Issue of Prepaid Forex Cards- Due Diligence and Adherence to KYC norms

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            In the recent past many banks have entered the arena of ‘prepaid foreign currency cards’. To increase the reach of their offerings, these cards are also made available through the network of Authorised Dealers/Full-fledged money changers.

             It has been brought to Reserve Bank of India  notice that some authorised dealers / full-fledged money changers may neither be exercising due diligence nor adhering to KYC norms while selling prepaid foreign currency cards (issued by a few select banks) to their customers.

Hence, Reserve Bank of India, vide Notification No RBI/2014-15/147 A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.14, dtJuly 25, 2014 has larified that prepaid foreign currency cards are a form of foreign currency, similar to foreign currency notes or travellers cheques.

As such, the authorised dealers/FFMCs selling pre-paid foreign currency cards for travel purposes are required to comply with the same rigorous standards of due diligence and KYC as they would in case they were selling foreign currency notes/ travellers cheques to their customers.

It is expected after this clarification that the KYC norms will be strictly complied while selling pre-paid foreign currency cards.

Mission Bengaluru Midnight Marathon 2014 activated

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After the resounding success of Bangalore Midnight Marathon 2013, the organizers are going to be back for the 2014 edition.

The preparations have begun, with the activation of the event on it’s website.

The top 10 facts of Bangalore Midnight Marathon 2014 are as under:

01)The title sponsor is State Bank of India

02)The event will be held on 13th December  2014

03)The organizers are Rotary Bangalore IT Corridor (RBITC).

04)The venue is at KTPO (Karnataka Trade Promotion Organization), Whitefield.

05)Milkha Singh is the Brand Ambassador

06) The online registrations open on 1st September 2014

07)The website has a fully functional help guide with chapters for Diet and Nutrition, Expert Advice, Join Workshop, Training Tips, Optional Hotel Packages

08)On registration, each runner will be allotted a Chest Number. This Chest Number has to be displayed while participation in the event.

09)Families and friends are encouraged to be part of the event day.

10)So register to run for a greater cause… Run for those who can’t.

The following are the exciting Race-day Events

  • COMMUNITY RELAY: Team of 5 members running 1km each, as a relay.
  • FUN RUN: The IT City Run, a flagship event of BMM is a 5 Km run packed with run.
  • 10K RUN: The 10k run is branded the dream run where the runners rub shoulders with the other enthusiasts and fitness ambassadors of the events.
  • HALF MARATHON: As the name suggests, this is half the distance of the full marathon.
  • FULL MARATHON: The marathon is a 42.195 kilometer race in the heart of the city’s famed IT section.
  • CORPORATE RELAY: Team of 8 (Men and/or Women) represent their companies by running 5kms each, as a relay.
  • WOMENS RELAY: Team of 8 Women members only running 5kms each, as a relay.

Cash on Delivery – India’s Gift to Amazon

 

            The Cash on Delivery is not a payment option in any Amazon eCommerce site, except India.

            In December 2013, through a tie up with India Post, Amazon added the Cash On Delivery payment method to its Payment Options.

            The model has been so successful that Amazon is planning to roll-out similar services in China and Japan. Yes, you have read it right, Amazon will offer Cash on Delivery in China and Japan.

            As an introductory offer, there is no additional service fee for Cash of Delivery.             Cash on Delivery is not yet available for all pin codes. This is due to limitations of courier services we use. However, in near future the same would be available for  all Indian Pin codes

The present Terms & Conditions of Cash on Delivery as displayed on the companies’ website are as under:

  • The payment option of Cash on Delivery is available only for all orders Fulfilled by Amazon and for certain Seller fulfilled orders.
  • Cash on Delivery can be used as payment method only for orders less than   50,000. The order value limit could be lower depending on the pin code of your address.
  • Convenience fees of   39 will be charged on orders placed using Cash on Delivery. However, for a limited period, no convenience fees will be charged on any orders placed using Cash on Delivery.
  • Cash on Delivery cannot be used to pay for orders containing a mix of seller fulfilled items and items Fulfilled by Amazon.
  • The order amount has to be paid in full before receiving the package and signing the delivery sheet. The package can be opened only after the payment is made.

Relaxation of Rules – Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 – Import of Rough, Cut and Polished Diamonds

As per A.P.(DIR Series) Circular No.59 dated May 6, 2011, in terms of which AD Category – I banks were permitted to approve Suppliers’ and Buyers’ Credit (Trade Credit), including the usance period of Letters of Credit for import of Rough, Cut and Polished Diamonds for a period not exceeding 90 days from the date of shipment.

In the recent past, representations have been made to Reserve Bank of India, by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council and Diamond importers that the Clean Credit i.e. credit given by a foreign supplier to its Indian customer/ buyer, without any Letter of Credit (Suppliers’ Credit) / Letter of Undertaking (Buyers’ Credit) / Fixed Deposits from any Indian financial institution for import of Rough, Cut and Polished Diamonds, may be permitted for a period not exceeding 180 days from the date of shipment.

RBI in consultation of Government of India has issued the necessary revised directions vide RBI Lr.No. RBI/2014-15/119 A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.2 dt.July 7, 2014.

The revised directions will come into force with immediate effect.

It is the responsibility of AD Category – I banks to  ensure that due diligence is undertaken and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) Norms and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Standards, issued by the Reserve Bank are adhered to while undertaking the import transactions.

Further, any large or abnormal increase in the volume of business should be closely examined to ensure that the transactions are bonafide. RBI has also clarified that all other instructions relating to imports of Rough, Cut and Polished Diamonds shall continue.

The move is expected to benefit a large number of medium Gem importers.

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