Legends used in bank account statement
A bank account statement offers all transaction details carried out within a defined time period
When we receive our bank account statement, we just briefly go through it and keep it aside or store it in one of our folders. A few of us check whether our names and the transactions made (debit or credit) are correctly or not. The bank statement includes a host of technical terms such as ICONN, Autosweep, VMT, etc. Most of us are hardly aware about these terms.
Basically a bank account statement offers all transaction details carried out within a defined time period. A bank statement or account statement is a summary of financial transactions which have occurred over a given period of time on a bank account held by a person or business with a financial institution.
Bank statements are typically printed on one or several pieces of paper and either mailed directly to the account holder’s address, or kept at the financial institution’s local branch for pick-up. Certain ATMs offer the possibility to print, at any time, a condensed version of a bank statement. In recent years there has been a shift towards paperless, electronic statements. Let’s understand some legends used in the statement.
Terms mentioned in the Statement
- ICONN: Transaction through Iconnect—an inter-connect platform—which has the ability to work with various communication protocols and media of operation.
- AUTOSWEEP: Transfer to linked fixed deposit
- REV SWEEP: Interest on linked fixed deposit
- SWEEP TRF: Transfer from linked fixed deposit / account
- VMT: Visa money transfer through ATM
- CWDR: Cash withdrawal through ATM
- PUR: Purchase using the debit card
- TIP/SCG: Surcharge on usage of debit card at petrol pumps/railway ticket purchase or hotel tips
- RATE.DIFF: Difference in rates on usage of card internationally
- CLG: Cheque clearing transaction
- EDC: Credit through EDC (electronic data capture) machine transaction
- SETU: Seamless electronic fund transfer through the Bank
- Int. Pd: Interest paid to customer
- Int. Coll: Interest collected from the customer
- MMT: MasterCard money transfer through ATM
Saving with banks
Do not lose your hard earned money; always save in a bank account.
Why save in a bank?
Money kept in a bank is safe as banks are regulated and pool the savings for nation-building. Apart from safety, banks do not charge fee for depositing the money. On the other hand, they pay us interest on our deposits, so our money grows in bank.
Putting our money in a bank means we can also use it whenever we need it. The transactions with the banks are transparent. Banks offer lots of other useful services. When we have a deposit account with banks, we can easily get many facilities like loans and remittance facilities at reasonable cost. We can even nominate a person who can claim the money after our death.
What is nomination?
Nomination is a facility that enables a deposit holder to designate an individual, who can claim the amount lying in the bank account in case of death of the account holder. It is always advisable to make nomination in a bank account so that the nominated person can get the amount easily.
Advantages of bank account
- A bank account gives us an identity which is recognized by other government agencies.
- Transactions are transparent in a bank account i.e. we know all the details of deposits, withdrawals, interest, etc.
- Banks are non-discriminatory i.e. rules are same in the bank for similar type of customers.
- Our money in a bank account is safe.
- Banks open savings, recurring and fixed deposit accounts according to our needs and pay interest on deposits.
- We can get our wages/salary directly credited to the bank account.
- We can get all social benefits like MGNREGA wages, pensions etc. directly credited to bank account through EBT (electronic benefit transfer).
- We can deposit or withdraw our money from the bank whenever we need.
- We can take loan from the bank in case of necessity. Banks give loans for productive purposes at reasonable interest rates. If we have a bank account, sanctioning of loans becomes easier.
- We can send remittance through the bank.
What is EBT?
EBT means electronic benefit transfer for credit of social security benefits like MGNREGA wages, old age pension, widow pension, cash transfers in lieu of LPG subsidy, etc.
The amount due to us gets credited to our bank account timely and efficiently without involvement of intermediaries. Thus it avoids the delays and leakages involved in the existing manual system. We can withdraw the money from our bank account as and when we want. We can also avail of other facilities from the bank.
What is remittance?
We can send money to other people staying at distant places throughout the country through the bank. Banks transfer our money from one place to another and from person to person safely, speedily and efficiently. So, if we have a bank account, we can easily transfer money to our child’s account if he is studying in another city. We can also receive money in our bank account from our relatives working at distant places.
What is interest?
