Icici Bank Sells Terminals Of Card Payment

ICICI Bank has concluded the sale of its network of electronic point of sales (PoS) terminals that accept Credit Card and Debit Card payments to First Data Corporation (FDC). The bank has hived off its network of over 1.5 lakh electronic swipe machines to a separate company ICICI Merchant Services. First Data has bought an 81% stake in the company which has been valued at a little over $90 million.

When contacted, ICICI Bank refused to comment on the transaction. The bank has, however, communicated to merchants having ICICI Bank terminals that the PoS network has been transferred to ICICI Merchant Services. First Data, along with partner banks, is keen to proliferate payment transactions not just at top retailers but also through small cities or towns in India, said Amrish Rau, country manager, First Data Corporation.

Referring to the transaction with ICICI Bank, Mr Rau said an announcement would be made in due course. Mr Rau, who represents First Data in the country, is likely to head the new payments company. First Data is a US-based company that has been created after banks farmed out their back office processing systems into a separate company. FDC is presently owned by private equity giant KKR.

The Reserve Bank of India has already given clearance for the deal. According to banking sources, the deal value has gone up after RBI said that merchant establishments, including grocery stores and supermarkets, could swipe customer cards and offer them cash.

In addition to unlocking value, ICICI Bank expects that the specialised company will bring down transactions costs and also grow the payment network more efficiently. This is the first time that an Indian bank has hived off its PoS terminal network.

So far it has been foreign banks that have outsourced these functions but their network is of much smaller scale.

ICICI Merchant Services will earn a fee every time a credit cards or debit cards transaction is processed through the point of sale network. The fee is usually borne by the merchant and a large part of it goes to the card issuing bank. This is in lieu of the credit that the issuing bank extends to the cardholder until the end of the billing cycle. A smaller part of the commission goes to the bank owning the PoS terminal (acquiring bank) and smaller portion to the payment company Mastercard or Visa.

Incidentally, State Bank of India has for some time expressed its intention to set up a network of half a million point of sales terminals. To build this network the bank had earlier sought partners. However, the project was shelved as the bank decided to take a more holistic approach of its payments business.

Retirement Planning for Small Business 3 options

Wondering if your business is too small for a group retirement plan?

One of the keys to attracting and retaining top employees is to offer a high-quality retirement plan. A group savings plan conveniently helps employees save money for the future while reducing and deferring taxes today. Plus, the investment you make in a group retirement plan is an investment you make in your organization, your employees and your reputation. Everyone’s a winner.

Three options stand-out depending on what you want to accomplish with your plan and how much flexibility you need. These are: 401(k) plans, SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs.

The 401(k) Offers the Most Flexibility and High Contribution Limits The traditional 401(k) is probably the most widely known retirement product on the market. It’s the fully loaded, high performance SUV of retirement plans. It’s generally defined as one that enables a business owner and employees to make consistent, tax-deferred contributions during the length of their careers.

SEP IRAs are Pretty Easy to Start and 100% Funded by the Employer Simplified Employee Pensions, more commonly referred to as SEPs, are also a popular retirement plan choice as they offer a contribution limit that’s similar to a 401(k). It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a 401(k) plan, but it’s got a good engine under the hood. One of the most important things to understand about SEPs is that 100 percent of the contributions made are by the employer (no employee contributions allowed) and these dollars are immediately vested for the employee.

The SIMPLE IRA is a Solid, Affordable Third Option

The SIMPLE IRA’s name is a bit misleading (it actually stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees). While both employer and employee can contribute to the plan, the employer must match and matching is vested immediately.

If you do decide that you want to offer a retirement plan, you are definitely going to need some professional advice and guidance. Pension rules are complex, and the tax aspects of retirement plans can also be confusing.

As a financial planning and wealth management professional firm, Mintco Financial has been helping its clients effectively plan for comfortable retirements.

Michael Minter, as a managing partner of Mintco Financial, is a trusted investment management professional who carries more than 16 years of experience in this challenging career field.

Throughout his professional history, Michael Minter has gained strong insight into what skills and knowledge is necessary to perform investment management, wealth building services, small business development and retirement plans.

Michael MInter is also author of the book I-Plan, a guide for your financial security.

Call Michael Minter at 813-964-7100 at Mintco Financial.

Retirement Planning for Small Business

Kimco KEYS Program Provides Opportunity for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Seeking to Launch their First Re

Kimco Realty Corp. (Kimco) announced the launch of another small business through the Kimco Entrepreneurs Year Start (KEYS) program – Carlsbad’s Build-It-Workshops held its grand opening on Friday.

KEYS is a small business incubator program developed by Kimko.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, Kimco owned interests in 896 shopping centers comprising 131 million square feet of leasable space across 44 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and South America. KEYS launched in California, where Kimco owns over 110 shopping centers consisting of over 3,200 stores and 19.3 million square feet of leasable space.

