Category: Finance

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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Keyrs – A Key of your equity problem

Posted by on August 13, 2012 | Comments

Ongoing payment with a fixed total annual amount is called annuity. In general, annuities have never been admired by financial advisers. Equity release enables you to release the cash united with your property, without any monthly repayments. In the UK market, there are different types of equity release schemes available with their own benefits and drawbacks. Before going to draw any conclusion, it’s good to seek expert equity release advice on distinct plans. “Key retirement solution” is one of the best equity release specialists in UK. http://www.keyrs.co.uk/ is the professional website of key retirement solutions for a quick and hassle-free result. They will search the complete market to find better rates than your present provider.

One can enjoy the free initial appointment of key’s equity release advisers within the comfort of your home. By an appointment, you can know more on equity release and how does it work. They can help you understand how to reduce your estate value. You can increase your retirement income by over 120%, through their expert advice. Their advisors assist you to turn your retirement fund into a higher-income pension jar for life. And the best thing is without any cost you can enjoy this service; as they receive payment from the provider chosen by you. Based on your health and lifestyle, they can search for a better pension scheme to see whether you are succeeding or not, for a higher income. As per your need, they can give you all the information to choose the right “Pension Annuity.” They can provide exclusive offers like cash back, no upfront fees and low interest rate. If you are deciding equity release as your next financial move, it is always a better thought to know different types of equity release schemes. You can do this either through this website or by requesting a free equity release guide.

As far as the website is concerned, it’s fast, simple and informative. All the necessary tabs are present in the home page like; introductory paragraph, offers, awards, and latest news. The top-most frame reflects the quality of the website. There is a “service tool” kit section where anybody can quickly find their exact requirement. Every links are intelligently placed on the page. I am touched by the “In touch” online magazine, and it has published 33 issues, until now. Another section is there, which asks you to follow them in a lot of social-networking sites. The website is giving one more facility that; Visitors can use their free online calculator to see how much extra they could get. By the customer reviews it is rated 9.8 out of 10.

The company is an independent advisor, and they have won over 35 industry awards, which are a great achievement in its own. They advise on the safe home income plan (SHIP) approved schemes. All their advisors are trained by an extensive training program accredited by the Institute of Financial Services’ School of Finance. The world of pensions can be complex, but you can make it simple with your right decision.

Instant Loans Direct – Provides a Real Short Term Solution to Your Economic Struggles

Posted by on August 13, 2012 | Comments

Good news for all people living in UK and those who are looking for instant payday loans, here is your solution – visit to www.instantloansdirect.co.uk. Nowadays, expenditures go higher than income and you often need extra money in middle of the month for numerous reasons. At that crucial time, payday loans will come to your rescue in overcoming these financial problems. These loans are made available in a very short timeframe typically within 24 hours of applying this is really needed in crisis situations.

Payday loans UK will help you with the financial help you need even though many companies have turned down your loan application that happens when your credit rating is not so good due to some bad credit history. I find this payday loan process very easy and hassle free to apply. You do not need to wait long to get your loan approved and disbursed, they really process it fast. If you want to apply, all you need to do is just log on to www.instantloansdirect.co.uk; it only takes one to two business days from start to finish and your cash is in your hand. However, there are some minimum qualifications that need to be met in order to get payday loan approved such as you should be over 18 years, should be living in UK, have bank account here and you must be getting a regular income at least £750 per calendar month. To know more about the procedure and requirements, you can get more facts at www.instantloansdirect.co.uk.

Instant Loans Direct understands yours short-term cash requirement that’s why they have made this process so easy, you just need to fill up an application form and you can get an instant payday loan approval and most importantly, you will get directly deposit of your payday loan funds into your bank account. I have to say, this process is as faster as you can think of it. If you have any doubts or need additional information then there is an email support which is 24/7 available.