Interest is the amount our money earns when we save our money or it is the amount we have to pay when we borrow money in addition to the borrowed amount. The money which we keep with banks is not kept idle. The banks lend this money to other people. Those who borrow money from banks pay some interest.
Say, we deposit Rs. 1,000 with a bank. The bank lends that amount to another person. He pays, say Rs. 100 as a charge to the bank at the end of one year. The bank gives us a share of it, say Rs. 40. This extra income which we get from keeping Rs. 1,000 for one year with the bank is known as interest.
Types of deposit accounts
Banks offer three types of deposit accounts: Savings deposit, Term deposit & Recurring deposit as explained below:
Savings deposit account is for depositing our day to day surplus. We can withdraw our money whenever we need it. We can also get an overdraft (Loan for emergency needs) in our saving account.
Term deposit account is for depositing our money for a fixed period suitable to our needs. This may earn interest at higher rate than saving account, as we deposit money for a pre decided fixed period. We can also withdraw before the due date but in that case we will get less interest.
Recurring deposit account is for depositing an amount periodically say every day or every week or every month for a certain period. This can be used for depositing regular savings.
Are you using a valid cheque book?
Cheque truncation system to provide a more efficient, secure and fast clearing process
Cheques issued by any bank needs to be compliant with cheque truncation system (CTS) 2010 standards, according to RBI (Reserve Bank of India) guidelines. CTS-2010 is a benchmark for standardisation of cheques issued by banks across the country. Banks have been asked to ensure all cheques are compliant with CTS-2010 standards by April 1, 2013. Thus, non-CTS cheques would not be used after 31 March 2013.
The main feature of CTS-2010 cheques is that a cheque can be cleared electronically. A CTS-2010 cheque will not have to go through the process of physical clearance. When a customer deposits a CTS-2010-complied cheque, the bank can simply send the cheque’s image to the drawee bank, whose cheque has been issued; once the drawee bank scrutinises and recognizes the cheque, it will get cleared. This move will help banks save on transaction cost and time.
How to identify if your cheques are CTS 2010 compliant?
- Bank/branch address with IFSC code will be printed on the top left corner of the cheque.
- Standard date format.
- Printer name along with ‘CTS 2010’ printed on the extreme left of the cheque.
- Bank logo on the centre of the cheque.
- ‘Please sign above’ is mentioned on the bottom right corner of the cheque.
- Rupee symbol ( ) in the amount column
The CTS 2010 cheque has bank’s logo printed with invisible (ultra violet) ink. The logo is at the center of the cheque and can be visible in ultra violet-enabled scanners / lamps. It establishes genuineness of a cheque.
In case if your CTS 2010 cheque book, you must obtain a new CTS complied cheque book, and surrender the non-compliant one to the bank. If you have availed a home or auto loan and issued post-dated cheques instead of opting for direct debit, you need to replace such post-dated cheques with the CTS-2010 compliant ones after March 31, 2013. To avoid this hassle, you can also switch to the direct debit / ECS (electronic clearance service) mode where the EMI (equated monthly installment) amount would be debited from your account every month.
What are the benefits of CTS 2010
Faster Clearing: CTS 2010 will eliminate the physical movement of cheques for clearing by transmitting the electronic images of the cheques, ensuring more efficient, secure and quicker processing of your cheques.
Security: The new security features in CTS 2010 cheques make it easy for banks to confirm the genuineness of the cheques presented for clearing.
Safety against frauds : The enhanced security features of the new cheque format would act as a deterrent against frauds in your accounts.
A majority of the banks have been issuing CTS-2010 cheques as of now. The new cheque standard 'CTS 2010' with set of minimum security features would ensure uniformity across all cheque forms issued by banks in the country and also help presenting banks while scrutinising and recognising cheques of drawee banks in an image-based processing scenario.
The introduction of new cheque standards ‘CTS 2010’ was needed on account of several developments in the cheque clearing namely growing use of multi-city and payable-at-par cheques at any branch of a bank, increasing popularity of speed clearing for local processing of outstation cheques and implementation of grid based CTS for image-based cheque processing, etc.
