Financial Inclusion and IT Contribution

Financial Inclusion and How Technology can Contribute to it?

“India is failing, its rural poor with 230 million people being undernourished, the highest for any country in the world. Malnutrition accounts for nearly 50% of child deaths in India as every third adult (aged 15-49 years) is reported to be thin (BMI less than 18.5).Brought out by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the report points to some staggering figures. More than 27% of the world’s undernourished population lives in India while 43% of children (under 5 years) in the country are underweight. The figure is among the highest in the world and is much higher than the global average of 25% and also higher than sub-Saharan Africa’s figure of 28%. These targeting errors arise due to imperfect information, inexact measurement of household characteristics, corruption and inefficiency in providing funds to impoverished sector”

This news in TOI (dated 15.10.2009) reflects the Financial Exclusion and its impact citizens are facing in India.
Let us first understand what Financial Inclusion means to us:
As stated by RBI, Financial Inclusion stands for “The process of ensuring access to appropriate financial products and services needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low income groups at an affordable cost in a fair and transparent manner by mainstream Institutional players”

The need of the hour to push Financial Inclusion generated in spite of the fact that the banking industry has shown tremendous growth in volume and complexity during the last few decades. Despite making significant improvements in all the areas relating to financial viability, profitability and competitiveness, there are concerns that banks have not been able to include vast segment of the population, especially the underprivileged sections of the society, into the fold of basic banking services. Almost 60% of our population resides in rural area in India.

 

The scope of Financial Inclusion involves providing

Bank accounts – check in account
Immediate Credit
Savings products
Remittances & Payment services
Insurance – Health care
Mortgage
Financial advisory services
Entrepreneurial credit

Following sectors broadly describe the Financial Exclusion region:

Agricultural and Industrial Laborers
People engaged in un-organized sectors
Unemployed
Women
Children
Old people
Physically challenged people.

The consequences of this vary depending on the nature and extent of services denied. It may lead to increased travel requirements, higher incidence of crime, general decline in investment, difficulties in gaining access to credit or getting credit from informal sources at exorbitant rates, and increased unemployment, etc. The small business may suffer due to loss of access to middle class and higher-income consumers, higher cash handling costs, delays in remittances of money. According to certain researches, financial exclusion can lead to social exclusion.

From the data provided by Financial Inclusion committee (set by RBI), a conclusion can be reached which says the efforts taken by govt. has been quite palpable. But in spite of that we failed in providing banking facilities to Underprivileged section in rural and urban areas.

Key challenges faced by government as well as private players in providing financial services to these regions can be understood as follows:

– Lack of standard process for identification of individuals and SMEs
– Non availability of credit history of individuals and SMEs
– Need to provide Financial Service at bare minimum Cost
– Need to reach out to very small pockets of population which may make any FI investment inviable
– Lack of a proper business model
– Lack of an appropriate legal model
– Illiteracy within large section of population, which would need innovative ways of delivering banking channels / interaction model with banks or quasi banking entities –

Technology in Rescue:

Technology can contribute in finding a solution to these challenges. In rural finance, technology plays two key roles: implementing effective internal control when direct supervision is difficult due to distance, and decreasing the cost of penetration into more remote areas.

To promote entrepreneurship, financial accessibility in villages, providing loan is imperative. The foremost step in providing Basic Banking services, is Verifying/Authenticating a person, which may include his/her address, credit history.
Expanding the coverage of CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau India Limited) or establishing a new organization in line with CIBIL, exclusively for rural areas will help banks in accessing detailed information of a citizen or SME.
Our innovative project Unique Identification (LID) once executed successfully will provide information of an individual which can further be used to fetch credit history from CIBIL.

Providing banking services at minimum cost is a vital factor in reaching to the masses. This can be achieved by providing no-frills account, and loans of small amount at low rates. Microfinance Institutions and banks can find substantial customer base in this field as Usurers still dominate this sector even when high rate of interest that they demands from those seeking credit.
Investing to reach small pockets of population may look financially inviable, but appropriate technology, business model can help in increasing the ROI. PPP can help increasing the coverage at minimal costs.

In India where we have above 50% of population residing in villages, the only way we can reach the majority is by POST. Post Office could play a vital role in providing access to financial services, including banking, saving, credit and insurance, to financially excluded people.
An Initiative by Uttarakhand Post, where it has entered into a business tie-up with Uttaranchal Gramin Bank with the following twin objectives:-

(a) Collection of high-end deposits on behalf of the bank.
(b) Disbursement of bank loans and collection of the re-payment installments (EMI) through Savings Bank Passbook Account and with the help of GDS (Gramin Dak Sevak) staff.

Both these services are rendered by Uttarakhand Post on reasonable charges. In short the endeavor is to expand the role of an agency functionary, that India Post has being playing on behalf of Ministry of Finance for long, to that of a Commercial Bank also for the reasons of better profitability and future prospects. Providing IT solution to Indian posts where they can create business tie-ups online with banks will help in accelerating this initiative.

The root cause for advancement in banking sector in rural areas is the cost factor. Technology can help in cutting down the cost factor. Use of IT reduces the costs of financial transactions, improves allocation of resources, and increases competitiveness and efficiency. Most importantly, it enables to take any product or service to the general masses. IT has also enabled efficient, accurate and timely management of the increased transaction volume that comes with a larger customer base. The ‘Anywhere Banking’ through Core Banking Systems, ‘Anytime Banking’ through new, 24/7/365 delivery channels like Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), and Net and Mobile Banking, etc., are also increasingly becoming an integral part of the banking services. Appropriate Technology and Efficient Delivery model can help in making banking feasible and profitable in rural areas too.

The need of the hour is leveraging technology in Indian banking for providing affordable and cost-effective banking services to the masses through multi-delivery channels. Before making a commitment, Banks analyze the region which will be covered by their investment and the ROI. What if Banks can reach the end customer without opening an exclusive branch in the distant area? Mobile phone banking is not new in this in generation. Mobile phone users now belong to all strata of society, spread across metropolitan, urban, semi-urban and rural centers. Banks and financial service providers can leverage the advantage by reaching out to people through this medium.