As far as this website’s design and look is concerned, I would say, it’s a decent website, but probably not up to my expectation. An issue what I see here is that there are so many things on homepage which makes it look, much cluttered. Also, I didn’t like much the colours/font they used on the web pages which could have been made more appealing to the site visitor/prospective customers. Now let me talk about what I liked most is their FAQ section, this is surely useful especially for the first time customers and interestingly, you can also compare here between Instant Loans Direct and other payday loan lenders and make your decision from where you want to avail your payday loan from.

Although, Instant Loans Direct is relatively new in this business, however they have grown rapidly recently. They assure you that there will be no hidden costs or charges whatsoever as they believe in full transparency and fairness. They disclose every bit of information upfront of you. If take a loan via Instant Loans Direct, you will find how convenient it would be getting payday loan.

Instant Loans Direct believes payday loan provides a real short term solution to your economic struggles, that’s why they offer you online payday loans. This is easy and quick money to take care of your immediate financial needs before you get your pay check. Moreover, their interest rates are so reasonable. Now you no longer have to worry about any untimely expenses that may come.

Mahnke Consulting – Caters to Small and Medium Size Contractors

Posted by on August 1, 2012 | Comments

www.mahnkeconsulting.com is the official web page of the consultant company, Mahnke consulting. The company is well known for its administrative consultation services to USG-funded programs. The company saw the daylight in the year 1999 and since its inception; they have been doing impressive job in the field of CPSR and DCAA Audit. The company mainly caters to small and medium size contractors who do not have enough resources to handle big projects. Mahnkeconsulting.com comes helps them in dealing with a project. They offer valuable suggestion at each stage of the project right from project cost accounting, procurement, Incurred Cost Submission, contract administration to customer audits. Their consultants implement the acquired skills received from big firms in the projects dealt by smaller contractors to fit their smaller budget efficiently.

The website appeared very simple to me as there is hardly any usage of graphics or colors. The website only serves the purpose of a medium to provide information related to their consultation services. The introduction to the company has been given under two different headers. First is the “Company profile” that tell us about the company and the second is “our website” which defines the purpose of the website. There are of six menus on the left of the homepage. Homepage looks neat with only a few contents and the menus. However, I really didn’t find any attractor that would bind your attention. It may appear to you like a text book.

However, the website downloads fast since there is not much display of photos or graphics. All menus are strategically placed and they can be easily found. Also, the links are provided in each and every page to help you navigate through the website easily. All menus, buttons and links are working fine which has made navigation really easier. There are no broken links and all the pages are in tandem with each other. Logo of the firm appears right on the top left of the homepage which gives the knowledge whose website it is and what it has to offer. All landing pages are well connected to one another via links.

Content wise, I liked the “principal” page which basically gives the bio data of the company head Linda Mahnke, her professional accomplishments and work experience in the field of CPA. “Training” page gives information about the various training programs imparted by the firm. I liked the page “Resources” as it almost like an ocean of valuable information for new entrepreneurs. Resources page has several useful external links. The content which makes me appreciable is “budgeting in a job cost environment”, where every aspect of job costing has been covered nicely. I would recommend them to bring all the links appearing on the top of “Resources” page on the top of the homepage. I would also like them to add a blog section and a social networking block for the customers to connect with the company.

In simple words, the website is an average player in the lot of thousand other websites.

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RedChip – Red chip stocks, both Micro Cap Stocks and Small Cap Stocks

Posted by on July 31, 2012 | Comments

Phew!!! This time the site which has come across my way and which I am about to review might interest a lot of you guys out there but let me tell you – the very first look left me bamboozled. Before I move on to the review, just a brief glance on what the site http://www.redchip.com/ is all about. Confused by the name, eh? I was too!! Although a very simple name but with a very different meaning – something that only business tycoons could associate themselves with. Technically speaking, a Red Chip is a concern founded in Mainland China and is incorporated globally besides being enlisted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Red chip stocks, both Micro Cap Stocks and Small Cap Stocks, have to meet the requirements laid down by the HKSE, which gives them the shape of a major channel for overseas investors desirous of chipping in the swift development of the Chinese economy.