What is exchange earners’ foreign currency account
An EEFC is an account maintained in foreign currency with a bank dealing in foreign exchange
Exchange earners’ foreign currency account (EEFC) is an account maintained in foreign currency with an authorised dealer i.e. a bank dealing in foreign exchange. It is a facility provided to the foreign exchange earners, including exporters, to credit 100% of their foreign exchange earnings to the account, so that the account holders do not have to convert foreign exchange into rupees and vice versa, thereby minimising the transaction costs.
All categories of foreign exchange earners, such as individuals, companies, etc. who are resident in India, can open EEFC accounts. Special economic zone (SEZ) units cannot open EEFC accounts. But, a unit located in an SEZ can open a foreign currency account with an authorised dealer in India subject to certain conditions. SEZ developers can open EEFC Accounts.
An EEFC account can be held only in the form of a current account. Cheque facility is available for operation of the EEFC account. No interest is payable on EEFC accounts.
Up to 100% foreign exchange earnings can be credited to the EEFC account. However, the sum total of the accruals in the account during a calendar month should be converted into rupees before the last day of the succeeding calendar month after adjusting for utilization of the balances for approved purposes or forward commitments.
Some of the permissible credits into EEFC account
i) Inward remittance through normal banking channels, other than remittances received on account of foreign currency loan or investment received from abroad or received for meeting specific obligations by the account holder;
ii) Payments received in foreign exchange by a 100% export oriented unit;
iii) Payments received in foreign exchange by a unit in the domestic tariff area for supply of goods to a unit in the SEZ;
iv) Payment received by an exporter from an account maintained with an authorised dealer for the purpose of counter trade. (Counter trade is an arrangement involving adjustment of value of goods imported into India against value of goods exported from India);
v) Advance remittance received by an exporter towards export of goods or services;
vii) Professional earnings including directors fees, consultancy fees, lecture fees, honorarium and similar other earnings received by a professional by rendering services in his individual capacity;
viii) Re-credit of unused foreign currency earlier withdrawn from the account;
ix) Amount representing repayment by the account holder's importer customer, of loan/advances granted, to the exporter holding such account; and
x) The disinvestment proceeds received by the resident account holder on conversion of shares held by him to ADRs/GDRs under the Sponsored ADR/GDR Scheme approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board of the government of India.
Foreign exchange earnings received through an international credit card for which reimbursement has been made in foreign exchange may be regarded as a remittance through normal banking channel and the same can be credited to the EEFC account. There is no restriction on withdrawal in rupees of funds held in an EEFC account. However, the amount withdrawn in rupees will not be eligible for conversion into foreign currency and for re-credit to the account.
Mobile Banking: A convenient way of transacting
More than 95% of Indians use mobile phones. There is hardly any person who doesn’t know about the benefits that a mobile phone offer. These phones connect us anywhere and anytime. We make use of mobile phones to make calls, receive and send text messages. If we have a smart phone with 3G/4G connectivity, then we can also access the Internet.
We can also use our mobile phones for mobile banking. However, many of us think that mobile payment system is unsafe, expensive and the process is complicated. Hence we remain ignorant towards the advantages which mobile banking offers.
Mobile banking eliminates the need to go to a bank and stand in queues. It save times and is available 24*7. Mobile banking is synonymous with the word convenience banking. Some transactions that you can easily undertake through mobile banking are balance inquiries, mini statements and utility payments among others.
A brief idea
Mobile banking transactions are transactions where customers undertake banking transactions using their mobile phones involving credit or debit to their accounts. Like in the case of Internet banking, through mobile banking, you can perform various banking functions through your mobile phone.
How to go about it
With most banks offering mobile banking services, there are different ways to do the same but the basic procedure remains the same. Only savings and current account holders are eligible for mobile banking service. Such account holders need to register their mobile numbers with the bank. Bank services can be accessed only from the registered phone number. Also, the customer has to generate an mPIN (mobile PIN) that acts as a security password for mobile banking. mPIN works in the same manner as in the case of ATM cards which is provided by the banks.
In case the wrong MPIN is entered three times during a transaction, the mobile banking service account gets deactivated for a day or two.