Few proposals and initiatives in strengthening financial growth in improvised sector:

– Another route by which FI can reach the masses is by DTH. Direct to home technology is currently very widely spread in even remote places of the country. An indigenously developed technology lets user access GMAIL and other websites through DTH on TV. The same technology can be upgraded to help users interact with banks and other FIs where they can provide necessary information to the people residing in far flung areas.
– Grocery stores or Health centers in our villages can also be used in providing banking services like insurance, loan or savings.
– 3i Infotech, a leading IT company has developed Kiosk based banking, i.e. internet based, and Bio-metrically enabled exclusively for rural areas.
– The use of IT also enables banks to handle the enormous increase in the volume of transactions for millions of households for processing, credit scoring, credit record and follow-up. Other uses of technology include taking instant photographs of people opening bank accounts, and using electoral ID cards to simplify form-filling.
– Hello Money is a mobile banking service launched by Barclays in India. Barclays aims to make banking viable to all segments of the population through this service, regardless of economic status. The service is also available in India’s national language – Hindi – and will, in time, be available in other regional languages. Customers only need to be numerically literate to use the service, making it very simple and convenient. The Bank also offers “no frills” and zero balance savings accounts. As of December 2008 the Bank has opened 40,726 zero balance accounts (no balance commitments required of customers) and 3,935 no frills accounts. These offer a free cheque book, access to over 25,000 Visa ATMs, free statements, a passbook facility and SMS alerts. These services are particularly aimed at market traders, artisans and micro-entrepreneurs who might otherwise be excluded from financial services.
– eChoupal, an initiative of ITC Limited to link directly with rural farmers, with the help of technology, for procurement of agricultural / aquaculture products. eChoupal was conceived to tackle the challenges posed by the unique features of Indian agriculture, characterized by fragmented farms, weak infrastructure and the involvement of numerous intermediaries. ITC Limited has now established computers and Internet access in rural areas across several agricultural regions of the country, where the farmers can directly negotiate the sale of their produce with ITC Limited. The PCs and Internet access at these centers enable the farmers to obtain information on mandi prices, good farming practices and place orders for agricultural inputs like seeds and fertilizers. This helps farmers in improving the quality of produce, and also helps in realizing a better price.
– BASIX, an Indian institute that promotes sustainable livelihoods through microcredit, has been an early adopter of technology. It operates as the business correspondent (BC) (agents who work on behalf of banks) for Axis Bank, Citibank, and the State Bank of India (SBI), to reach areas where opening a bank branch is not viable. BASIX uses mobile phones to enroll customers and carry out transactions. It has set up fixed-location BC outlets, equipped with hand-held devices which are now being converted to mobile connections. BASIX is also trying out a card, similar to smart cards, and a remittance initiative to help workers in Delhi to send money home to their villages in central India.
– ACCION International as a Microfinance Organization promotes PortaCredit technology, which allows loan officers using handheld computers
to take loan applications.1 PortaCredit has helped a number of ACCION partners in Latin America improve their level of productivity, standardization and risk management.
– UMU in Uganda is currently launching a pilot for a Remote Transaction System (RTS), which is combination of technology and business processes that will enable cash deposits and withdrawals by microfinance clients through a network of accredited third party merchants (e.g. agricultural stockists, traders, gas station managers) in rural and non-urban areas. The RTS will also facilitate the electronic capture of transaction data at the client level and the creation of an electronic identification system.
– Customized ATMs with voice interactive features and other advances in technology as mentioned above can help in achieving Financial Inclusion target.

The advancement in technology and business model used will make it cost effective, so that every small transaction will be feasible through POS. Making the POS wireless or for that matter away from any kind of network will make it feasible to be used in remote areas too. The CashCard will contain the amount you hold in it and your security PIN. When you are out of cash in your CashCard, all you need to do is go to an ATM and recharge your card with the cash present in your saving/current account. The card can also be recharged online or by using your mobile banking feature. Hence this will save the investment bank needs to make in opening an exclusive branch in a financially less profitable area.

CashCard can be used by government/banks to provide loans to Farmers; they can use it for making their medical, insurance payments. Recharging of the cards can be done from ATM or authorized outlets. POS will help to make their day to day transactions easy and secured.

Designing innovative business models specifically for the market will encourage people to come forward and invest in their future.

A recently offered Mutual Fund scheme by SBI (SBI Chota SIP) lets individual to make benefit of low monthly investment amount of 100. Similarly on the lines FIIs have started offering Life Insurance cover which varies from Rs.5000 to Rs. 50000 where the annual premium varies from Rs.60 to Rs.600.

Remittances are another unexplored field in these regions where Banks and FIs are targeting now. Some banks have tried pilot projects allowing customers to use smart cards with biometric identification to open bank accounts. The cards have been linked to mobile or hand-held connectivity devices to ensure banks can record transactions in real time. Meanwhile, some State Governments are using smart cards to send social security payments under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. The same delivery channel can be used to provide other financial services such as low-cost remittances and insurance. The National Financial Switch offers nationwide networking of ATMs and can facilitate banking transactions including remittances.

Now Banks and other FIs see their role as playing an important part in fueling the growth of the Indian economy -not just servicing successful metropolitan companies but also reaching out to ordinary people. By following programs of branch expansion, improving financial literacy and leveraging IT solutions to extend reach, they are demonstrating their determination to make financial services available to all.

One such program is the HSBC Mann Deshi Business School for Rural Women, in the Satara district of the western Indian state of Maharashtra. It was set up in December 2006 to offer micro-loans to poor women to help them set up their own businesses. The school gives girls and women with limited or no formal education training in financial literacy, marketing, technical skills and negotiation skills. It has already benefited some 6,000 women, enabling them to start their own micro enterprises and become financially independent.

