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Kotak Mahindra Bank offering Pathetic Service on Foreign Inward Remittance

Posted by on February 6, 2014 | Comments

While setting up another new venture during November 2012, a touch decision for the India office was to choose the right banking partner to handle the most important thing for an IT business. Yes you guessed it, I am referring to foreign inward remittance transaction. i had shortlisted few banks

1. State Bank of India

2. ING Vyasya Bank

3. ICICI Bank

3. Kotak Mahindra Bank

4. HDFC Bank

5. Axis Bank

Out of the list, I already had test of State Bank of India and ING Vyasya Bank. SBI provided wonderful exchange rate in foreign inward remittance while ING was almost close and surprisingly higher at times but I had to strike these two off for two different reasons. SBI was taking too long to credit funds and ING Vyasya had too little facilities.

Striking off ICICI was easy as they were offering pathetic exchange rate and I did not want to loose money in Forex conversion.

Before I could put my hands on HDFC and Axis Bank, I was approached by a very friendly officer from Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bhubaneswar. He was nice and, explained me the benefits of dealing with Kotak. I was also surprised to know that Kotak Bank offered interest in a current account (business checking account as called in USA). They also promised that I would get higher exchange rate per USD.

This much was enough to convince me and I went with Kotak by opening an account with Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The first surprise I received when I received the first inward remittance from USA. Yes the conversion rate was lower than SBI. But wait, it was not too low either and the transfer was really quick. About 24 hours to have funds in my account. I also get the FIRC automatically in my inbox. Wonderful! I am very happy now.

Bank staff had been friendly as well until recently I faced a weird problem.

December 2013 and January 2014, I had received 2 different inward remittance and to my surprise both were credited right in the morning of the night when it was sent from USA. WOW that is reallyfast. But wait! Here is a double surprise for me. The transaction has hit my account not as a Foreign Inward Remittance but as a local NEFT transaction. I also see a PATHETICALLY LOW conversion rate. No fee charged for inward remittance though but I can’t find FIRC in my inbox.

I thought may be a one time mistake and thought I can manage as its a single NEFT. I must mention here that we software exporters want foreign inward remittance only along with FIRC (Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate) to stay eligible for service tax exemption.

We received another transfer from USA in January and the same story is repeated. NEFT and not FIRC. What’s happening? Called them up to check this and I was told that, they received the funds in INR which is why its showing as NEFT. WHAT? Bank of America did like this?

Called up Bank of America to find out the reason and they, after checking the record, confirmed that it was sending USD only via wire in the method which they have been following since November 2012 without any change in the remittance system.

Now this makes it clear that something is wrong at Kotak’s end. I don’t want the same story to be repeated in February as well. Kept the transfer on hold and followed up Kotak customer service to find a solution. Here all the frustration starts.

Now here is something I am doing everyday

1. Call Kotak and explain the situation all from the scratch as he/she will have no clue about the complaint lodged the previous day.

2. They try to explain that I dont need to worry as the funds are credited. I then need to explain them that its NEFT and not Inward Remittance and that I don’t get any FIRC and that I have lost a lot on Forex as well.

3. They would then escalate to a senior and I need to explain everything all over again with patience and the senior would promise that by end of the day, I would receive a call bank.

4. I explain them the importance of the situation and inform them that I have put the next remittance on hold for this reason and would wan to continue once this is solved.

The same story is being repeated every day since last 3 days but with same repeat answer from them but no call back from any senior fellow from Kotak.

I am now suspecting that they are playing some game to steal the Forex money by showing it as NEFT. I am still in dark and have no clue about WHY two foreign inward transactions were shown as NEFT and what is going to happen with future transactions.

I have also started talking to Axis Bank which was recommended by a friend claiming that they provide higher exchange rate and they they credit inward remittance in few hours only which is amazing.

I am still waiting for Kotak to revert bank with a solution. But if I still don’t get a solution then the only option I would be left with is to change my bank and wind up all relationship with Kotak.

 

 

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PayPal India receiving limit increased to US$10000 – Will Indian Export Business get benefited?