Banking transactions through mobile phones have increased to Rs. 2.86 billion in May 2012 due to a higher number of users with mobile phones. The value of such transactions stood at Rs. 910 million in May 2011, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Some transactions that you can conduct through mobile banking are:
- Check account balance
- Order cheque book
- Stop cheque payment
- View recent transactions
- Conduct fund transfer (within and outside the bank)
- Check your demat account
- Undertake bill payments
- Recharge your mobile phone
- Blocking of (lost, stolen) cards
- Book movie or travel tickets
Most banks offer mobile banking services free to their customers. There are no charges levied by banks for accessing this service. However, we will need to pay for the GPRS (general packet radio service) subscription charges as levied by our mobile phone service providers.
The primary question for most of us still remains is the security of mobile transactions.Due to the use of a two-way authentication process of mobile number and mPIN verification over interactive voice response (IVR), the risks involved in using mobile banking are lower than other modes of transactions.
Mobile banking services are surely convenient, reasonable and safe. Banks are proactive in ensuring security so that only the right account owner is able to access his mobile banking services.
At the same time, we as customers need to protect our mPIN. We should never disclose our personal information such as account number, password, PAN card number in text messages. These can be used for identity theft.
Always lock your phone when not in use to prevent unauthorised user access. Check your phone settings and enable the auto-lock feature. This will also give you some time if your phone is stolen. At regular intervals, change your account password used for making transactions. Before handing over your device to others, wipe out all the personal account information.
Saving tips for couples
Money often turns out to be the biggest discord between married couples and many divorce cases can be attributed to monetary issues. In most cases, it is because of the lack of communication. However, there is always scope for miscommunication as communication cannot always be clear between individuals. Here are some tips on financial planning tips for couples:
Individualism –When it comes to money matters, it is always better to let the other person remain independent about his/her financial planning. If your spouse wants to save some money in the form of mutual funds or recurring deposits, it may be because he/she has a specific plan in mind for the both of you. Let your spouse proceed with personal financial agendas as long as it is not uncalculated gambling.
Privacy – Even in the most intimate of relationships, some privacy or fencing is required to protect the relationship. As far as finances are concerned, it is not necessary that your spouse should be aware of your income and expense ratio. Let the non-earning member be content with the money needed to fulfill his/her needs. If you divulge details of your income and expenses, your spouse might feel that he/she deserves more money and friction might begin in the relationship.
Save and then marry – Many people make the mistake of not saving up enough money before marriage. Ideally, you should be prepared to take up marital responsibilities only after you have enough funds to take care of all your family needs for at least six months to a year post the wedding. Marriage comes with a lot of responsibilities and no matter how strong at heart you may be, you need to be financially prepared before tying the knot.
The homemaker should save some funds – The homemaker, normally the lady of the house, should understand that it is not always possible (for the earning member) to save the same amount every month or year because additional and unexpected expenses arise and need to be managed. As a home maker, you should keep aside some money for a rainy day as you never know what life has in store for you.
Invest in health plans – All is well when your health is protected. Invest some money in health insurance so you do not need to grope around in the dark if and when there is a health concern.
Saving beyond the savings account
Everybody has some kind of financial plan and that plan can always get a boost with extra cash. If you have more money flow than what you need to save, it is the best time to utilize the extra money for greater comfort and luxury. However, no matter how much money you have, never spend it unreasonably as you may not be as lucky tomorrow. Here is how you can utilize the extra cash.
Clear the burdens
Taking loans to lead a better life is now common among many. Many people take a home loan or a car loan and spend a good amount of money every month on Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) payments. If you have regular and sufficient money flow, it is the right time to rid the burden of these loans from your shoulders. Moreover, if you have enough to clear the entire loan, make it your priority. If you can’t, pay an extra amount over and above your EMIs to clear the loan as soon as possible.
Saving accounts are just not enough anymore with their low interest rates. Emergency funds are very important to have as you never know what life has in store for you in the future. An emergency fund will come to your rescue if you have to face difficult situations such as a loss of job or an accident. An emergency fund can secure a safe future for your family. Use your extra cash to create an emergency fund.