Concluding remarks:

The reason why we are concentrating on Financial Inclusion now is because, we now want to focus on Inclusive Growth, we have the Banking Technology which can help in reaching millions of deserving citizens, and the fact that Poor are bankable. Technology can be a very valuable tool in providing access to banking products in remote areas. To sum up, banks need to redesign their business strategies to incorporate specific plans to promote financial inclusion of low income group treating it both a business opportunity as well as a corporate social responsibility. They have to make use of all available resources including technology and expertise available with them as well as the MFIs and NGOs.

Bad Credit Auto Financing – And Setting Your Expectations

What should you anticipate if you apply for a bad credit auto financing loan online? It in fact depends on what sort of web site you apply with. There are four types of websites contending for you business, they are:

Bad Credit Auto Financing Services

Bad credit auto financing services, (or an auto loan locater), have a reputable network of auto dealers that finance people with bad credit, a hands-on customer service department, and affiliate partners. In addition, these services have associations with direct marketers and direct lenders. People that utilize the bad credit auto financing service can anticipate working with a single auto dealer in their area that is exclusively trained in helping them buy a car. They cannot help everybody but they can help most people with realistic expectations that are willing to put forth the effort to restore their credit rating. Direct Marketers Direct marketers often conceal their true character and make phony claims when promoting their service, for example, if you Google™ “Buy a Car with Bad Credit”, you will see ads for websites that declare:

  • 100% Approved
  • 99% Approved
  • No Credit Check

Unless the advertisement is ran by a buy here pay here dealer with in house financing, the “No Credit Check” claim is not only artificial, it is an obvious lie. If you have to give up your social security number on the application, chances are a credit report will be ran to verify your suitability for an auto loan. Direct marketers focus is to gather your individual information and resell it to the highest bidder, which includes auto financing services, car dealers, and direct lenders. People that ask for a quote from a direct marketing website are often left with the feeling that they were over promised and under delivered. So I guess what we’re saying is, these websites do a poor job at setting expectations and lead clients to believe that any thing that customer wants they can get, in spite of their income, monthly budget, money they have to put down, and credit score.

Direct Lenders

Direct lenders do a meager job of approving people with bad credit online. Most of their “Bad Credit” programs are customized for people with marginal credit. People with marginal credit have credit scores in the 600 range. Alternatively, if you are approved with a direct lender you can shop at most any licensed auto dealer just as a cash buyer would. If you submit an application with a direct lender and they turn you down for a request for financing, they will repeatedly recommend to you the services of a highly regarded bad credit auto financing service.

Auto Dealers

If you apply directly with a car dealer you will know who has your information, but the downside is that the dealer that you applied with may perhaps not have the people, procedure, cars on hand, and lenders in place to approve your particular credit circumstances. If the auto dealership is not capable of helping you finance a car with bad credit, then my friend you will have to start the procedure all over again.

Does Network Marketing Offer People a Real Chance of Creating Financial Security and Independence

This unique business has millions of distributors doing billions of pounds in sales annually. It is conducted in nearly 100 countries around the world. It has been praised by leading business people and also by heads of state for boosting the economy. Yet most people in the UK are still totally confused by it.

Network marketing has created many millionaires and spread that excitement to millions more, but just what are the realities of this business?
So what is network marketing?

Network Marketing is based on the concept of ‘networking’. We all have a circle of people we know through the circumstances of our daily lives and each of these people will have their own circle of acquaintances, colleagues, family and friends. Network Marketing involves tapping into these networks not only to sell product but also to offer the business opportunity to potential new distributors who then start the process of developing their own networks for selling and recruiting.

In network marketing, services and products are distributed to the final consumers through a network of independently contracted distributors or agents (also known as consultants). These distributors are then financially rewarded in two ways: a) from commissions and overrides from sales generation and b) for their contribution to the building up of the network by getting new ‘recruits’ to be downline distributors. The network marketing business model works because of the price differential that is generated from the distributor to the consumer. If the recruits of the one you recruited generate sales, you get a percentage of the price differential for the sales, and so on.

 

Network marketing is usually associated with pyramid or ponzi scams. This is because the main structure of the two models can be quite similar at first glance. However, if one takes a closer look at the models, there is one big and defining difference between them. The main difference between a legal network marketing firm and a pyramid scam is that the first one offers real products and services, the latter only promises opportunities and generates money from the cost of entry of the recruited members. A pyramid scam re-channels the incoming funds from the fees that newly recruited ‘members’ pays for entering the scheme and does not generate any kind of profits from other endeavors. The masterminds of the scam benefits while leaving most, if not all, of the downlines in financial burdens.

o As the networks widen, so the individual leader benefits not only from their own sales but also a percentage of the sales from their network. As more people join the network, so residual income increases.
o network marketing allows its distributors not only to network outwards in order to sell the product but also to benefit from their downline’s downline, either to a limited depth or ad infinitum. However, the two terms tend to be used fairly indiscriminately.
o As with any other home-based business, distributors need to work hard and have courage and determination. Finding a good sponsor is just as important as finding an interesting product and a good compensation plan which offers flexibility and just reward for effort. Contrary to expectation, the newcomer has the same potential for success as the long-term sponsor provided that the necessary research and skills training takes place. It is not necessary to be ‘in at the beginning’ and in some cases it may prove more difficult and risky to join at the beginning than to join a plan which has reached a more mature phase. Network Marketing is particularly suited to married women with family commitments as it offers them an opportunity to start a business on a part time basis with very little capital. The opportunity now exists for enterprising women to use their talents and the skills gained from motherhood to build businesses based both on selling and on finding and supporting the efforts of others.

There are 2 trends that are driving this industry forward:
a. General shift towards self-employment.
b. People’s quest for a better lifestyle – They no longer want to work 40 or 50 hours a week just to pay bills.

