Axis Bank has launched a new entry-level credit card named Axis ACE Credit Card, with a focus on increasing participation of users in the digital economy. It also aims to bring a seamless, digital experience to users from application to issuance. The card has been launched in collaboration with Google Pay and will run on Visa (Signature) platform.

The tokenization feature has been enabled in partnership with Visa. This will allow the users of Google Pay to use their ACE Credit Card to make payments through a secure digital token attached to their phone without the need to share their card details physically.

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Eligibility Criteria

Currently, Axis Bank ACE Credit Card is available to only select customers of Google Pay. However one can apply online for this credit card on Axis Bank website too. Click on the button below to apply for Axis Bank ACE Credit Card.

Axis Bank ACE Credit Card comes with the following fees:

  • Joining fee: Rs. 499 + GST
  • Renewal fee: Rs. 499 + GST
  • Joining fee is reversed upon spending Rs. 10,000 within 45 days of card setup which seems quite reasonable. The renewal fee is also waived off on achieving an annual spend of Rs. 2 Lakhs.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Axis Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Axis Bank MD and CEO: Amitabh Chaudhry.

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The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India met on 7th, 8th and 9th October for its third meeting of 2020-21. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das has announced crucial policy decisions at the Bank’s 3rd bi-monthly monetary policy.

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On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at its meeting decided to:

  • The repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) has been kept unchanged at 4.00%.
  • The reverse repo rate under the LAF has been kept unchanged at 3.35%.
  • The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate have been kept unchanged at 4.25%.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will introduce on-tap targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) for banks to borrow up to Rs 1 trillion from the window and invest in corporate bonds and other debt instruments of certain sectors. The on-tap TLTROs will have tenors of up to three years at a floating rate linked to the policy repo rate and the scheme will be available up to 31 March 2021. 
  • Real GDP growth is expected to be negative. The RBI’s MPC has pegged the real GDP growth for FY21 to contract by 9.5%.

About Monetary policy:

What is Monetary policy?

Monetary Policy is the central bank’s policy which uses the monetary instruments like Repo rate, Reverse repo rate, Liquidity Adjustment Facility and many others, to achieve the goals stated in the Act. In India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been given the responsibility of conducting monetary policy as mandated under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

Objectives of monetary policy?

  • The monetary policy has the prime objective of maintaining the price stability in India along with the objective of growth. Price stability is stated as a necessary precondition to achieve sustainable growth.
  • The Reserve Bank of India is also given the task of flexible inflation targeting framework along with the Government of India as per the amendment in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934 which was done in May 2016. This is done once every five years.
  • Government of India has notified the 4 per cent Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation as the target for the period from August 5, 2016, to March 31, 2021, in the Official Gazette. The target is started with the upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent and the lower tolerance limit of 2 per cent.

The Monetary Policy Framework:

The amendment in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934 provides the Reserve Bank of India a legislative mandate to operate the monetary policy framework of the country. This framework aims to set the policy (repo) rate after the assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, and modulation of liquidity conditions to anchor money market rates at or around the repo rate.

What is the Composition of the Monetary Policy Committee?

The Central Government has constituted the six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) in September 2016, according to Section 45ZB of the amended RBI Act, 1934.

The composition of the Monetary Policy Committee is as follows:

  1. Governor of the Reserve Bank of India – Chairperson, ex officio: Shri Shaktikanta Das
  2. Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, in charge of Monetary Policy– Member, ex officio: Dr Michael Debabrata Patra
  3. One officer of the Reserve Bank of India to be nominated by the Central Board – Member, ex officio: Dr Mridul K. Saggar.
  4. A professor at the Mumbai-based Indira Gandhi Institute of Developmental Research: Prof. Ashima Goyal.
  5. A professor of finance at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad: Prof. Jayanth R Varma
  6. An agricultural economist and a senior adviser with the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi: Dr Shashanka Bhide.