Now, as I was surfing through the homepage of this site, I noticed a very confusing yet interesting line – “Discovering Tomorrow’s Blue Chips Today.” This simply represents the motto of the company- implying the nurturing of small companies into large multi-functional ones. RedChip Companies was founded way back in 1992 as a Small Cap Stock Research firm, but over the years it has progressed into a fully fledged PR firm with hundreds on NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX stocks as its clientele.

With offices spread over different nations and a robust group of employees, this company provides a large number of services beginning from writing press releases to Research reports, telemarketing and Top Stock Picks. Also, the business has a quite strong SNS integration and provides services like Video Podcasts and Internet TV.

Coming to the website, looks a little clumsy despite the professional look. The site has a pretty simple three-column layout with a video in the centre and reports and new beneath it. The right side of the screen is filled up with ads, tweets and some other links. Not much use of colors has been made and the site looks pretty boring – so you can’t expect much traffic from casual visitors.
Navigation is pretty simple yet confusing with very small menus and a lot of options. The site is littered with a lot of unnecessary ads and links and on browsing carefully you’ll notice a couple of graphics inserted on almost every page. The site takes a lot of time to load on an average connection – owing to the fact that there are so many pages bundled together.

The site has a lot of content all over it and most of it is meant only for people involved in stocks – for the rest it is absolutely confusing. Overall, this is a website that you’ll love if you are into stocks and shares and are looking for some necessary help. A 8 on 10 for this one.

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Trustdeedscotland – Could deal with your debts!!

Posted by on July 25, 2012 | Comments

If you are caught in financial crisis and worrying about debts repayment, this is just the right place for you. The logo trustdeedscotland.net appears right on the top left which lets one know whose site it is and what it has to offer. Well, the site http://www.trustdeedscotland.co.uk/ is especially for Scottish people who are financially struggling with debts. This is their official page to let people know anything and everything about their service. They help people to deal with their debts with the help of government legislation.

One look and you know how well the website has been thought out, designed and laid out. The website can be found easily on the internet by the search terms “trust deed” or “trust deeds”. The Homepage downloads fast and it’s compatible to all the known browsers. Homepage of Scottish Trust Deeds is content rich giving too many information under the header “Top common questions”. The questions and answers are definitely like an eye opener with so much information on the matter. However, I found the homepage look a bit cluttered. One has to scroll down and down to go read the entire thing. They could have involved the details in a separate “FAQ” section. But, the content is definitely of high quality and truly justifies with the subject. Also, a social networking block is missing. On the plus side, one good thing to notice is that they have provided direct links in all the pages which are very well visible to the user. The format is easy with font size of the texts is large enough to be readable.

There isn’t any usage of flashy colours, photos or texts for displays unlike other sites. There is a menu called “What is trust deed?” on the homepage, which takes one to the webpage that explains how they do their job. I also liked the trust deed wizard which can show you results on if you’ll be relieved form the debts within the next 36 months or not. It is a kind of calculator using which one can check if he or she is eligible to avail the services. This feature is like an attractor which would prompt anyone to use it. Contact phone numbers of their different branches have been given on the top right.

In short, the site is a good package with almost all the necessary features to see. All the pages are well laid out and rich in quality content. The site is interactive and creates a feeling of looking for more in the website. The main USP of the company has been well conveyed to the user through the site. The site has everything that a prospect would look for and also love to come back for more.

There are no such undesirable pop up messages and ads to drive your attention away from the subject. The website has the potential to attract users and I’ll score it 4 out of 5. Few changes have to be made as mentioned above to make it even better.

Trustdeedscotland – Almost perfect!!

Posted by on July 25, 2012 | Comments

The website is to rescue all Scottish people who are facing financial crisis and have no clue about how to repay their debts. The site http://www.trustdeedscotland.net/ belongs to Scottish trust deeds, an organisation that provides financial remedial action utilising government legislation. Their main objective is to bail out people, who are struggling with their finances to repay the debts. This is their official web page that gives every required information on the process involved. The website can be easily found on the internet by the keywords “Trust Deed” or “Trust Deeds”.