For many people Network Marketing is the only way to Create Financial Freedom in the UK today.

One business magazine wrote “Network marketing is so far ahead of the competition when it comes to money and lifestyle that is in a league of its own.”

With a traditional career you only get paid for the hours that you work. When you leave your employment your monthly salary stops and all you are left with is experience and perhaps a pension, which is rarely enough to live on. Network marketing is entirely different – Your efforts are multiplied by helping people succeed with their businesses, so that your investment comes back many times over, to create time and financial freedom. The longer you work at it, the easier it becomes. The more you help others become successful, the more successful you become.

“Network marketing offers people an opportunity to build a business of their own, with a small amount of capital, in their own time and with the help of a sponsor who is willing to help them every step of the way”. Prime Time Magazine

As you leverage your efforts you create a ‘residual income’ – by helping enough people become successful. Over time, you can build a truly passive income that keeps paying you long after you have done the work.

Network marketing offers people an opportunity to build a business of their own, with a small amount of capital, in their own time and with the help of a sponsor who is willing to help them every step of the way”. Prime Time Magazine

As you leverage your efforts you create a ‘residual income’ – by helping enough people become successful. Over time, you can build a truly passive income that keeps paying you long after you have done the work.

Consider this-
According to a study conducted in the USA in 1995, ‘Out of 100 people who are working at age 25, by the age of 65…

o 63% are dependent on Social Security, friends or relatives
o 29% are dead
o 3% are still working
o 4% have adequate capital for retirement
o 1% are wealthy

Questions normally asked about Network Marketing .

Q.Can Network Marketing be done successfully part-time?

A. Absolutely…it’s very common in fact. You can start your Network Marketing business on a part-time basis without giving up your current source of income until your Network Marketing business is generating the income you require. And the best part is that you can continue to operate indefinitely on a part-time basis. What would you do if you were financially independent and most of your time was free to do with as you pleased? This is why so many people are flocking to Network Marketing. And that’s why we say that Network Marketing puts the freedom back in free enterprise!

Q. Do I have to sell products door-to-door or hold parties or meetings?

A. No. One of the greatest features of Network Marketing is that success can be achieved using a wide variety of methods. You choose the methods that YOU are comfortable with. Within Tiscali we use amazing internet technologies . No delivering products, no collecting money, no party plan meetings!

Q. Isn’t Network Marketing one of those pyramid schemes?

A. Definitely not. Though Network Marketing and pyramid schemes do share some similarities, there’s a very important difference that makes the latter illegal.You see, in pyramid schemes, income is generated solely on the process of recruiting others into the pyramid. Sometimes a product or service of questionable value is involved(that is never retailed to the general public by the way), but generally what you’re buying is the right to recruit others into the scheme. This is illegal. Also, in pyramid schemes, those who get in first and who are at the top win, while everybody else loses. In a legitimate Network Marketing company, on the other hand, distributors are paid only on product movement; not on recruiting. Both at wholesale and retail. There’s also compensation based on the training and managing of your marketing team. And unlike illegal pyramids, in Network Marketing, no matter where you’re positioned or when you join, you can advance to the very highest income levels and even make more money than those above you in the network.

Q. I’m not a salesperson, so this probably isn’t for me.

A. Actually, studies have shown that people with no sales experience do great in Network Marketing. In fact, the studies show that they often do better than those with previous sales experience. This is because Network Marketing isn’t about selling; at least not in the way most people think of selling. There’s no place for arm-twisting or high-pressure techniques in Network Marketing. Rather, Network Marketing is simply about sharing the concepts and products of your Network Marketing company that you use and you’re excited about.

Q. How much money can I make?

A. The bottom line is you’ll get out of it what you put into it. It works…if you do. But that’s the beauty of it, too; you are in control; it’s up to you how far you take it. And don’t forget, the income you create in Network Marketing is residual. This basically means that for the work you do just today, you have the potential to earn money not only for today but for years to come.

Q. What’s so important about sponsoring in this business anyway?

A. It’s like this… it doesn’t matter how intelligent, rich, energetic, or dynamic you are;we are all limited to the same 24 hours a day. By sponsoring, however, you can overcome this limitation. By sponsoring, you can virtually clone yourself and have dozens, hundreds, even thousands of people all working indirectly on your behalf on their time and receive a cut of everything they do. Sponsoring also builds your security in this business. Why? In most traditional businesses, what happens if you become ill or disabled and are unable to service your customers? Or perhaps you just want to take a nice long vacation? Whatever the case, you could lose most if not all of your income overnight because it relies on you being there. That’s not owning your own life and that’s certainly not financial freedom.Through the process of sponsoring and building a downline in Network Marketing, however, you can create total financial freedom for yourself. With a downline of independent business people working for you, you no longer have all your eggs in one basket. On the contrary, because each person in your downline has a vested interest in continuing and building their own businesses, you create an income that is non-dependent upon you – an income that can continue, even grow, indefinitely with or WITHOUT you.

Q. Do I have to stock and deliver products?

A. Most Network Marketing companies today allow its distributors (and often even retail customers) to order direct from the company. The company simultaneously tracks your commissions, credits your account, and automatically sends you a check for the total amount due.

Q. Isn’t Network Marketing just another “get-rich-quick” scheme?

A. No, “get-rich-quick” is a fairy tale. It just doesn’t happen in the real world. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but they’re extremely rare. In fact, if overnight riches is your dream, your odds are probably better playing your state lottery than doing it in business – any business.

Q. I couldn’t get involved in Network Marketing. It’s not a “real” business.

A. It’s very real. Network Marketing is now a multi-billion dollar industry involving millions of independent business people and major U.S. corporations like Colgate-Palmolive, Gillette, Sprint, and MCI, just to name a few. And it’s a rapidly-growing international force, too, with thousands of Network Marketing companies already in operation in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Basin.

