obopay, RBI | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 29, 2008 by Vinay
So yesterday the Reserve Bank of India called for banks to halt mobile banking services until it can release its operative guidelines. A significant number of Indian banks have already begun offering such services to its clients in an effort to expand their user base and to provide previously untapped populations access to banking.
But A P Hota, chief general manager at the RBI, advises banks to put plans for mobile payments on hold and to “dissociate themselves from any mobile based money transfer service which has not received explicit approval of RBI or not covered by any of the guidelines issued”. [Microcapital.org]
Hopefully such standards will come out sooner than later, as we have seen how poorly India performs with regard to financial inclusion.
Filed under: Finance/Credit, Government, Technology | Tagged: Microcapital.org, mobile banking, RBI | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 26, 2008 by Vinay
Filed under: Agriculture, Basic Rights, Education, Energy, Environment, Government, PPP | Tagged: China, debtors, literacy, national mineral policy, nuclear power, Pranab Mukherjee, President Bush, Puducherry, RBI, Tibet, Utkal Alumina International Limited | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 6, 2008 by Vinay
Some bits of tid for you all:
Forget that judicial system is not accessible to the vast majority of people in India, even worse is the fact that it is increasingly acquiring an elitist and anti-poor character. A recently held convention in New Delhi talked of reclaiming and reinventing the judiciary for the poor.
The government on Thursday acknowledged that there was a public demand for lowering of interest rates on home loans up to Rs 20 lakh, but said it was for the banks and RBI to take a call.
In a significant, albeit token gesture, the impoverished eastern Indian state becomes perhaps the first state to offer monthly benefits of this nature to people living with HIV/AIDS.
When local populace and officials work in tandem, the chances of any conservation efforts succeeding are more. This became clear when villagers in the hilly state of Uttarakhand in northern India and forest department came together to help protect wildlife in the famous Jim Corbett National Park.
Filed under: Basic Rights, Environment, Government, Health, NGOs and Non-profits | Tagged: conservation, HIV, home loan rates, Jim Corbett National Park, lower, New Delhi, Orissa, Pension, RBI, restructuring judiciary, Uttarakhand | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 28, 2008 by Vinay
Looks like mobile banking has hit the critical mass where bureaucrats feel the need to regulate it:
RBI Executive Director R B Barman said this week that a central bank committee is examining the regulatory challenges raised by mobile banking. The committee is expected to report recommendations next month, leading next to RBI drafting the requisite changes to the country’s regulatory framework.
In addition to regulation, RBI is also looking at new ways to use mobile banking to reach greater users. Mark Pickens of CGAP writes:
RBI is also closely watching several pilot schemes using mobile connectivity to improve access to financial services among low-income Indians. As the Economist reported earlier this month, one program in Andhra Pradesh is testing how to deliver pensions and unemployment benefits to around half a million people in villages, via specially-equipped mobile phones in the hands of local payment agents and smart cards issued to recipients. A parallel POS-based system is also being tested. So far, 40,000 cards have been issued.
Filed under: Government, Microfinance, Technology | Tagged: Andhra Pradesh, CGAP, mobile banking, RBI, regulation | 1 Comment »