The website is quite interactive with a series of question displayed right on the homepage down below. All you have got to do is to click on the links to land on the answer pages. The questions are quite common to strike any individual visiting the site and are answered convincingly. A user can also ask questions regarding their services and for that, one requires to fill the necessary details like name, age etc. to post a question. A trust deed wizard is right on the homepage which allows a person to know if he is eligible to avail trust deeds Scotland services or not. All these features make the website interesting and interactive. The website has the ability to keep the user engaged and makes him want to look for more. One thing that I really didn’t like is the presence of too much content on the homepage. The amount of content is definitely not digestible at all. Instead, they should have included the questions in their FAQ page.

Content wise, I truly liked their FAQ and “latest news of trust deed” sections. Both the sections have some really quality content. The link “Apply for a trust deed” takes you to the page where enough guidance and help is given while applying for a trust deed Scotland. “Finding the debt solution” section deals with the factors which need to be assessed to find a debt solution that matches ones financial requirements. The website is properly planned and designed. Every single detail has been highlighted to give the desired information. The homepage downloads pretty fast with all the menus placed at the positions. There are links placed in every section all through the website and one can easily identify them without any need to search here and there.

The format of the website is easy and soothing to the eyes. Font size of the texts is large enough to be easily readable. The background colour is white goes with subject very well as it helps one to concentrate on the matter. The contact info is given right on the top right which may help a prospect to call and make enquiries. One more thing to be like about it is that there are no pop up messages and advertisements. The website scores decently on my standards and I would really not mind to come back here again. Only the above stated changes have to be made in order to make the space even more presentable.

Saveyourselfmoney – It is a good portal!!

Posted by on July 25, 2012 | Comments

One can find several finance companies that providing many different motor bike insurance schemes. Now it is important to note that the prices of the policies vary with different insurance providers. Cheap motorbike insurance is certainly desirable as a lower premium won’t eat into your budget. http://www.saveyourselfmoney.com/bike-insurance.aspx is the perfect space for one to do motorbike insurance comparison and identify the most suitable bike insurance from Save Yourself Money for you.

With the ongoing economical slowdown, it is certainly not at all desirable to go for an expensive motorbike insurance policy; the website seems to be like a breath of fresh air. The site belongs to the company, saveyourselfmoney. It is basically a website where one can compare different bike insurance policies. The site can be easily found on internet by the search terms “bike insurance compare” and “bike insurance quote”.

I, personally found the website very interactive as the button named “Compare deals” is displayed right on the homepage itself. All one needs to do is to click on the button to land on a page where one can get a quote by filling out necessary details. The introductory paragraph defines the main USP of the company. The site is rich in quality informative content. It is user friendly and has the potential to keep the user engaged. On clicking “View Product guide” button, takes you to a page that covers all necessary information on bike insurance buying. “View product guide” section deals with the things which need to be assessed to identify an ideal bike insurance deal that suits ones financial requirements. “Features” section deals with various aspects of insurance policies. The “latest news” section has interesting posts related to the field. The site surely leaves you with an urge to look for more. It also lets you know the maximum amount of premium that is easy on your pocket. However, I dearly missed a customer testimonial section on the home page. This is an essential feature that builds company’s trust among the new prospects. Also, there is no blog section which could have made the space even more interesting.

On the plus side, the website has many good features that make the visit useful and pleasant experience. The site is compatible to almost all major browsers available today. It is robust and the generated data are quite reliable. The format of the website is pleasing to the eyes and the texts are readable. There are no advertisements or flashy messages to take away your attention from the subject. The contact info is given on the top right of the homepage which may help a prospect to call and make enquiries.

In short, the website is a good insurance comparison portal with all the essential features that make a successful business web page. The website definitely scores high on the web design standards and I would really not mind to come back here again. Only steady efforts are required to make it even better.

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