Q. If Network Marketing is so great, why aren’t more people involved?

A. That can be summed up in one word: misconceptions. The general public just doesn’t understand what Network Marketing is or its potential. But that’s finally starting to change. Right now it’s estimated that only about 2% of the U.S. population is involved in Network Marketing. But industry experts predict that that number could climb to 10% by the end of this decade. You can position yourself to take advantage of this trend by getting started in Network Marketing now. The timing is great for getting involved!

Q. What are the costs involved in starting and operating this kind of business?

A. Virtually all Network Marketing companies require you to first purchase some kind of “Starter Kit.” This is a one-time cost, and is usually less than $100. In addition, of course, you’ll have monthly expenses for office supplies, postage, advertising, etc. A total of £50-£150 pounds per month is probably a realistic expenditure to expect. Anyone can afford this amount of money without jeopardising their current lifestyle while they’re trying to build a better one. And here’s some more good news – most, if not all of that, is tax deductible.

Q. What if I can’t afford to buy extra products.

A. You’re not supposed to. Network Marketing companies just want you to replace those products you now buy elsewhere with the equivalent-but-higher-quality products your Network Marketing company manufactures. By doing so, you’ll likely save money since you now get to buy at wholesale. Plus, it only makes sense to buy from yourself – to buy from “your own store.”

Q. I’ve tried Network Marketing before and it didn’t work for me.

A. Let’s say you’ve just moved into a new city and you decided to go out to eat that evening. Unfortunately, the food at the restaurant you picked turned out to be horrible. But just because of this one bad experience, you surely wouldn’t swear off eating at all the other restaurants in the city, would you? Of course not! Network Marketing is no different. There are fair Network Marketing companies, great Network Marketing companies, and, yes, even some bad Network Marketing companies. But Network Marketing works! You just need to link up with the right company and the right opportunity at the right time. See MLM RockStars.

Q. I don’t have the cash right now to get involved in Network Marketing.

A. Get it! If a brand new £60,000 Mercedes were offered to you for £1000, would you find the money somehow to buy it? Go and get the money because your own Network Marketing business could be worth a lot more than that Mercedes.

Q. I can see how others have become successful, but I don’t think I could do it.

A. People of every age, every background, from every walk of life are making it in Network Marketing today. If you have the desire, you can succeed in Network Marketing.

Q. If I would happen to be sponsored by someone half way across the country, how do I get questions answered? And what about training?

A. Free consultation and assistance from your sponsor, other upline associates(and often the corporate staff of your Network Marketing company) is a phone call away.Faxes, E-Mail, Voice Mail, and other new technologies also provide fast and efficient communications between upline and downline…no matter where they’re located. As for long-distance training, this is easily handled through video training CD’s, audio taped seminars, books, online computer and telephone conferences, etc.

Q. I just don’t have the time to start a Network Marketing business. I’ve got too many irons in the fire already.

A. That’s precisely why you should consider Network Marketing. Besides creating financial freedom, Network Marketing is specifically designed to create personal freedom for you so that you can do all the things in life you really want to do that you don’t have the time for now.

Q. Don’t you have to get in at the beginning to make any real money? Doesn’t saturation eventually occur?

A. That’s another big misconception that’s been perpetuated by the media for years. The fact is, there has never been any evidence produced that “saturation” occurs in Network Marketing. This very topic was debated in U.S. courts at one time and that was the conclusion by the courts.Secondly, realise that because Network Marketing is still a very young industry, there are hundreds of millions of prospects worldwide who have never even heard of Network Marketing. It will take years to even make a dent in that.But here’s the main reason why “saturation” is a myth: Timing. In the U.S. alone, there are tens of thousands of brand new prospects “hatched” every year.Part of that figure is young adults who have only just reached the stage in their lives where they’d consider (and could afford) to start a business. Then there are the thousands who have just experienced a major shift in the direction of their lives because of changes at work, at home, etc. These same people, who just months before could in no way, shape, or form be considered prospects for Network Marketing, NOW are suddenly very open to the proposition. And this is happening constantly. Bottom line: The market is wide open and the potential is enormous.

Finally, Internationally acclaimed business people agree that Network Marketing represents one of the greatest opportunities in the world today.

Merrill Lynch Expects Legal Certainty

JAKARTA – Following the decision of the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Merrill Lynch International Bank Ltd (MLIB) and PT Merrill Lynch Indonesia (MLINDO), two companies that lawyer Frans Hendra Winata confirmed it has filed a judicial review (PK) to the Supreme Court.

“While we are disappointed with the Supreme Court decision, but we appreciate the dissenting opinion of one member of the panel of the Supreme Court that Syamsul Ma’arif that Merrill Lynch found not guilty of an unlawful act in the case against Prem,” said Frank, in Jakarta .

Moreover, he continued, MLINDO definitely not the parties involved in the transaction in Singapore to be the beginning of the dispute. He then pointed to the Singapore High Court decision that ruled that the Renaissance has acknowledged the existence of the debt and Prem had committed fraud.

An important point in filing PK is a decision of the Central Jakarta District Court in 2010 stating Prem lose. In this ruling the judge rejected a lawsuit alleging Prem defamation arising from complaints MLIB to Bapepam-LK, MLINDO involvement in the defamation and illegal banking practices.

“Central Jakarta District Court’s decision has also been strengthened by the Jakarta High Court,” said Frans continued.

For your information, a legal dispute began when in June 2008, the owner and director of the sole of Renaissance Capital Management Investment Pte Ltd Prem Ramchand Harjani ordered Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith (MLPFS) through MLIB to purchase 120 million shares of PT Triwira Insanlestari (PTTI) . The purchase is valued at approximately USD14, 3 million.

Frans said, Prem verbally promised that he would pay cash on the settlement date of June 26, 2008. In fact, both Prem and Renaissance never transfer the required funds on the settlement date of the transaction.