Everybody must hold life insurance and medical insurance policies. If you don’t already have them, it is best to use the extra cash to buy insurance policies. If you already hold insurance policies, you can consider changing to a policy which offers better benefits but requires higher premiums. You can add a rider to your existing policy too. Some insurance policies double up as investments. You can opt for these plans and get some returns too.
Deposit some of the extra money which you do not require immediately into a Fixed Deposit. This is because FDs have a certain lock-in period once funds are deposited. One can opt for a premature withdrawal, but that will attract some penalty. FDs give higher returns than a savings account. One has the option to open the FD account in the same bank where they have their savings account. This will make things easy and convenient. Those willing to take risks can put their extra cash in a mutual fund investment as that would help their money grow over a period of time.
Save your Windfall Gains
Life has its ways to test our character by throwing situations at us where we need to take decisions which would impact our future. This applies to our financial matters too. May a time in life, will get unexpected profits, or windfall gains, and those are the times when our handling of that money will decide our future.
Assume you are gambling in a casino and have hit a jackpot. In this situation, a person tends to bet the money earned thinking that it is not going from his pocket. The same applies to investors. One may earn higher returns than expected in an invetment and he may reinvest that money in more risky instruments, hoping to earn more.
What should you do?
All you need is a clear perspective in such moments. Take a moment and think how you can benefit with those windfall gains. The money is yours and you can and should use it to make your future secure. It would be better than taking a chance with that money. Try and find a good savings plan to secure that gain.
Improve your future goals
You may have some future goals in mind such as buying a house, a car or taking a vacation abroad. Imagine how much that unexpected profit can do for those goals. Remember to always think long term. Saving is the biggest part of any financial plan. It is extremely important for a secure future and helps to create an emergency fund because you will never know when life takes a different turn. Any disease or accident can cost you heavy and you must always be prepared for a rainy day. Putting that profit in your saving/emergency fund is the best thing to do.
You can invest the unexpected gains but first ensure the safety of the investment. Mutual funds or fixed income plans can be your best choice. However, if you do want to enjoy that money, balance the act by spending only a small percentage and saving the bigger component.
Bank Account Mergers
Decision on account type
Human relationships are delicate and have grown more complex over periods of time. Needless to say that money has come to play a big role in relationships. While no relationship is perfect, genuine efforts on couple’s part could go a long way in ascertaining a stable future for the bond. Channeling the hard-earned money in the best possible way could ascertain the financial stability of the couple, whereas one false step could make each of them bankrupt. Such understanding gains added importance today where most married households and couple preferring live-in relationships have two incomes. More so because individuals have established financial setups even before they begin living together and the need for an agreement on how to share recurring expenses becomes all the more important.
Planning a financial agreement
The decision to maintain a joint account or separate accounts therefore, requires serious planning and thought. Before deciding on the type of financial arrangement, a couple needs to engage in several important steps.
At the outset, a couple should engage in an open discussion where every matter of financial concern is laid bare for mutual discussion. Discussions on existing debts of both partners, mistakes one might have made by not paying on time, and savings and other financial assets or liabilities that each partner have are very important. A couple must remember that having decided to marry or live together means taking on each other’s debt and assets. Both partners must begin seeing the money as theirs instead of his or her assets or liabilities.
Planning a budget
Secondly, a couple must ensure that the budget is well-planned. The budget should be so planned that every rupee is accounted for. Sometimes it is important to allow each other spend part of the money that he or she will not have to account for. The amount thus spent may depend on the circumstances but it has to be ensured that enough is left for meeting obligations, saving, or to free both from any debt incurred before it begins to weigh too much on the income.
Next, a couple must plan and set objectives together. Such financial goals will help each other communicate effectively about money matters and also keep each other focused while helping in prevail over turbulent periods in the future. Some common goals can be saving a decent amount for retirement, saving for upfront payments for a new house or for saving an adequate amount that will enable both partners to retire by a certain age. If children have been planned, a couple may find it necessary to think more along these lines. Further, after having a child, and if it is so planned that either one of the spouses would remain at home, finances will have to be adjusted accordingly in terms of education expenses and other necessities for the child.
