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IntroductionIn the world of banking and finance nothing stands still. The biggest change of all is in the, scope of the business of banking. Banking in its traditional from is concerned with the acceptance of deposits from the customers, the lending of surplus of deposited money to suitable customers who wish to borrow and transmission of funds. Apart from traditional business, banks now a day provide a wide range of services to satisfy the financial and non financial needs of all types of customers from the smallest account holder to the largest company and in some cases of non customers. The range of services offered differs from bank to bank depending mainly on the type and size of the bank.
Reserve Bank’s Early Initiative
As a central bank in a developing country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has adopted development of the banking and financial market as one of its prime objectives. "Institutional development" was the hallmark of this approach from 1950s to 1970s. In the 1980s, the Reserve Bank focused on "improvements in the productivity" of the banking sector. Being convinced that technology is the key for improving in productivity, the Reserve Bank took several initiatives to popularize usage of technology by banks in India.
Periodically, almost once in five years since the early 1980s, the Reserve Bank appointed committees and working Groups to deliberate on and recommend the appropriate use of technology by banks give the circumstances and the need. These committees are as follows:
-Rangarajan committee -1 in early 1980s.
-Rangarajan committee -11 in late 1980s.
-Saraf working group in early 1990s.
-Vasudevan working group in late 1990s.
-Barman working group in early 2000s.
Based on the recommendations of these committees and working groups, the Reserve Bank issued suitable guidelines for the banks. In the 1980s, usage of technology for the back office operations of the banks pre-dominated the scene. It was in the form of accounting of transactions and collection of MIS. In the inter-bank payment systems, it was in the form of clearing and settlement using the MICR technology.
Two momentous decisions of the Reserve Bank in the 1990s changed the scenario for
ever there are:
a) The prescription of compulsory usage of technology in full measure by the new
private sector banks as a precondition of the license and
b) The establishment of an exclusive research institute for banking technology
institute for development and Research in Banking Technology.
As the new private sector banks came on the scene as technology-savvy banks and offered several innovative products at the front office for the customers based on technology, the demonstration effect caught on the reset of the banks. Multi channel offerings like machine based (ATMs and pc-Banking), card based (credit/Debit/Smart cards), Communication based (Tele-Banking and Internet Banking) ushered in Anytime and Anywhere Banking by the banks in India. The IDRBT has been instrumental in establishing a safe and secure, state of the art communication backbone in the from of the Indian Financial NETwork (INFINET) as a closed user group exclusively for the banking and financial sector in India.
Changing Face of Banking Services
Liberalization brought several changes to Indian service industry. Probably Indian banking industry learnt a tremendous lesson. Pre-liberalization, all we did at a bank was deposit and withdraw money. Service standards were pathetic, but all we could do was grin and bear it. Post-liberalization, the tables have turned. It's a consumer oriented market there.
Technology is revolutionizing every field of human endeavor and activity. One of them is introduction of information technology into capital market. The internet banking is changing the banking industry and is having the major effects on banking relationship. Web is more important for retail financial services than for many other industries.
Retail banking in India is maturing with time, several products, which further could
be customized. Most happening sector is housing loan, which is witnessing a cut- throat competition. The home loans are very popular as they help you to realize your most cherished dream. Interest rates are coming down and market has seen some innovative products as well. Other retail banking products are personal loan, education loan and vehicles loan. Almost every bank and financial institution is offering these products, but it is essential to understand the different aspects of these loan products, which are not mentioned in their colored advertisements.
Plastic money was a delicious gift to Indian market. Giving respite from carrying too much cash. Now several new features added to plastic money to make it more attractive.
A credit card is part of a system of payments named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. It is a card entitling its holder to buy goods and services based on the holder's promise to pay for these goods and services. The issuer of the card grants a line of credit to the consumer (or the user) from which the user can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance to the user. Usage of the term "credit card" to imply a credit card account is a metonym.