Finally MLPFS forced to use their right listed in the contract to liquidate the account Renaissance in MLPFS, including through the sale of shares PTTI. But all these measures still leaves a shortfall of USD9, 4 million so MLPFS then sued in the courts in Singapore in November 2008 to acquire the remaining losses earlier.

In August 2010, the Singapore High Court ruled that Prem had committed fraud and the Renaissance has acknowledged his debt. Both were ordered to pay damages of $ 9.4 million plus interest to MLPFS.

Interestingly, prior to the ruling PT Singapore was out, Prem has sued MLIB and MLINDO the South Jakarta District Court on tort and defamation. South Jakarta District Court ruling came out in 2009 and sentenced MLIB and MLINDO pay compensation amounting to Rp251 billion. The decision was upheld in the High Court and the Supreme Court of Indonesia.

Reportedly, the Capital Market Supervisory Agency and Financial Institution (Bapepam-LK) has received reports of PT Merrill Lynch Indonesia that they ask for review (PK) against the decision of the Supreme Court (MA). Unfortunately, when confirmed, Head of Legal and Legislation Bapepam-LK Simbolon Robinson could not be reached. Several times contacted via phone, Robinson did not answer the call.

In fact, the name of Prem Harjani is not foreign to the business world. Previously, the company had reported Prem that Renaissance had a problem with the PT Danareksa. Cases involving himself with Danareksa also similar to the case at Merrill Lynch. Similarly Premlainnya company, PT Ryane couture, mentioned never had any problems with loans worth Rp 3.5 billion from Dapenma Pamsi (Pension Fund Water Supply Indonesia).

Secrets of Dealing With Equipment Leasing Financing Companies

What’s my rate? Are we approved? What are my rights and obligations under this transaction? What’s the capital of North Dakota… oh sorry, forget that last one..!

And on it goes… these are just some of the many questions that clients ask us when they are looking for assistance in sourcing and negotiating equipment leasing and working with financing companies in that regard. We do acknowledge it’s a big challenge sometimes – the Canadian marketplace is a bit different than its counterpart in the U.S. The finance industry is fragmented, and business owners and financial mangers absolutely could not be expected to know the credit appetite, the asset appetite, and the structuring options available from literally hundreds of firms offering lease financing.

Let’s share some ‘ secrets’ and tips around ensuring you can be successful in your equipment financing strategy. First of all, different strokes for different folks – what do we mean by that? Simply there are number of very well published ‘ equipment leasing benefits ‘ offered by finance firms. Do they all apply to your firm? Probably note, so focus in on understanding which benefits of lease financing work for you, and then… maximize them! Through effective negotiations.

For the record those benefits usually include payment structuring to your cash flow, tax advantages, upgrade and return options, and simply being an alternative to traditional debt and loan negotiation. Oh and we forgot one other key benefit, its generally recognized that lease financing credit approval is significantly easier to obtain than bank term debt or other loan mechanisms of a more traditional nature.

Psst… Want to know another secret. Here’s a good one, that almost no transaction is too large or too small for the Canadian equipment financing market. So, if it makes sense to lease a 2000.00 photocopier consider it, and if you’re buying a corporate jet for 3 Million dollars, there is a lease approval for that asset also.

If there is on obvious secret or tip that most owners miss it’s simply that when it comes to any type of ‘ technology ‘ you should consider equipment leasing with financing companies that are knowledgeable about the asset. We are mostly talking about computers, but the tech universe today covers telecom, and many other types of assets. Technology changes, tech assets depreciates very quickly, and the best kept secret in town is often a technology operating lease, allowing you full use, but not ownership, of the asset.

Many clients seem confused by the ‘ lingo’ used by financing companies. You can be forgiven for not knowing ‘ off balance sheet leasing, residuals, fmv, all in rate, amort, ‘ etc, etc etc. So the best and final secret we can probably provide for you is simply to search out a trusted, credible, and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who will help you identify priorities and finalize equipment leasing success for your asset acquisitions.

Oh and by the way. Bismarck. That’s the capital of North Dakota.

Financing Your Business by Leveraging Your Customers Credit

Finding a way to finance your business in the current economic environment remains pretty difficult. Most institutions have tightened their business financing standards and will only offer business loans to large companies that have substantial assets and impeccable financials. Unfortunately, few small companies have been able to weather the recession without a substantial financial impact. And thanks to the recession, most small businesses don’t have impeccable financial statements – that’s why they need business financing. Fortunately, a business loan is not the only financing alternative.

Is your company having cash flow problems because customers are paying their invoices slowly? If this is the case, and If your customers have good commercial credit, you may be able to use invoice financing. Invoice financing bridges the gap between delivery of service and payment and helps companies with cash flow problems. This solutions provides predictable cash flow, enabling the company to meet expenses and capitalize opportunities.

There is one critical advantage of that differentiates invoice financing from other solutions. Your customers credit is much more important than your own company’s financial situation. This means that companies whose biggest asset is a solid list of customers can usually benefit from invoice financing.

Most invoice funding transactions are structured as invoice purchases – where the financing company buys the financial rights to your invoices and pays you immediately. They settle the transaction once your client pays the invoices in full. The key point is that the finance company buys the invoice, therefore they are very interested in the credit worthiness of your client. They consider that to be the strongest collateral for financing. And this allows you to leverage your clients financial strength to your advantage.

Having good paying clients is a key requirement to qualify for an invoice financing program. Additionally, your invoices need to be free of legal encumbrances such as liens or judgments. Generally, invoice financing works best for companies that are reasonably free of problems. However, it can also be used in turnaround situations where funding is needed to restructure operations.

Financial Inclusion and Digital Payments

A Good Digital Payment Ecosystem: Characteristics and Recommendations

A good digital payment ecosystem is one that enables financial inclusion, an ecosystem that allows all citizens to participate in the growth and development trajectory of the economy.