Posted by on July 29, 2013 | Comments

June 29th 2013 is a celebration day for Indian PayPal merchants, but will they be really happy about it?

PayPal has been bread and butter for every micro, small and mid sized business that used to export good or service. Widely available across the globe. Their website https://www.paypal.com/worldwide/ lists worldwide countries that their network supports. Business were happy until RBI placed restriction on PayPal receiving limits after making business suffer for months when their money on PayPal balance got stuck during transition of norms.

A good news for Indian Merchants is published by RBI vide their notification RBI/2012-13/528 speaking about Processing and Settlement of Export related receipts facilitated by Online Payment Gateways – Enhancement of the value of transaction dated  June 11th 2013. This made PayPal increase the receiving limit to USD10,000 per transaction.

PayPal issues the following email to its Indian Merchant account holders

Dear CUSTOMER NAME,

Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that PayPal merchants in India can now receive up to USD 10,000 per transaction for export-related payments for goods and services, effective immediately.

With the increased transaction limit, you can:

• Accept credit and debit card payments anytime, anywhere on your website, mobile, eBay listing, or simply by sending an invoice.
• Increase your global presence by selling to over 132 million active PayPal users in 193 markets around the world, accepting payments in up to 25 currencies.
• Leverage on our industry-leading fraud prevention and risk management systems to keep your business secure and minimize losses.

To receive export-related payments, merchants must confirm their email address, and add a Permanent Account Number (PAN), Purpose Code and local bank account to their PayPal Account. If you have any queries, please log in to your PayPal Account and click on the ‘Contact Us’ button.

We look forward to continuing to support your export business through our global online payment platform.

Happy selling!

Sincerely,
The PayPal Team

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 2.17.43 PM

PayPal was forced to restrict the limit by RBI which created heartbreaking situation for its customers in India but this move will certainly be welcomed by the merchants and is going help larger merchants whose per transaction limit need is larger but still up to USD10,000.

This restriction removal with weaker rupee can bring additional benefit to the merchants.

 

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PayPal in India starts offering Great Conversion Rate to Merchants

Posted by on May 24, 2013 | Comments

PayPal, the global leader payment gateway, which was acquired by eBay in October 3, 2002 has been helping small to large merchants, freelancers and small business owners throughout the world. Everyone knows how easy and convenient it is, to use PayPal as a payment gateway. Developers in my company always speak aloud about this gateway which is feature rich and is easiest to integrate on any website and comes with many up-front utilities and above that it costs nothing to have one and it charges a fee only when you receive a payment. Except a few countries where PayPal do not offer its service, it’s a life saver, specifically for small business owners and freelancers doing business globally.

PayPal was running smooth in India for Indian merchants until RBI imposed restrictions and norms on its activity after which PAN number and purpose code became compulsory and merchants faced a lot of hassle during the transition. It also stopped allowing withdrawal of funds to a USA Bank account which used to be allowed earlier. Despite these things, it started running smoothly but merchants kept on looking for alternatives to PayPal and the primary reason for this was PayPal’s woefully low conversion rate. PayPal in India would always convert your bank withdrawal to Indian Currency and would give its own conversion rate which on an average is always a rupee less than the average bank rate of conversion. If we consider that a merchant brings in $10000 a month considering market rate to be Rs55/- per US$ then he would loose Rs10000/- as a minimum per month due to poor conversion rate. PayPal always remained blind to this issue and continued using its partner bank named Citi Bank for the withdrawal process.

I have therefore always being avoiding PayPal and have been sending money directly from my USA business to India business via bank wire. But TODAY was a big day when I tried using the Indian Paypal account and was surprised or rather shocked to see the conversion rate while sending the money withdrawal request. The rate was Rs53.898 per US Dollar which was higher than the value offered by SBI, the rates of SBI are given below:

 

SBI Rate     PayPal Rate

 

 

If you notice, the rate offered by SBI is much lower and is coming to PayPal level only if you send a minimum of $7000 but again this rate is applicable only when you are sending from USA as a personal payment. For business wire remittance, you always get the lowest listed rate from SBI. Earlier, PayPal rate used to be a minimum of a rupee and sometimes up to two less. Now this is a BIG STEP by PayPal. I have no clue whether the credit goes to PayPal or to its partner CitiBank India, but ultimately the merchants are going to be benefited with this.