The company says that it is actively seeking startup entrepreneurs and first-time business owners to apply to the program, which currently has over a hundred small shops (2,500 square feet and under) available for KEYS participants, including many pre-built restaurant spaces.

KEYS will place qualified applicants into Kimco shopping centers with one year of free rent and additional benefits such as affordable property charges to minimize initial overhead; access to personal Kimco retail business counselors; a flexible four-year lease option after the first year; as well as access to shop space in established retail centers. In addition, Kimco says that it will provide operational and financial support through the critical startup incubation years to better ensure the success of these first-time business owners.

Kimco has developed relationships with established educational organizations such as SCORE, the California Small Business Development Center, Kauffman FastTrac, and others that offer business resources and networking support.

The KEYS program seeks entrepreneurs who plan to open their first store, restaurant, or other concept (but not franchise companies), who have adequate funding for the venture, a written Business Plan with detailed business goals and who have the ability to articulate their plan for success in an interview. A certificate, endorsement, or letter of completion verifying entrepreneurial classes completed from an SBA sponsored business association, college, university or appropriate training organization is encouraged, but not required.

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Mcdonald’s Franchise Review – The Facts

Owning a McDonald’s franchise can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life if you know what you’re doing, if you have the resources to qualify and if you do it the right way. However, before you do your share of serving billions and billions of hamburgers worldwide, there’s a few things you need to be aware of in order to make the right decision.

Today, there are roughly over 30,000 restaurants spanning the globe in over 100 countries. McDonald’s franchise has been in existence since 1955 and the franchise owners have played huge roles in the overall success of the company.

When considering to buy a McDonald’s franchise, you have 2 options in which to do so. The first is to purchase an existing restaurant from the company or another franchise owner, which happens to be the most common practice. The second option is to purchase a brand new restaurant that is built from the ground up. In both cases, you must have a minimum of $300,000 down payment that can NOT be borrowed. You have to physically have it in liquid assets.

Other important factors in buying a McDonald’s franchise include having significant business experience, good management skills, the ability to manage finances well, you must be able to execute and deliver on a business plan, you have to maintain exceptional customer service and you have to have a good credit history. If you can’t show you have all of these capabilities, then this franchise may not be a good fit for you.

Most experts will tell you that breaking even in the first 7-10 years is doing a real good job of running your McDonald’s franchise. Part of the ongoing expenses include the traditional expenses like rent, utilities, inventory, wages and of course the 4% royalty fees that are based on gross revenues and not net profits. What’s interesting to know is that the McDonald’s corporation usually owns the land the franchises are on and the franchise owners pay their rent to the corporation. In fact, it can be argued that McDonald’s is actually in the business of real estate since they are one of the largest holders of real estate in the world.

Bottom line is that owing a McDonald’s franchise is not for the timid. You have to have considerable net worth, a good track record and still get approval by the company. Not all franchises are this way and if you don’t qualify for a McDonald’s franchise, then there are plenty of other viable options for you.

Loan Modification Relieves Mortgage Payments

A homeowner who is unable to keep up on their monthly mortgage payments can apply for a refinance, but if they are behind on their payments they may be turned down. Loans that carry a low interest rate are appealing to every homeowner, but not everyone who is buying a house can qualify for refinancing. The banks take into consideration the amount of equity in a home as well as calculating the mortgage insurance that is required on a conventional FHA loan. Although interest rates are low there a lot of owners who do not qualify for the refinancing options that can make paying their mortgage easier each month. An option that is open to many homeowners however is a modification to the existing loan. Through a lawyer a Las Vegas loan modification provides an alternative to refinancing that makes it easier to manage the mortgage payments.

An Alternative to Refinancing

A modification that is negotiated through a lawyer allows a homeowner to reduce their interest rate or extend the term of their mortgage contract. The result is a lower monthly house payment that makes it easier to manage all of the household expenses. Owners who have been in the same house for some time, but who have lost their equity due to the housing market collapse may be able to modify their loan by extending the term of the loan back out to 30 years. The balance that remains on the original loan is spread out over a longer term which allows the bank to lower the monthly payment. Interest rates that have dropped substantially over the past five years also allow an owner to adjust their current rate and see the savings that comes from paying less interest on their current loan. Because the banks are only willing to work with attorneys the only way to find debt relief is to contact a lawyer who can negotiate with the bank. Throughout Las Vegas, loan modification lawyers are helping people to manage their money by restructuring their mortgage without refinancing.

At The Schwartz Law Firm, our Las Vegas bankruptcy attorneys handle most types of bankruptcy filings on behalf of clients who are facing excessive debt, foreclosure, garnishment of wages or the failure of a small business. For Las Vegas, loan modification, contact us today! ()

Steps to Owning Bank Foreclosure Properties

Owning bank foreclosure properties is a simple process which anyone can undertake without the help of agents or brokers. There are real deals to be made in buying one of these distressed properties as long as the buyer approaches the entire affair with diligence and caution.