Some important instruments of Monetary Policy:

The RBI’s Monetary Policy has several direct and indirect instruments which are used for implementing the monetary policy. Some important instruments of Monetary Policy are as follows:

  • Repo Rate: It is the (fixed) interest rate at which banks can borrow overnight liquidity from the Reserve Bank of India against the collateral of government and other approved securities under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF).
  • Reverse Repo Rate: It is the (fixed) interest rate at which the Reserve Bank of India can absorb liquidity from banks on an overnight basis, against the collateral of eligible government securities under the LAF.
  • Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF): The LAF has overnight as well as term repo auctions under it. The term repo helps in the development of the inter-bank term money market. This market sets the benchmarks for pricing of loans and deposits. This helps in improving the transmission of monetary policy. As per the evolving market conditions, the Reserve Bank of India also conducts variable interest rate reverse repo auctions.
  • Marginal Standing Facility (MSF): MSF is a provision which enables the scheduled commercial banks to borrow an additional amount of overnight money from the Reserve Bank of India. Bank can do this by dipping into their Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) portfolio up to a limit at a penal rate of interest. This helps the banks to sustain the unanticipated liquidity shocks faced by them.

Accommodative stance of RBI’s Monetary Policy Statement:

The MPC also decided to continue with the accommodative stance as long as it is necessary to revive growth and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target going forward

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikanta Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

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Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has launched ”MSME Prerana”, an online business mentoring programme for MSMEs by state-run Indian Bank. The programme, to be made available in local languages, is aimed at empowering entrepreneurs through skill development and capacity building workshops.

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Important points of the Initiative:

  • Indian Bank has taken an out-of-the-box initiative in launching MSME Prerana which will handhold the entrepreneurs through a mentoring program.
  • The initiative is in collaboration with Poornatha & Co, a firm that designs entrepreneurial development programs in vernacular languages using online web-based interactive sessions and case studies.
  • MSME Prerana will bridge the gap in business skills as well as communication & Human Resource (HR) by providing inputs in simple terms and in the local vernacular.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • On April 1, 2020, Allahabad Bank amalgamated with Indian Bank.
  • Indian Bank MD and CEO: Padmaja Chunduru.
  • The tagline of Indian Bank: Your Own Bank.

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ICICI Bank has launched a debit card facility for the customers availing the Loan Against Securities (LAS) from the Bank. The debit card is available on the Visa platform. With this launch, ICICI Bank has become the first bank in India to launch such a facility.

The LAS debit can be used by customers across all domestic merchant establishments to make seamless POS and online transactions like payments on e-commerce portals among others, using their sanctioned LAS amount.

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Benefits of the debit card:

  • Transaction limit: The card offers a maximum daily transaction limit of Rs. 3 lakh each for POS and online transactions.
  • Digital card: The Bank provides a digital card to customers, which is made available on iMobile app within one business day. (Physical card will be made available within seven business days.)
  • Automatic renewal: The card is automatically renewed upon renewal of the LAS account.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • CICI Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • ICICI Bank MD & CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi.
  • ICICI Bank Tagline: Hum Hai Na, Khayal Apka.

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The Government of India has appointed three new economists as members of the six-member rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The government had formed a committee for selection of these three new members of MPC. This search-cum-selection committee for MPC was headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj.

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The new members are:

  • Prof. Ashima Goyal, a professor at the Mumbai-based Indira Gandhi Institute of Developmental Research
  • Prof. Jayanth R Varma, a professor of finance at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad
  • Dr. Shashanka Bhide, an agricultural economist and a senior adviser with the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi

About Monetary Policy Committee

  • MPC committee of RBI comprises six members which include three officials of the Reserve Bank of India and three external members nominated by the Government of India.
  • The three members from RBI Side are Dr. Mridul K. Saggar, Dr. Michael Debabrata Patra and Shri Shaktikanta Das.
  • Governor of RBI is the Ex-Officio Chairman of MPC.
  • They replace the three previous external MPC candidates, Chetan Ghate, Ravindra Dholakia and Pami Dua, whose terms expired with the last policy meeting in August 2020.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has deferred implementation of provisions made under Basel III capital due to uncertainty related to COVID crisis. In this regard, RBI will repel the final tranche of the capital conservation buffer (CCB) and the implementation of net stable funding ratio (NSFR) by six months i.e. April 1, 2021.

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About Capital Conservation Buffer:

The capital conservation buffer is an additional pool that banks build in normal times for its use during periods of stress. The RBI had asked banks to build up the capital conservation buffer to the required 2.5% in stages. The last stage of 0.625% was to start on Sept. 30, 2020. This has now been deferred to April 1, 2021. The RBI had earlier deferred the implementation by six months from March 31, 2020.

About Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR):

The net stable funding ratio requires banks to fund their activities with sufficiently stable sources of funding over a time of a year to reduce future funding risk for banks. As per the prescribed timeline, banks were required to maintain NSFR of 100% from April 1, 2020 but now this deferred it for a second time to April 1, 2021.