I hope if the trend continues and PayPal continues to offer  great rates then I am sure this will attract more and more PayPal users. This in turn, will attract more Indian merchants who deal globally as well as locally. It may still take some time for PayPal to offer INR as a selling currency to its Indian merchants, but nevertheless, this great move of offering better Forex conversation rate will be warmly welcomed by Indian Merchants and will result in increased number of merchants using PayPal as their preferred payment gateway.

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A mixed baggage of different flavors!

Posted by on October 17, 2012 | Comments

Being a fashion freak myself, reviewing a fashion blog is more of fun to me than work.  Fashion conscious people, who always like to put their best foot forward, in terms of wearing the right outfit for the right occasion with suitable accessories to match, are sure to find great tips here. All my boredom went by the wayside the moment I stumbled across this website, FashionFlu.com. The name itself speaks for the purpose of the website. I mean, just look at the name, fashion flu! It has that ‘it’ factor to for sure.

 

The website offers a look into the world of latest couture, fashion, and style. The first page to welcome me, appeared quite an appealing one. The article header on the homepage is, “five hot fashion trends to try this season”! The content is fresh and invigorating, especially to someone who is standing in front of her closet and is clueless about what to wear. It emphasizes on the importance of wearing the right women shoes and accessories to pair up with any outfit to make the look complete. The ideas given are simply amazing and it’s something that you always wanted to try out but never sure whether it will work or not. The article gives you a good idea about how to carry a lacy outfit and turn heads to you! The article on how to choose proper clothing for plus size women is also very well written. The author has very beautifully outlined what to wear and what not to wear for such women. The basic underlying message is that your outfit should be such that it hides the problem areas of your body and enhances the overall look to make you look and feel desirable!

 

In all my earlier reviews, I’ve always mentioned that photo displays are very important to illustrate your purpose. Here, I have noticed that photos appear at the right places to demonstrate what the article content is talking about. As far as the design and layout of the site is concerned, the work has been done intellectually. Right from having the ease of navigation and usage; it fulfils almost every criteria of being a good web page. The only annoying thing on the homepage is an ad, appearing at the top, which could have been avoided. Otherwise, everything else looks good with all the icons, menus and links appearing systematically at proper places.

 

The Style blog has a lot more to offer apart from the regular dose of fashion. It has numerous articles classified into different categories. Some of them, which took my interest are, food, celebrity news, Astros tips, investing, health and beauty, lifestyle, music, Retro clothing, travel and so on. If you are in for some hot and juicy news of fashion and entertainment industry, “Featured” section on the top right is just for you! I loved the category named food, where I found many articles on various food facts, myths and trends. I really appreciate the way they have covered every topic, giving utmost importance to each of them.

 

In short, the site is like a mixed baggage with many different elements, packed beautifully in it! I really loved it and you are going to love it too!!

Thumbs up for its complete professional outlook!

Posted by on October 15, 2012 | Comments

“Behind every successful online marketing campaign is a great digital marketing agency” and I’m sure that all successful business owners and entrepreneurs would agree to it. With the new age internet technologies, these agencies have come a long way and now they are coming up with newer and better online marketing techniques. The company, swish digital marketing agency sets the perfect example to explain the fact. Their website is an epitome of hard core professionalism and very well reflects their dominance in the realm of digital marketing.

The website has its very own flair and aesthetic look to it, which makes it one of a kind. The homepage enchants you with a series of graphic displays. “Rocket your rankings” is the first slogan that you will get to see the moment you arrive on the homepage which can instantly catch your fancy; and more so, if you are someone who is in dire need to push the search ranking of your website higher on the search results. A brief overview of all the different kinds of online marketing services, offered by the company is given on the homepage with necessary links. Links will take you to the pages, where details of the service are provided.