A credit card is different from a charge card, where a charge card requires the balance to be paid in full each month. In contrast, credit cards allow the consumers to 'revolve' their balance, at the cost of having interest charged. Most credit cards are issued by local banks or credit unions, and are the shape and size specified by the ISO/IEC 7810 standard as ID-1. This is defined as 85.60 × 53.98 mm in size.
• Compared to debit cards and cheques, a credit card allows small short-term loans to be quickly made to a customer who need not calculate a balance remaining before every transaction, provided the total charges do not exceed the maximum credit line for the card.
• Many credit cards offer rewards and benefits packages, such as offering enhanced product warranties at no cost, free loss/damage coverage on new purchases, and points which may be redeemed for cash, products, or airline tickets.
• a credit card transaction is often more secure than other forms of payment, such as cheques, because the issuing bank commits to pay the merchant the moment the transaction is authorized, regardless of whether the consumer defaults on the credit card payment
•Credit cards with low introductory rates are limited to a fixed term, usually between 6 and 12 months after which a higher rate is charged. As all credit cards assess fees and interest, some customers become so encumbered with their credit debt service that they are driven to bankruptcy.
• Merchants that accept credit cards must pay interchange fees and discount fees on all credit-card transactions. However, merchants are usually barred by their credit agreements from passing these fees directly to the credit card customers, or from setting a minimum transaction amount. The result, at least in the United States, is that even consumers that do not use credit cards experience higher prices from most merchants to cover the hidden transaction fees afforded for credit cards.
A debit card (also known as a bank card or check card) is a plastic card that provides an alternative payment method to cash when making purchases. Functionally, it can be called an electronic cheque, as the funds are withdrawn directly from either the bank account, or from the remaining balance on the card. In some cases, the cards are designed exclusively for use on the Internet, and so there is no physical card.
The use of debit cards has become widespread in many countries and has overtaken the cheque, and in some instances cash transactions by volume. Like credit cards, debit cards are used widely for telephone and Internet purchases, and unlike credit cards the funds are transferred from the bearer's bank account instead of having the bearer to pay back on a later date.
Debit cards can also allow for instant withdrawal of cash, acting as the ATM card for withdrawing cash and as a cheque guarantee card. Merchants can also offer "cashback"/"cashout" facilities to customers, where a customer can withdraw cash along with their purchase.
Advantages are as follows:
• A consumer who is not credit worthy and may find it difficult or impossible to obtain a credit card can more easily obtain a debit card, allowing him/her to make plastic transactions.
• Use of a debit card is limited to the existing funds in the account to which it is linked (except cases of offline payments), thereby preventing the consumer from racking up debt as a result of its use, or being charged interest, late fees or fees exclusive to credit cards.
• For most transactions, a cheque card can be used to avoid check writing altogether. Cheque cards debit funds from the user's account on the spot, thereby finalizing the transaction at the time of purchase, and bypassing the requirement to pay a credit card bill at a later date, or to write an insecure check containing the account holder's personal information.
• Like credit cards, debit cards are accepted by merchants with less identification and scrutiny than personal checks, thereby making transactions quicker and less intrusive. Unlike personal checks, merchants generally do not believe that a payment via a debit card may be later dishonored.
• Unlike a credit card, which charges higher fees and interest rates when a cash advance is obtained, a debit card may be used to obtain cash from an ATM or a PIN-based transaction at no extra charge, other than a foreign ATM fee.
The Debit card has manyd is ad van tages as opposed to cash or credit:
• Many banks are now charging over-limit fees or non-sufficient funds fees based upon pre-authorizations, and even attempted but refused transactions by the merchant (some of which may not even be known by the client).
• Many merchants mistakenly believe that amounts owed can be "taken" from a customer's account after a debit card (or number) has been presented, without agreement as to date, payee name, amount and currency, thus causing penalty
fees for overdrafts, over-the-limit, amounts not available causing further
rejections or overdrafts, and rejected transactions by some banks.
• In some countries debit cards offer lower levels of security protection than credit cards. Theft of the users PIN using skimming devices can be accomplished much easier with a PIN input than with a signature-based credit transaction. However, theft of users' PIN codes using skimming devices can be equally easily accomplished with a debit transaction PIN input, as with a credit transation PIN input, and theft using a signature-based credit transaction is equally easy as theft using a signature-based debit transaction.