The process for buying bank foreclosure properties begins with research. The best place to start is the Internet where there are multitudes of web sites providing listings and information on foreclosures. There are free sites that offer country-wide listings but they are highly susceptible to inaccuracies. Your best bet would be the web sites that charge for subscription. For a small investment you get access to all types of foreclosures all across the country as well as news and studies on the market. You can customize your search in these sites to yield only the properties that suit your needs and buying capability.

Once you have subscribed to a web service offering foreclosure listings and before selecting your main prospects, you need to prequalify for home financing first if you do plan to pay for your purchase in cash. You can go to your bank and submit for a financial assessment to know the kind of loan and the amount you qualify for. You need this pre-approval certificate when you make your offer.

The Value Appraisal

If you have selected the home you would like to purchase you need to get an appraisal of the value of the property or at least the most likely price of the home compared to others like it in the market and the neighborhood. Bank foreclosure properties are typically sold at around 20 to 30 percent less than their market value.

The Offer

A typical offer for a bank owned home comes with good-faith money given upfront which can be around three percent of the purchase price. Your loan pre-qualification document should also be included in your offer. After your offer is accepted the deed of sale is drawn up. Some important matters to take care of at this point are the inspection period and the closing date as this could impact the overall cost of your purchase. The bank will allow an inspection contingency phase where buyers can cancel their purchase based on the inspection results.

Adopting Mobile Cloud Accounting Technology Into The Financial Workplace

How technology has affected the financial department in organisations?
Theres no doubt that new cloud technology has had an incredible impact on todays workplaces, particularly those who work in, or are involved with the financial aspects of an organisation. Over the last few decades, new and different technology has been injected into the workplace at an ever increasing rate. One of these is the use of the mobile device.

Smart phones, netbooks, iPads and other such tablets detach us from our desks and give us the freedom to roam with our work. Imagine using a cloud-based accounting and finance system. This would allow you to review budgets or produce financial reports from the garden, a taxi, or even on holiday. Having access to your financial data and information, whenever is suitable for you and wherever you are, cant be a bad thing for business.

Managing the accounting and finance function on the go
Most businesses have adopted mobile technology in some way or another, as its hard to ignore the lure of the high mobility and other strengths that come with cloud computing, particularly for accounting and finance professions. Smart phones started this revolution, and they are now an important device for the hard working professional. But now, the tablet device has enhanced our mobile experience even more. Theres more mobility offered than we get with laptops, and the screen is bigger than you get with smart phones, making it all the more easier to view and analyse your financial budgets, reports, expenditure, etc

Tablets enhance user experience
How many times have you been in a finance or board meeting and someone has requested some information that you can only provide once youre back at your desk? Well, with a tablet or any mobile device its right at your fingertips. It can be discussed straightaway, a decision taken and communicated to the business without you leaving your meeting.

With easy access to email, calendar and contacts built in to most devices, the most simple business functions are now easy to get up and running in a few easy steps. Add on many of the freely available apps and you have a fully functioning business tool.

Where next?
All mobile devices are tools that should ultimately enable, not disable business. So if you find a cloud-based accounting and finance system that allows you to work on the go, and allow other people access to the information they need without needing your help, then the way organisations are run can change for the better.

Financial Professionals Are on the Front Lines in the Fight Against Financial Elder Abuse

A Wells Fargo financial professional recently helped to save a client from losing money in a scam targeting senior citizens. The 78-year old client thought that he won an overseas lottery. Instead, he became a victim of financial elder abuse via a typical lottery scam. The Wells Fargo professional prevented money from being sent offshore, however money from another bank was sent out. San Francisco financial elder abuse attorneys warn senior citizens that lottery scams are abundant. California elder abuse attorneys warn the public not to fall for lottery scams.

In this case, the senior citizen victim was contacted by unknown individuals claiming to be from the Costa Rican lottery. They told the senior citizen that he had won the lottery and that he could collect a $5 million payout. Then they told the senior citizen victim that there were some formalities and that they would need some personal information to verify his identity. Additionally, they told him that he needed to send money to pay off various taxes and fees associated with the money he had won. The senior citizen victim then went to one of his banks and transferred $88,000 to an offshore account. California financial elder abuse attorneys warn seniors not to transfer money overseas. San Francisco financial elder abuse attorneys say that sending money to offshore accounts is a very risky proposition.

