Important: Top 5 Emerging Banking Trends in 2017 You Must Know

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Source: livemint.com

The year 2016 was a turbulent and path-bearer one for the banks, stock markets and NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Institutions). First the Brexit announcement in the middle of the year and then the dual co-incidence of Donald Trump’s victory followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization scheme – have affected the banking industry to a certain extent for sure.

In November, once the Demonetisation decision of the old notes of higher denominations of 500 and 1000 INR was announced, people immediately went frenzy. The banks were instantly flooded with the currency notes of 500 and 1000 INR as both currency notes ceased to remain a legal tender anymore.

These two notes constituted around 85% of the nation’s currency in circulation, so after the demonetization decision, a nation-wide cash crunch situation ensued. It was further aggravated due to long queues at banks branches and ATMs followed by the limit on cash withdrawals from bank accounts.

Banks are overburdened with liquid cash now and they have to put them for investment purposes and productive uses. Some major banking trends are ready to take place in the coming days. However, the scene will actually become crystal clear only after the union budget 2017.

Upcoming Banking Trends 2017

  • Entry of Payment Banks: Many new banks are expected to launch in the coming year. Around 10 small finance banks and eight payment banks will be launched very soon in 2017. Airtel Payments bank has already started its operation in Rajasthan, and it will soon begin its nation-wide operation too. Currently, it offers 7.25% interest rate on saving accounts (against normal 4% offered by other banks).
  • More Loans and Advances: With the banks obtaining an enormous pool of surplus money in the form of deposits, there is no doubt that the New Year will see a sharp rise in loans and advances by the private and public sector banks. Though private sector banks are more liberal towards offering loans, but after demonetization, public sector banks will also start giving more loans to customers with fewer paper works, formalities and processing time.
  • Promotion of Electronic wallets: For transaction purposes, people will now get their electronic wallets linked to bank accounts for smoother transactions. Mobile apps and e-wallets like paytm and freecharge will get a massive boost in 2017. People will keep lesser cash in their pockets and may pay more via paytm and other apps.
  • The Merger of SBI and associates: Next year, India’s largest bank – the SBI (State Bank of India) and its five associates might merge for easier banking operation and more flexibility. This will empower the SBI and its associates to take greater risk and offer more loans to customers.
  • Changing Trends in Microfinance Industry: India’s Rs. 60,000 plus microfinance industry will get a complete makeover soon. These micro financial institutions mostly do their transactions on a cash basis but after the Modi’s demonetisaion announcement they will move towards cheque and bank transfer for transaction purposes. Advancement of loans and their repayments are also expected to go paperless. MFIs are shifting towards offering payment via mobile apps and bank transfer. This will keep the customers in the loop and prevent further bad debt and cheating.

Though people are expected to be largely benefitted by such expected banking trends in 2017, but only the time will reveal the actual benefits of these banking trends for customers in reality.

Digital Locker: Features & Utility at a Glance

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The government of India is all set to digitalize the country, and promote the same throughout India. Initiating the concept of a digital locker in India is one of such initiatives. It was launched with a purpose to offer a secure platform to Indians to store and access their valuable documents on an electronic repository offered by the government of India.

The basic objective of the scheme is to make the country digitally literate and let the people keep their important documents and papers on an electronic medium. The government of India had also integrated the scheme with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways so that more and more people can take advantage of the digital locker system by storing the digital version of their driving license and other vehicle documents on the DigiLocker. They can then easily roam throughout India carrying a soft copy of the same with themselves when driving.

Until now, more than 2 million have already registered with the DigiLocker as its registered users. However, in comparison to country’s humongous population, the figure is actually very less. So creating awareness of the people about Digital Locker is the need of the hour.

Top 6 Facts of DigiLocker That you must know

  •  DigiLocker scheme was launched by Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India a few months back.
  • Important documents such as University Degrees, Driving License and Marksheets could be saved electronically on DigiLocker.
  • Maharashtra is the state with a maximum number of users using Digital Locker facility.
  • A user can use up to 10MB space to store his personal documents in it. The Government is in talk with the Google and other IT firms to enhance the limit up to 1GB space in the near future.
  • Many educational bodies including CBSE and other state boards are planning to release results online to promote the use of digital lockers.
  • Aadhaar card is mandatory to use the enhanced features of the digital locker facility. However, some reports suggest that basic work can be done on digital locker without Aadhaar card too.