RBI increased the timeline for additional market borrowing provided to states/UTs by 6 months

  • In April 2020, RBI increased the Ways and Means Advances (WMA) Limits and overdraft (OD) regulations for states and Union Territories (UTs) to provide additional flexibility for dealing with the Covid-19 crisis until September 30, 2020.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has set the limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for the second half of the financial year 2020-21 (October 2020 to March 2021) for Central Government at Rs. 1,25,000 crore.
  • The Reserve Bank will trigger fresh floatation of market loans when the Government of India utilizes 75% of the WMA limit.
  • Now to further aid the state governments from financial problems, RBI extended this timeline by six months i.e. till March 31, 2021.
  • Notably, RBI decided to increase the number of days for which a state/ UT can be in overdraft continuously to 21 working days from 14.
  • Also, the number of days for which a state/ UT can be in overdraft in a quarter was increased to 50 working days from 36.

RBI extends enhanced borrowing limit for banks under MSF till Mar 31, 2021

  • RBI also extended the enhanced borrowing facility provided to banks under the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) scheme by six months till March 31, 2021.
  • It was initially available up to June 30, 2020, and was later extended up to September 30, 2020, due to economic disruptions amid COVID-19.
  • On March 27, this borrowing limit for scheduled banks was increased from 2% to 3% of their Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL).

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Indian Bank has launched a green initiative named “IB-eNote” to enable a total paperless working environment. This tool enables processing and tracking of notes put up by various offices digitally. The bank for this initiative has customised SharePoint, one of the features of Microsoft Office. The Bank also launched ‘Ind Guru’, an e-learning platform for its employees.

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About “IB-eNote”:

  • The IB-eNote facility is likely to considerably improve Turnaround Time, save the cost of paper, printing and other administrative expenses.
  • Microsoft is a leading technology company that has pioneered many industry-firsts.
  • IB-eNote is one of the Bank’s many initiatives to promote digital transformation and to address new gen customers to serve them.
  • The bank with this initiative is taking another step to achieve greater efficiency by continuously empowering its biggest asset(human resources/ staff members).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Indian bank MD & CEO: Padmaja Chunduru.
  • Indian bank Headquarters: Chennai, TamilNadu.

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Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) become the first to implement the new feature of document embedding facility with Letter of Credit (LC) / Bank Guarantee (BG) messages over SFMS (Structured Financial Messaging System) platform of Indian Financial Technology and Allied Services (IFTAS). The process would be conducted via a middleware application “i@Connect-SFMS (CSFMS) developed by IDBI Intech.

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About the Features:

  • This new feature of “document embedding” provides banks with the functionality of transmitting a “pdf” document up to 1MB size along with the LC / BG messages.
  • Through this feature, there will be the transmission of digitally signed documents which ensure the reliability of the transaction.
  • The objective of this new feature is to further digitise the trade finance transactions and to secure the financial communication system.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • IFTAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • IFTAS Chairman: Tavarna Rabi Sankar.
  • IFTAS CEO: Dr N. Rajendran.
  • IFTAS Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • IDBI Bank Chairman: MR Kumar.
  • IDBI Bank MD & CEO: Rakesh Sharma.
  • IDBI Bank Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • IDBI BankTagline: Banking for All, Aao sochein Bada.

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted in-principle approval to Vakrangee Ltd to set up Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU) to handle payment services related to bills. With in-principle authorisation from RBI, Vakrangee Ltd will set up and operate BBPOU under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 and will now be able to directly handle payment and aggregation of payment services relating to bills under the scope of BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System).

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The company offers banking, insurance, money transfer services, e-commerce, e-governance and other digital services on behalf of its partner banks, insurers, government agencies, e-commerce players among others through its branches mostly located in rural and semi-urban areas.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

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SBI Card has launched its new brand campaign titled ‘Contactless Connections’, which aims to spreads the message that love and care can be shared even during this difficult period where social distancing is the norm. The campaign endeavours to bring a fresh breath of positivity by demonstrating that people can connect emotionally and spread joy despite the social distancing practices by which we are bound.

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Contactless payments, enabled by SBI Card, allow consumers to simply wave their card or phone or scan a QR code to make safe, secure payments, without handing over their card or punching in the PIN.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • CEO of SBI Card: Ashwini Kumar Tewari; Founded: October 1998.
  • SBI Card Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana.

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