The key stakeholders in the digital payment scenario are numerous – internet service providers, payment system operators, technology providers, mobile network operators, banks and retailers form the actual players in the market. The digital transaction system allows banks to increase their customer base with lower costs and risks. According to Booz Allen estimates, banks can reduce cash logistics by 10% through use of cashless payment transactions. Telecom and internet service providers gain by increasing customer retention, higher revenues through value added services etc. Retailers and service providers benefit through fast access to a larger base of customers, better payment collections etc. There is a synergy between the digital world and the financial world that needs to be exploited successfully to give the final benefit to the consumer. However, at the same time the government and regulators of banking, telecommunications, payment systems, competition issues, anti-money laundering, all form the environment in which the digital payments business model functions.

Given that the business of digital transactions is new and unfamiliar, governments and regulators tend to be cautious about allowing innovations that may disrupt financial stability of the economy. As has been emphasized in the previous sections of this paper, while on one hand financial inclusion is the stated objective of governments, and new technology has been widely accepted as a tool for financial inclusion, regulatory and supervisory concerns have inhibited the development of digital payments in many countries, including India. For a new product market to develop, it is important that the enabling environment be one which blends legal and regulatory openness and certainty – openness will allow innovation to flourish while certainty will give confidence to entrepreneurs to make investments. Thus the markets which develop fastest are those which are in environments that are moving towards greater openness and greater certainty. The most crucial issue here is to ensure that the market remains open and competitive for entrepreneurs to take up new business models. The key characteristics have been mentioned and discussed at various points in the preceding sections. These are:

1. Ensure entry by ensuring a high degree of inclusiveness in types of service providers, ensuring a level playing field, and also ensure that both large and small players can enter the industry.

 

Inclusiveness: Both banking and non-banking entities should be encouraged to enter the industry.

The basic concerns of regulators in the financial sphere revolve around (i) maintaining financial stability, (ii) raising economic efficiency, (iii) increasing access to financial services, (iv) ensuring financial integrity, and (v) ensuring consumer protection, and (vi) ensure rapid accessibility of such services for the masses with heterogeneous requirements.

Given the focus of financial regulators to ensure financial stability, it is but natural for them to have a bank focus. But, disruption to financial stability deals with systemically important payment systems, and not retail payment systems, especially of micro-magnitude. This distinctiveness of retail and micro-amounts should be well understood to avoid stifling innovation that has the potential to help the masses of the country. Consequently there is no need to limit this industry only to the banks.

According to the Bank of International Settlements, one of the main objectives of payment regulation is to address those legal and regulatory barriers to market development and innovation. It is for the RBI and other regulators to work towards this end, so that the potential of technology can be exploited to the full in meeting the goal of financial inclusion.

Level playing field: The close links between the network service providers and the consumer should not provide inordinate advantages to those companies at the cost of other players. For instance, currently the mobile phone is considered the most potent tool of financial inclusion. However the mobile industry is characterized by only a handful of operators both in India and abroad. Given the close links between the consumer and the mobile service provider and the tie-in of the consumer to the service provider, a monopolistic digital transaction industry would be a likely outcome if a level playing field is not created.

A digital-payment platform set up by the service provider should be open to other account holders within a specific agreed time period, and new entrants should be allowed to use existing payment infrastructures. Just as landline users can choose between different long distance providers, so too must regulation ensure that various financial service providers can access the user.

Large and small: The digital transaction eco system should involve, and not keep out, small firms.

Large firms should not derive undue advantage from regulatory prescriptions. This is important for many reasons. Take for example Micro-finance initiatives and how they can leverage the intra-communities ties for lowering cost of credit. Whether we have MFIs or bank correspondents, or private money-lenders, or NGOs, or other entities operating in small distinct communities, such entities need not be debarred from providing their services to their users through digital means.

Though certain prudential norms would be essential, they should not follow a one size fits all approach and, depending upon scale and scope of their operations, their regulatory requirements also need to be appropriately structured.

2. Ensure low cost access for the masses that is integrated with the economy.

Know Your Customer Norms: If digital transactions are to be truly transformational, it is important to bring unbanked customers into the fold of payment systems. KYC regulations put in to ensure financial integrity can hamper the growth of this market and hence affect the aim of financial inclusion.

According to RBI guidelines, mobile payment services to be offered by banks are not only restricted only to their customers, but also to those customers who are KYC/AML compliant. Since subscription to a mobile phone also involves identity checks, this is a duplication of effort and can given rise to inconsistencies in norms. Standardizing the system of compliance across digital and financial worlds will also help sharing of data and information. These may seem as small glitches now, but can appear as roadblocks later on retarding the goal of integrating the latest digital technology with financial services. Discussion on evolving systems is important to keep abreast of technological and market developments.

Integration: Facilitate a variety of services that are easy to integrate with all sectors of the economy.

In the digital transaction market, there is a significant coordination problem that arises due to the overlapping role of multiple regulators of banking, telecom and payment system supervisors, competition and agencies involved in monitoring activities of money laundering and fraud. The problem is compounded because of the dynamic nature of the industry and continuously evolving technology. This means that the regulators have to be flexible, be quick on the uptake to change when needed and deliver appropriate regulatory orders in a coordinated and consistent fashion.

3. Ensure that the system can serve heterogeneous requirements

Inherent flexibility: A one size fit all approach that is currently the practice in banking regulation needs to change to become more flexible and adapt to the different needs of the consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, who are a highly heterogeneous group. The terms ‘masses’ and ‘under-privileged’ are a highly heterogeneous segment. They include self-employed and unemployed, cultivators and land-less laborers, literate and illiterate, nuclear households and joint families, indeed the range is large. And so are the requirements.