Why Too Many People Not Using Digital Locker Facility

Everything has its reasons. For the first time ever India is going digital and there is no doubt that many people will have some doubts about it before accepting it as a part of life. Similar things happened in the late 90s when the computer was making its entry into human life – many people vehemently opposed the idea then.

The government should come forward and let the people of the nation know its advantages and disadvantages. The whole concept of digital locker needs some more clarity too.

  • Most of the people are not fully sure whether they require Aadhaar Card only to get access to the facility or can it be accessed through other valid photo Id cards as well.
  • Privacy is a major concern. What will happen if someone hacks into your digital locker and tamper with your documents?
  • Not everybody has a computer to access to the DigiLocker facility.
  • It’s still not clear that how a user can link his state government locker to that of central government locker and vice versa.
  • The government’s DigiLocker website is still in its Beta version now.

Whatsoever, the digitalization process has already begun in India and it’s just a matter of time when the concept of the digital locker will become a talk of the city and villages considering its enormous advantages and massive benefits.

Top 6 Reasons Why Weighted Blankets are Healthy for You

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We are well aware of the utility of blankets in winter season. But people mostly use them to stay warm. However, in the last few years, the use of weighted blankets has become an essential part of our lives. Weighted blankets will not only keep you warm but also pacify your moods to a large extent.

What’s more special is the fact that weighted blankets are equally beneficial for every one of us. Whether you are a child, middle aged man or an old person, weighted blanket acts as a panacea to cure your psychological pains while protecting you from chilly winter too.

It has also proved to be extremely helpful to correct the mental imbalances in children who are affected due to autism, sensory disorders and other mental problems. These blankets actually provide deep pressure touch receptor from head to toe letting the body loose free. It makes a person feel secured, relaxed and tension free.

Benefits of using bulky and thick blankets at a glance

  1. It distributes weights evenly through the plastic poly pellets throughout the blanket prompting a good 8-hour sleep for the person using such a blanket.
  2. Thick blankets act as a boon for the Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) children to sleep well while enhancing their concentration levels.
  3. Thick blankets don’t have toxic Hypo–allergenic materials so it’s completely safe for everyone to use. It can be washed and air dry as well unlike other blankets.
  4. People with high level of anxiety and increased blood pressure find thick blankets as one of the easiest remedies to stay calm and cool. Once a person rests on the blanket, he tends to feel much relaxed and rejuvenated in the morning.
  5. The extra thickness on the blanket prompts the brain to release neurotransmitters such as Serotonin and Dopamine which correct a person’s mood and soothes his minds.
  6. The use of weighted blankets inserts a greater pressure to the joints, muscles and ligaments letting the central nervous system to function better. The therapeutic usage of such blankets is now recommended by doctors also across many places.

How It Works?

According to the latest research, a good sleep is essential to improve people’s productivity and duration of sleep. Therefore, weighted blankets help a person to cure his or her insomnia easily without any extra medicines.

The National Institute of Mental Health, has recently stated that more than 35 million adults in the US are suffering from anxiety disorder and other mental disturbances. Be it on the issue of a relationship, normal life, and ability to stay take things positively while keeping oneself calm and cool is the need of the hour. That’s when the role of thick blankets comes to play. You can use such blankets alongside meditation and yoga to derive greater advantages.

This winter, make thick blankets a part of your life. With constant use of Wi-Fi, modem and other digital gadgets we become an easy prey of stress, tension and enhanced level of anxiety. Therefore, a solid 8-hour slumber is necessary, and a use of thick blankets helps us in achieving the same.

Top 5 Christmas card Video Apps

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The celebration time has just begun. With hardly a few hours to go before the gala celebration of Merry Xmas, most of the people will be looking forward to a suitable medium to convey their best wishes to near and dear ones. That’s when the role of Christmas video card apps assumes big importance.

It’s apparently impossible to send personal greetings to everyone you know. Obviously, distance gap and time factor won’t let you do so. But using high-quality apps will make feel almost being a part of Christmas celebration even if you are residing at some far-flung places where yuletide is not that much popular. Moreover, you can start using this beautiful Christmas video card app instantly after downloading the same on your smartphone.