Simplicity of the subject matter and its presentation is very important to lure the visitors. I really liked the way they have designed every single webpage of the site. Everything is right there on the screen; scrolling up and down to look for any information is just not required. Links are placed at suitable places making the navigation easy for the user. The webpage has been sealed as 100% customer satisfactory, which appears at the top right of the homepage. This is what I will term as branding of the company. Such kinds of messages help in building trust among the prospective buyers, for the company.

Coming to the services, the digital marketing agency is like one shop destination for different kinds of marketing requirements. The agency provides SEO services, web design services, pay per click services and social media marketing services. In a way, it’s good for the clients too as they now do not require to run from pillar to post to look for different service providers for different requirements. Their SEO services are designed in numerous service packages named as, player, champion, contender and custom. Their packages are designed to yield results and get your website a superior ranking in the search engines, especially on Google.

Not just SEO agency, it also plays the role of a web design agency too. In addition to SEO services, the agency also specializes in providing superior web design services. You can check out a number of domains, they have already been working for and see how their client websites are performing now.

The website www.swishdigitalmarketingagency.com has to offer to you, fresh creativity, quality and informative content. It truly speaks volumes for its company and its services, giving maximum possible information to the prospects. I will surely give it big thumbs up!

SEO Submission Services – A good SEO website for a range of online businesses

Posted by on September 17, 2012 | Comments

SEO submission services, the name itself defines its purpose. If you have been into an online business, you must have realized the impact of off page SEO activities on your search rankings. A website will make a mark on search results only if strategic SEO methods are applied to boost its visibility on World Wide Web. It is due to the high popularity and demand of submission services that there are hundreds of service providers in the market. Now what makes this website stand apart from others in the game is its web presence which instantly catches your fancy, the moment you arrive on the site. A glance to the homepage will make you realize that now you have come to the right place where your marketing goals are sure to be accomplished.

You can see a brief introduction to their internet submission services right on the homepage which sounds quite promising. Google ranks a website on many criteria and the total number of back links to a website is one such criterion. The website, www.seo-submission-services.com claims that its submission services will ensure that your website gets maximum number of quality inbound links from reputed sites which will help in boosting your visibility and search ranking as well. The service provider promises to provide you the best of the services so that you get fruitful outcome from your invested money.

I have heard many people complaining about their SEO firms practicing automated submissions. Now many people may not be aware of the two kinds of submissions. There are manual submission services and automated submission services. Automated submissions will generate irrelevant links coming from sites or directories that are not related to your business. This is totally pointless as these links will hardly bring visitors interested in your products or services. Imagine a retail website getting links from a travel website! It definitely sounds weird right? Here, the service provider has thoroughly mentioned that each directory, they make your submissions to; is chosen on relevance, reliability and pedigree. The website owner has clearly pointed that their submissions are guaranteed to bring relevant incoming links to your website so that the client’s invested money and time do not get wasted.

The directories or sites, where the submissions are to be made, should be indexed by the major search engines. I have seen many firms making bulk submissions to sites that are not indexed by Google. These sites are not even visited by people and are sort of dumped. Submitting your details to such directories would be of no use. The website conveys the message of SEO submission services quite well and that is; the company ensures that each directory or site, they submit to, has been indexed by the search engines. They thoroughly research the directories and sites to check if they are blacklisted by the search engines.

The numerous submission services provided by the company are manual directory submissions, article submission, social book marking services etc. Their services are designed in different packages based on the number of submissions and price. www.seo-submission-services.com is definitely going to emerge as a big player in the field. It is promising, user friendly and caters to the needs of all kinds of online businesses and enterprises.