Next, the senior citizen victim went to his Wells Fargo Bank and attempted to set up another transfer of $50,000 to an offshore account. This time the senior citizen got lucky. The Wells Fargo financial professional knew immediately that something was wrong and refused to go forward with the transfer. Since the senior citizen client was convinced that he was one transfer away from getting $5 million, there was an unpleasant exchange between the financial professional and the senior citizen. At that point, the financial advisor contacted the family of the senior and they helped convince him that it was a scam. The financial advisor helped prevent further financial elder abuse by refusing to transfer the money. San Francisco financial elder abuse attorneys say that financial professionals can play a role in the battle against financial elder abuse.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse, financial elder abuse, physical elder abuse, annuity fraud, consumer fraud class actions, insurance and banking fraud cases. If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of elder abuse, or financial fraud then contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email us at

Transition from Military Life to Small Business Careers

Perhaps one of the most challenging career and employment situations imaginable takes place every single day when individuals serving in the military prepare to move from military service to a new career. This involves thousands of motivated government employees who at first glance should have absolutely no trouble in obtaining an appropriate job. It is hard to imagine any prospective employees who would have more motivation to work hard and succeed in whatever they do.

Despite initial appearances, military personnel are currently experiencing a high unemployment and underemployment rate. Perhaps because of this or outdated assumptions about the value of all forms of college education, the first step in military transition to business careers is often a decision to obtain a college degree. This can prove to be the right move in some cases, but it can also become an expensive mistake.

The difference between education and training is frequently misunderstood by many people, and such misunderstandings probably contribute to a disproportionate percentage of career choices focusing on educational institutions instead of more specialized (and much cheaper) career training programs. While advanced education has a special place for specific purposes and goals, it is simply not the best career choice in a surprising number of cases. One of the best possible illustrations of this dilemma occurs when someone is departing from the military. In this situation, education can appear to be the “easy” decision. But with more scrutiny, training frequently emerges as the “smart” decision.

Just as specialized business training is usually one of the most cost-effective strategies available to small businesses, the selection of a practical career training program will often prove to be a more cost-effective military transition alternative in comparison to other options that include lengthy and expensive university studies. It is true that the most viable and appropriate training choices will require some investigative time and effort to evaluate thoroughly. In large part this is due to the fact that colleges and universities have extensive marketing resources to advertise and persuade while the less well-known training opportunities are more of a “word of mouth” situation.

For example, one of the most effective career training situations devotes no resources whatsoever to advertising and lobbying. In this case the program leads to a small business finance consulting career. Because overhead is much less than the highly-capitalized universities, the cost of such services are understandably much less. Unfortunately it is not always true that you get what you pay for, so a prudent military transition will require due diligence from start to finish.

Stephen Bush has provided candid business advice to small business owners for over 30 years. He specializes in business negotiating and business proposal writing. Steve offers career training programs for small business finance consulting throughout the United States and Canada. He is a U.S. Navy veteran who works directly with individuals leaving military service and helps with the transition to a small business career.

Essential Points To Keep In Mind While Preparing For Bank As Well As Ibps Recruitment 2013

In a bank job, a person needs to deal with transaction of large amounts of money, which does not belong to him, so the person needs to have qualities like honesty and sincerity. A candidate who wants to get recruited in banks should be good with mathematics, should have sound knowledge about computers, be adaptive to different challenges and environments and should always be ready to put extra efforts on demand. This just doesnt mean that you would have to stay back in the bank for the whole night or something. Its about maintaining a perfect balance between your personal life, family and work.

Most banks look for efficient candidates. The Recruitment programs like South Indian Bank Recruitment 2013 want its future employees to have the will power to handle work pressure. If you go through the bank exam papers carefully, you should mark the fact that there are huge loads of questions that needs to be answered in comparatively less time. These exams not only judge the ability of the people appearing for the exams they also test their presence of mind, competitive nature and the zeal to give the best of performance even under pressure. None who panics by looking at the number of questions may be able to solve more of them.

Before appearing for a particular bank interview a person is advised to study about the banks history – how it could expand and what is the strategy behind its growth. Understanding these facts about the bank increases the probability of getting selected in personal interviews. Just go through the previous papers and mark the pattern. See which kind of questions you cant solve. This way, one can easily overcome ones shortcoming and will be able to crack recruitment exams. A periodic revision is also very important for people who want to crack bank exams. So never dare to ignore revision. One more important thing is that attitude matters. You might have cleared the written exam, but the interview and group discussion panel might reject you if you dont have the right professional attitude. Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Recruitment 2013 looks for this quality in a candidate.

When IBPS came into the scenario, many questions were asked regarding the effectiveness of a common written examination pattern. Overcoming each of these questions, IBPS Recruitment 2013 has become one of the most challenging exams in India. This exam has different sections and to be IBPS certified, a person needs to get a minimum score in all these sections. It is compulsory to attend all the sections but a person should concentrate more in a section, which he is best at, be it the English section, reasoning etc. It is important to remember that every second matters when a person is appearing for IBPS exam. Therefore proper management of time can take you one step forward. When a person gets good score in IPBS examination, he will be eligible for most of the bank recruitment programs.