  • Jibjab: If you are really looking for a cool Christmas video card app then you can’t miss it out. This app introduces you to a lot of amazing Christmas e-greetings video card such as ‘Twinkle all the way’, ‘Santa’s Twerk Shop’ and ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ among many others. Also the app will let you send several e-greeting to your friends and near and dear ones using a single click. This app works on several OS including the Android and iOS.
  • Twelve (12) Days of Christmas: This is a fun app with lots of animations, original Christmas carols and colorful wallpapers. Another feature of the app is its special function allowing users to easily record their celebration video and audio while singing. A user can also easily share these videos among his friends and family members. The Christmas card video app works best on iOS and Iphones.
  • Red Stamp Card App: With Xmas round the corner, your hands might be itching to send Christmas greeting to your friends and chums. This app empowers you to instantly create greeting cards and customize the same from your Android or iOS. The app also allows you to convey your message to them within a fraction of seconds.
  • NORAD Santa Tracker: This app helps you know more about Santa Claus and related folks associated with Christmas. This app will also let you track Santa’s flight as the countdown for the same has already started. You can also play video games using this app and explore some other interesting Christmas-themed videos. You can download Norad’s Santa tracker for iOS and Android.
  • Elf Adventure Christmas: The Elf Adventureapp introduces you to a new exciting mini game every day unlocking a part of the story with every use. Each of the games will have an objective to awaken a white sleeping man for an exciting chilly winter with lots of snowflakes and cold breeze all around. Guys you can use this Christmas card video app on Android and iOS. It’s available free to download. Don’t miss it.

This holiday season; don’t deprive yourself from all the Christmas fun that you should enjoy with your friends and buddies. Using Christmas card video apps you could actually make it a more wonderful celebration altogether. So what are you waiting for? Download a Christmas card video app now and unlock the happiness for a happy and frenzied Christmas.

Demonetization in Venezuela Vs India

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The Latin American country, Venezuela, has tried to ape India’s nation-wide note ban decision, but it had backfired badly following which President Nicolas Maduro was forced to postpone the entire decision until January 2 next month. The Venezuelan government took the decision last week on December 12, following which 100-bolivar note was ceased to be a legal tender.

But the sudden decision was bound to have violent repercussion in one of the world’s most violent countries. It led to massive protest across the streets of Caracas and other cities messed up further by violent protests and complete chaos. The decision was abruptly taken leaving the entire nation of around 32-million people in a state of complete shock, anger and despair. However, the government had now postponed the decision as of now to prevent further law and order mess in the country.

The Venezuelan President confirmed that 100-Bolivar bills will remain a legal tender as of now. However, the international borders with neighboring Columbia and Brazil would stay closed to prevent hoarding of Venezuelan cash by black money hoarders.

Maduro further alleged that these mafias are in touch with the US to destabilize the country. Currently, Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation rate of around 475% according to the IMF. The 100-bolivar demonetization was planned to curb the high prevailing level of inflation in the nation.

The people of Venezuela stood in long lines at banks for hours together to meet a Friday deadline to exchange their 100-Bolivar currency notes. Even when the deadline was extended, people still queued up at Banks out of fear psychosis and to get rid away from the demonetized currency at the earliest. According to government estimates, a lot of shops and shopping malls were looted and several people injured in violent clashes after the Venezuelan government’s sudden demonetization move.

Demonetization in India & Venezuela: A Comparison Study

Interestingly, in the context of India, common people stood by the government’s decision and demonstrated overwhelming support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • In India, 500 & 1000 INR notes constitute around 86% of the currency in circulation, but in Venezuela 100-Bolivar note forms just 48 % of the total currency in circulation.
  • The Indian government gave around 50-day time limit to people to get their 500 & 1000 rupees note exchanged at the banks and post office with the amount of same values at different denominations, but Venezuela gave just 10 days for the people to deposit their demonetized 100-Bolivar notes at Banks. However, the entire decision was postponed later.
  • India demonetized notes of higher denomination of 500 & 1000 INR to tackle the problems of corruption and terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan, but Venezuela took the decision to curb the rising problems of international gangs and drug racketeers who hoard Venezuelan currency notes abroad to sell the same at subsidized rates in Columbia and neighboring areas.
  • The Venezuelan government was forced to postpone the decision since people went on a rampage across streets inciting violence, In India, Modi government didn’t backtrack albeit with considerable inconvenience to people. However, the level of violence in India is far lesser as compared to Venezuela after demonetization move.
  • In India, opposition parties and some of the people termed the move as a good decision coupled with bad execution, but in Venezuela, people are extremely furious with so little deadline given to them to get their demonetized notes exchanged at banks.