Regular budget meetings
It is also important to engage in budget meetings once every week or on a monthly basis. A couple can set up a system that allows each partner to know how much money has been left in the expense account at all times. Personal accounting software can be of good help as one can check balances quickly. It is also a good idea if most bills are written out together as well as miscellaneous expenses kept track of together. Such budget meetings will help the couple significantly to remain on track.
It is now up to the couple to decide the type of account it chooses to maintain, one that is mutually beneficial and the most acceptable. A choice can either be made on opening a joint account, maintaining separate accounts or combining the two types so as to have some sense of financial autonomy for personal use. A look at how these accounts work may be helpful in deciding on what best to choose.
Joint account – benefits and drawbacks
It is often awkward to talk with a partner about money matters, especially if one of the partners is known to be irresponsible and has the habit of spending more than one’s portion of income. However, a joint account is quite often one of the easiest options in terms of logistics as both partners’ money goes into a single account from where household and other expenses can be drawn. It is however, important that account holders communicate with each other while making most purchases and the amounts spent should be kept track of manually or with the help of personal accounting software.
On the other hand, as mentioned above, a joint bank account might be a problem because if one of the partners spends excessively and doesn’t keep track of expenses, it can be easy to overdraw the account regularly. A joint account can also become problematic if the relation between partners is not legally binding. One needs to trust a partner a great deal and have faith that either one will not simply disappear with the money in the joint account. One way to prevent such a situation would be not to put in all the money into a joint account. If there is an income gap between the couple, only that amount needed to pay for essential expenses such as house rent and food costs can be put into a joint account, leaving the remaining amount with each partner to pay for their personal expenses.
Freezing a joint account
Couples usually freeze their joint accounts if there is a marital dispute between them. But freezing joint accounts can also be for other reasons, such as irresponsible spending by a partner or by both. Getting the bank to freeze a joint account is simple and quick.
The first step is to contact the bank that has the joint account. This can be done either over the phone or by personally visiting the bank. The lender will ask for the account number and necessary identification questions for security reasons. The bank can also be intimated in writing that the account should be kept in a frozen state until instructed otherwise. It will keep the note as a letter of record if any dispute were to arise in the future. The request note should contain the account number, name and address of the account holders. It is also important to discuss with a partner about what is to be done with the frozen joint account. If it’s a case of divorce, the partners should come to an agreement as to what each other’s share would be from the joint account. If the account has been frozen for matters other than divorce, the partners should discuss among themselves on when to reopen it and ways of using it prudently henceforth.
Separate accounts – feasibility and problems
Many a couple is more comfortable when separate accounts are maintained. Each individual will have a separate account and the income of each partner goes into his or her personal account. A couple can decide to divide household expenses so that each partner is responsible for some of the costs which are paid out from the personal account. This option also does away with the responsibility of accounting for what the money has been spent on as long as bills are paid. This method can also work smoothly as long as a couple has come to an understanding on which expenses are to be met from each account, and as long as one trusts the partner to oblige with his or her end of the arrangement. It also allows each partner to have control over his or her money.
On the other hand, this arrangement can lead to problems when it comes to shared goals, such as saving for retirement and vacations. Things can also sour between couples if one partner fails to pay from his or her account.
A slice of both joint and separate accounts
A good solution to any account dilemma couples may find themselves in would be having both separate and joint accounts. The partners can maintain separate accounts which could be used for discretionary spending, but they could also maintain a joint account for shared expenses. Under this arrangement, each partner contributes with a percentage of his or her income into the joint account every month.
This account would contain money to pay for necessary bills, groceries, expenses towards children as well as for long-terms savings objectives. Each partner will have some percentage of his or her respective income to spend for personal use, which can either be spent entirely or even saved, depending entirely on one’s personal discretion.
However, this sort of agreement has its share of problems too, especially if one of the partners earns significantly more than the other. For instance, if a couple decides to put in each month 80% of the combined income into the joint account, the one who earns Rs 50,000 will have Rs 10,000 each month for discretionary use, while the partner who earns Rs30,000 a month will have just Rs6,000 for personal spending. This can lead to resentment in some cases.
Ultimately, couples will have to decide what the best option for them is and should go ahead setting up a bank account structure that would help them reach the goals they have set.
Courtesy : Financial Literacy Agenda for Mass Empowerment(FLAME)