Swish Digital – Improves Your Website’s Ranking Irrespective of Your Business Type

Posted by on September 11, 2012 | Comments

If you are an individual who is completely wacked of checking out several SEO websites, then Swish Digital is the one which is for sure going to catch your eyes. You can find the website of the Swish digital marketing agency as a SEO website with just a visit to the homepage itself. The homepage of this SEO Agency clearly conveys you its objective and goals. The significant services of Swish digital marketing agency include SEO, Web Design, Pay per click and Social Media. All these four categories appear on the top section of the homepage and at the center you will get the same in big bold displays as SEO Packages, Web Design, Pay per click and Social Media. The introductory information you will find provided at the bottom of the homepage so a visitor could easily miss it without scrolling down, so I would suggest it to bring it to little top of the homepage. The page of SEO Package covers all the information regarding different SEO services provided by this digital marketing agency. The best part is that they can cater their clients with tailored packages. Right from small growing firms to bigger established firms, Swish Digital has packages to suit every budget type. The SEO page also gives you details on why you should consider engaging the firm for its services. The web design page highlights that they possess a skilled team of web designers who can tailor your website for your success. This web design agency would assist you in designing website which not only makes your contenders envious but would also drive huge number of potential customers. There you could find six case studies which will explain how they normally handle a web design project. On visiting the Pay per click page, you would find all information on the tactics that would make your PPC campaign a bang. And the Social media page highlights the role of social media in today’s digital marketing world and also explains the benefits that your business would have on hiring the social media services of Swishdigitalmarketingagency.com. There you will get very informative content which will help you know the significance of social media in brand promotion. As per content, all the web pages have helpful information, which is for sure will catch your attention and make you read the content by yourself. This digital marketing agency’s website has been developed as per the standards. And it is clearly seen that the website is very well managed by skilled SEO experts. The graphics and images have been used very smartly to highlight all essential points. The customer service of http://www.swishdigitalmarketingagency.com/ is excellent as per the testimonials posted by its previous and present clients. In short, Swish digital boast all the solutions that cater your web business needs.

Swish Digital – Offers High Quality Digital Marketing Services!!

Posted by on August 22, 2012 | Comments

If you are someone who is tired of checking out SEO websites, then this one is surely going to catch your attention. The website belongs to the owner of the Swish digital marketing agency. You can find the website on the very first page of search results of Google. A visit to the homepage will let you know that it’s a SEO website.

 

The homepage visibly highlights the purpose of the website and what it stands for. The valuable services offered by Swishdigital are SEO packages, web design, pay per click and social media. All four appear on the top of the homepage as well as big bold displays on the middle too.  I would recommend them to bring the introductory paragraph on top as one will hardly have the patience to scroll down and read it.

 

SEO package page covers the details of various SEO services offered by the company. The best part that you are going to like is the fact that they have custom packages to cater to a range of clients. They have packages that suit every budget type right from small companies to bigger corporate companies. The page beautifully shows why you should consider hiring the company for its services. The page very well highlights their proven track record of excellent performance and accomplishments. The website promises to improve your site’s ranking through their SEO packages irrespective of the type of your business, be it a newly launched one or an already established site but under performing.

 

Web design agency page states that they have an experienced team of web designers who can customize your website for success. They will help you build a site which not only makes your competitors feel jealous of but will also draw maximum number of visitors. There are six case studies to explain how they deal with a web design project. Pay per click services page explains the tactics of the field to make your pay per click campaign a hit. Social media page explains the role of social media as a great marketing tool and how the social media services provided by the company will be of great advantage for your business. The page has some really informative content that makes you know the importance of social media in brand promotion and how you just cannot outdo your competitors without the help of this tool.

 

Content wise, all the pages have great informative details, which is bound to draw your attention and you will find yourself reading the content. It is quite visible that the site is managed by competent SEO professionals. Swish Digital provides first-rate customer services which shows on the testimonials posted by the company’s past and current customers.

 

The website has been built as per the standards. Both the look and presence of the website is appealing and soothing to the eyes. The usage of graphics and images has been done cleverly to highlight the company’s USP. In short, the site www.swishdigital.com is a great SEO website.

New Life Vitamins – Find a range of popular Health Supplements!!

Posted by on August 22, 2012 | Comments

This is basically an online store, where an individual can find a range of popular nutritional supplements. The website also appears as a resource sharing valuable information on nutrition and its importance in maintain overall well-being. It shares vast amount of information related to health problems and supplements.

 

The layout is really nice and it does have that professional feel to it. The moment you arrive on the website, you know why it is here for. Talking about the homepage, everything right from the background, the format and the placement of each and every element has been done in an appropriate manner.