• In many places, laws protect the consumer from fraud much less than with a credit card. While the holder of a credit card is legally responsible for only a minimal amount of a fraudulent transaction made with a credit card, which is often waived by the bank, the consumer may be held liable for hundreds of dollars, or even the entire value of fraudulent debit transactions. The consumer also has a shorter time (usually just two days) to report such fraud to the bank in order to be eligible for such a waiver with a debit card, whereas with a credit card, this time may be up to 60 days. A thief who obtains or clones a debit card along with its PIN may be able to clean out the consumer's bank account, and the consumer will have no recourse.
Automated Teller Machine
An automated teller machine (ATM) or the automatic banking machine (ABM) is a computerised telecommunications device that provides the clients of a financial institution with access to financial transactions in a public space without the need for a cashier, human clerk or bank teller. On most modern ATMs, the customer is identified by inserting a plastic ATM card with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smart card with a chip, that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV). Authentication is provided by the customer entering a personal identification number (PIN).
Using an ATM, customers can access their bank accounts in order to make cash withdrawals (or credit card cash advances) and check their account balances as well as purchase cellphone prepaid credit. If the currency being withdrawn from the ATM is different from that which the bank account is denominated in (eg: Withdrawing
Japanese Yen from a bank account containing US Dollars), the money will be converted at a wholesale exchange rate. Thus, ATMs often provide the best possible exchange rate for foreign travelers and are heavily used for this purpose as well.
ATMs are known by various other names including Automated Transaction Machine, automated banking machine, cashpoint (in Britain), money machine, bank machine, cash machine, hole-in-the-wall, Bancomat (in various countries in Europe and Russia), Multibano (after a registered trade mark, in Portugal), and Any Time Money (in India).
Security, as it relates to ATMs, has several dimensions. ATMs also provide a practical demonstration of a number of security systems and concepts operating together and how various security concerns are dealt with.
Early ATM security focused on making the ATMs invulnerable to physical attack; they were effectively safes with dispenser mechanisms. A number of attacks on ATMs resulted, with thieves attempting to steal entire ATMs by ram-raiding.
Transactional secrecy and integrity
The security of ATM transactions relies mostly on the integrity of the secure cryptoprocessor: the ATM often uses commodity components that are not considered to be "trusted systems".
Customer identity integrity
There have also been a number of incidents of fraud by Man-in-the-middle attacks, where criminals have attached fake keypads or card readers to existing machines. These have then been used to record customers' PINs and bank card information in order to gain unauthorized access to their accounts. Various ATM manufacturers have put in place countermeasures to protect the equipment they manufacture from these threats.
Device operation integrity
Openings on the customer-side of ATMs are often covered by mechanical shutters to prevent tampering with the mechanisms when they are not in use. Alarm sensors are placed inside the ATM and in ATM servicing areas to alert their operators when doors have been opened by unauthorized personnel.
Rules are usually set by the government or ATM operating body that dictate what happens when integrity systems fail. Depending on the jurisdiction, a bank may or may not be liable when an attempt is made to dispense a customer's money from an ATM and the money either gets outside of the ATM's vault, or was exposed in a non- secure fashion, or they are unable to determine the state of the money after a failed
Real time gross settlement systems (RTGS) are funds transfer systems where
transfer of money takes place from one bank to another on a "real time" and on "gross" basis. Settlement in "real time" means payment transaction is not subjected to any waiting period. The transactions are settled as soon as they are processed.
"Gross settlement" means the transaction is settled on one to one basis without bunching or netting with any other transaction. Once processed, payments are final and irrevocable.
RTGS does not require Core Banking to be implemented across participating banks. Any RTGS would employ two sets of queues: one for testing funds availability, and the other for processing debit/credit requests received from the Integrated Accounting System. All transactions would be queued and submitted for funds availability testing on a FIFO+Priority basis.
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