Conclusion: Financial inclusion is recognized as a goal by all policy makers as the economic growth and development story will remain incomplete without participation by the poorest of the poor. Evolving technology has changed the landscape of the financial world as digital payments bring with them significant efficiencies. Further, with the fast adoption of mobile phones and spread of the networks, costs of making transactions have been significantly reduced. Experiences in other countries and modern technology shows that the future lies in involving non-bank institutions as intermediaries. While vigilance is justified when confronted with new, unfamiliar systems, stifling innovations and market developments through extreme caution will only retard the growth trajectory of the economy. The policy makers should therefore work towards providing an environment where all stakeholders can perform the functions they do best. An added problem in the digital payment space is that the overlapping roles of multiple regulators leads to coordination failure and this should be well understood by all policy makers. The need of the hour therefore is to work with clarity and consistency and speed up the process of moving towards greater openness and greater certainty in the digital payment sphere.

Personal Finance – If You’re Credit Card Debt is Over $10k There is Legitimate Help For You

When you look at the compatibility offered by credit cards, you cannot prevent yourself from buying it? However, your reaction is totally different when you get your first bill. In such a situation, a person feels like pulling his hair. The attitude of a credit card company changes with the passage of time. What is personal finance and how can it help you in the present troublesome situation. If you purchase personal finance services, you will get rid of various financial problems. For instance, you will have to worry about a pending credit card bill.

How will you approach a relief firm?

You may know everything about your case but presenting it in a professional manner is a very different task. A technical company which has immense personal finance knowledge can accomplish this goal for you. Obviously, it will not do this for free. Every firm has a different cost structure. Before you can plan your settlement process, look for a professional personal finance firm. There are various ways to do this. Internet searching is the most effective option. Go online and start looking at the listed companies. See what each one of them has to offer.

The next step is to compare these firms. Look at the advantages and disadvantages of each one of them and see which one will suit you the most. Now, how do you ensure whether your finalized firm is legal or not? Have you heard about an indirect network? These networks work with all the legal companies. The focus here is on the word legal. If the firm which you have finalized is not listed with this network, it is illegal. This is a very important way to identify scams. It will save a lot of money for you. It is strongly discouraged that loan takers should contact settlement companies in a direct manner.

There are various logical reasons behind this. For instance, you will not be able to bargain in terms of prices. There is no advantage in paying hundred dollars for a hat when you can get it for fifty dollars. A logical approach is to contact a personal finance company through a professional relief network. All the firms which have delivered state of the art results are listed with these networks. Hence stop wasting time in searching on the internet. Personal finance companies capitalize on the recession conditions. Thus, once these conditions are over, you will be able to get reductions through settlement options.

Gold As a Reserve Asset and the Online Finance Service To Manage It

In many areas of everyday living, gold performs vital functions. Gold is actually a quality, high tech metal and very well demanded by the industry. Therefore, investors are content with the decision to pursue the best investment opportunity.

Even as gold is no longer the backbone for the brick and mortar international financial system, most banks still find it to be an important asset. More importantly, gold is the only reserved asset that is not held liable due to its face value. Meaning it is not held responsible or accountable for the trend of economic policies or disturbed inflation. It continues to retain value over many centuries.

As it appears, the current level of demand for gold outweighs the gold supply for the gold miner to produce. Throughout history, due to its beauty, warmth and spiritual connotation, it is now the most admired metal. The gold miner continues to produce gold at massive levels. The exported revenue is vital as it brings royalty and investment opportunity for low economic countries.

Gold can be repudiated and held as a safeguard against potential crisis because it is not any individual’s liability. More so, the gold bullion does not vulnerable to the political issue compare to major asset classes such as United States government bonds, or Treasury bills. Gold as a valuable investment is also excluded from the disadvantages of the economical and/or monetary polices of any government. Significantly, gold has developed into a revolutionary digital or electronic currency, or what we normally heard of as e-currency all over the world.

If you are keen to invest in gold, then the problem of purchasing, holding or keeping the physical gold can be your major drawback as it will cause you too much hassle, not only for you but also everybody else. Alternatively, you can purchase digital gold via online and keep it in the reliable and trustworthy internet payment processor system. This way, no storage space is needed and no worry.

Choosing The Right Receivable Financing Company

The very mention of the term “bank loan” to a business owner is often enough to elicit a very strong and visceral response and the simple truth of the matter is that the average business bank loan is a fairly contentious and controversial subject within the business community. On one hand, a bank loan will provide the business owner with a source of capital that they otherwise would not have, which in turn can mean that bold ambitions of expanding and developing the business in a particular direction can be more fully achieved and accomplished with a minimum of disruption.

This is especially significant in highly competitive sectors of the market, as any measure of delay can ultimately result a business that chose to postpone any sort of development or alterations to the manner in which they do business being overtaken by a rival. The downside here however, is that the loan will be required to be paid back and so if the business is struggling to generate enough revenue, or worse yet, is already in debt, then the repayment maybe too much of a burden for its finances.

Furthermore, in order to actually gain access to a bank loan, a business will typically be required to secure assets that it owns as collateral, and so a noncompliance with the terms of the loan will ultimately mean that the assets secured as collateral maybe seized by the lender.

Thankfully, there is an alternative strategy for the struggling business owner who is looking to secure another external source of capital finance to provide their company with a much needed kick start: a receivable financing company.

A receivable financing company, or a factoring agency as they oftentimes referred to within business parlance, is a business entity that will purchase outstanding invoice accounts from a company and then provide the client company with a sum of money upon receipt of the invoices. The receivable financing company will then assume full, legal responsibility for the collection process of the money owed by the client specified on the invoice.

Once the client has paid the full balance owed to the receivable financing company, the factoring agency will then release the remainder of the funds owed to the client company….with a small deduction made from the funds received from the client in order to cover the expenses that they have incurred.

One of the major benefits of using a factoring agency is that the client company will be guaranteed to receive a fairly large amount of money in a very short space of time indeed which effectively eliminates and protects against the risks that an unpredictable and capricious degree of cash flow will pose to a client company.

Furthermore, this method of business financing will effectively mean that the agency is responsible for the collection process thereby freeing up the time and money of the client company who will not have to contend with the chasing up of fees or commissions owed.