 

The website belongs to New Life Vitamins which is a part of the New Life Foods Company. They are in the business since 1998 and since then, they are providing best quality nutritional supplements for the spirit, mind and body.

 

The thing which I like about it is the way they have explained order processing to their customers. “My account” section is all for the customers. One can easily register to the website and have an account on it. Now, every time you place an order, your account section will get updated with the developments in the order processing. FAQ section has answers to all your queries regarding the placement of order, its shipping, return and exchange policies of the company. You can also know the status of your order on the website.

 

Content wise, I liked their blog. This section has some really interesting and informative posts from the author. The content is high on quality and it will draw you in. You are sure to find yourself reading more than you had actually come for. I noticed that the blog is updated regularly with some really interesting posts. The section “Policies” will bring you information regarding the company policy on different matters like, shipping of products, return and the terms of use. The page “History” had really drawn my attention as it takes you back to the time when the need of nutrition supplements was realized and they were formulated first.

 

As far as the usability of the website is concerned, the website is well equipped with a number of links everywhere making the navigation really easy for the user. A product can be easily searched by typing its name on the search bar. Popular products block displays some of their widely accepted supplements like threelac, cellfood, collostrum etc. Threelac, as we know, is quite effective in treating Candida yeast infections like thrush. The products are nicely categorized by their applications and usage which comes under “category” menu. Clicking on a particular category will display the items coming under the chosen category. They have also added a note for their customers that they should consult a physician before taking the supplements, which appears right on the homepage.

 

Overall, the http://www.newlifevitamins.com/ is definitely worth your visit. The only thing I would recommend that they should move the social fan page widget to the first fold so that people impressed with content can easily like it for updates to get regular updates.

Americanrepro – A good, impressive professional package!!

Posted by on August 22, 2012 | Comments

The website belongs to Orlando based printing company that offers color printing services to thousands of customers. The importance of printing services in making promotional products for advertising a business has been accepted by one and all. The company specializes in large format printing which is used in printing flyers, banners etc. The quality service provided by the company has helped many enterprises succeed in their marketing campaign. It also provides printing solutions for your marketing campaign like, printing of postcards, informative booklets, pamphlets, brochures etc.

 

The website can be easily searched on the internet by search terms, “Large Format Printing Orlando”, “Flyer Printing Orlando” or “Banner Printing Orlando”. The website has been designed in a very systematic manner and it reflects that essential professional look and feel. The Web Pages have great content and exclusive images. Navigation is really easy making any user to use the facilities on the website without any hassle. The website has an aesthetic feel with appropriate usage of colors and graphics.

 

A small introduction to the company is provided on the bottom right side of the homepage which very well highlights the capabilities and competence of the company in delivering their services. The website has tools that will help you find right solution in printing and color copy. This helps you to make informed decisions when looking for printing solutions. Customer testimonials can be viewed on the homepage which is clearly a great marketing tactic as the section has all positive feedbacks which will help the company put a good impression on the first time comers.

 

Services menu displays the services offered by the company classified in different categories. So, if you are looking for a service then look for it in the category list and clicking on the link will take you to the page where the services coming under that category will be displayed with complete information. For example, if you click on “promotional products” link, you will land on a page where different kinds of promotional products will be displayed like, key chains, mugs etc. The company specializes in making personalized products for a brand or event promotion.

 

Equipment section gives you information about the latest and up-to-date printing equipment used by the company. A brief introduction of the equipment has been included in the section. Also added are, the pictures of the tools and how they are used in delivering quality services at affordable prices. “Career” page gives any interested individual about the career opportunities in the company. Employment application can also be downloaded from the website itself. The company also offers online services to its clients.

 

It has some real quality content which acts like a source to fetch valuable information on printing technologies. However, they should consider adding a blog section as it can work wonders to it.

 

In short, the website http://www.americanrepro.com/ stands great on quality standards and it speaks only about business. It is quite engaging and interactive. You’ll definitely find yourself hooked to it for sure.

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