How  new account aggregator  system could benefit you

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The account aggregator system in banking has kicked off with eight of India’s largest banks, including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank Axis Bank. When fully functional, the system can make lending wealth management a lot faster cheaper. Mint explains:

What are account aggregators?

Account aggregators are entities licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to collect share financial information. When you apply for a bank loan, you can ask an account aggregator to collect information about all your bank accounts or other assets submit it to the lender. This can establish your eligibility for the loan. Since the account aggregator sources information directly from a financial institution, it will be considered authentic the lender does not need to worry about fake documents. All of this is done electronically, reducing cost time taken for physical paperwork.

How does the system work?

The account aggregator system has three components: Financial Information Users (FIUs), Financial Information Providers (FIPs), account aggregators. The FIU requests the data, the FIP provides it, the aggregator is the intermediary acting under your instructions. You sign up on the aggregator’s platform link your bank accounts other financial records to it. Thereafter, you authorize third parties who are on-boarded as FIUs to fetch the information for the purpose you have in mind. For example, your wealth manager can be an FIP it might need to get quarterly statements of all your investments.

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The new framework

What will the new system cost you?

The aggregator can either charge you or the FIU (data user) in question. The costs will be determined by each aggregator individually. However, due to the online nature of this system, they are likely to be low. In some cases, they might cut down on charges that you already have to bear when it comes to information verification. Take loan processing charges, for example.

What about privacy consent?

The idea behind the new system is to enable you to give informed consent for data sharing. It will allow you to share specific information for a specific period. For example, you authorize the aggregator to share your bank account statement for a particular account for the last three years with a lender. The information being shared will be limited to that bank account the time period mentioned. You will also have redressal options in case your information is shared without your consent.

Where is this system headed?

Although it is currently confined to areas under four regulators—RBI, Sebi, Irdai PFRDA, talks are on to add more sources of information such as goods service tax income tax. These can help with areas like loan approval wealth management. For instance, a tap of the finger could allow the aggregator to share your verified income tax returns with a bank which you have approached for a loan. Eventually, even documents like covid-19 vaccination certificates could become part of the system.

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5 Benefits of Having a Savings Account | Banking Advice

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When people talk about investing, they’re often referring to stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals or foreign currency. Those investment vehicles can offer a nice long-term return on your money, but they come with disadvantages – risk, high minimum amounts lack of easy access to your money.

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On the other side of the spectrum is the humble savings account. It’s not glamorous. In fact, it’s pretty boring – so boring that many people don’t even qualify it as an investment, though like any other investment, it’s a method of putting aside money for the future in order to create or preserve wealth. And it is an investment option that takes care of virtually every problem mentioned above.

Many people overlook savings accounts because of the low returns that you can expect compared with the potential returns of other long-term investments. Savings accounts are returning a rate far below inflation. Still, savings accounts have a number of other advantages to help make up for that low return.

Let’s take a closer look.

It’s FDIC-Insured

What this means is that for the first $250,000 you have in a savings account, you’re automatically insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. against the failure of your bank. If your bank were to go out of business, the money in your account would be safe. You would either be paid that money directly or, more likely, a new account would be opened for you at another bank with the same balance as before.

This is not the case with other types of investments. If you own a stock in a company that goes out of business, you’re left with nothing. The same is true with a bond. Precious metal markets fluctuate rapidly cryptocurrencies may devalue all the way to nothing. In those markets, there’s nothing to protect you. You’re not insured against disaster like you are in a savings account.

Simply put, you’re not going to lose money in your savings account if a business fails. The same cannot be said of many other investments.

It’s Low-Risk

Savings accounts, by their very nature, don’t lose money. In many investments, you’ll lose money over the course of individual days, weeks, months or even years. But with a savings account, your balance won’t go down. It will only go up. (That is, until you take money out, of course.)

This is a huge mark in a savings account’s favor during a downturn in the stock market, bond market or real estate market. In 2008, when the S&P 500 dropped nearly 40% of its value in a single year, savings accounts everywhere held all of their value even increased in value.

The advantage of savings accounts here is that they’re safe from volatility. If it is imperative that you not lose value in your investment in the short term, then a savings account will accomplish that. Investments in the stock market, real estate other products often lose value over the course of a year – or even three-year or five-year periods. That won’t happen in a savings account.

If you can’t afford to lose some of your money, a savings account is a great place to put it.

The Money in the Account Is Always Available

Most savings accounts can be accessed day or night at any ATM. Just slip in your debit card, hit a few buttons, the money is in your hand.

That’s not true for many other investments. Even the more liquid ones can take several days to get money into your pocket (or, more accurately, into your checking account). Some investment products, such as real estate properties, can take months or years to sell off.

This is why many people use their savings accounts as an emergency fund. When an emergency comes, they can easily access those funds immediately have the cash they need to deal with urgent life problems. That often doesn’t work with other investments.

However, the number of withdrawals you can make each month are usually limited by federal regulation. Some banks charge fees if you surpass six withdrawals in a month.

It Does Earn a Return (Albeit a Small One)

That’s not a big flashy number like you might earn in the stock market, but at least it’s steady reliable. You’ll earn that return like clockwork, your bank will notify you if it is adjusting its rates. That’s far better than the alternative of just stashing cash in your mattress.

It Doesn’t Require a Big Initial Investment

Many investments, such as real estate mutual funds, require a significant amount of money as an initial investment. For example, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund requires a $3,000 minimum. Most real estate investments are quite expensive, often requiring most people to get a mortgage in order to afford them.

On the other hand, most savings accounts have an extremely low minimum balance, if any. You deposit what you have, that’s good enough. Some savings accounts do offer higher interest rates if your balance is sufficiently high, but there’s often no minimum to simply open maintain an account.

You’re not going to get rich from a savings account, but you’re not going to lose your shirt, either.

A savings account is a safe place to put your money when you can’t afford to lose any or think you’ll need it in an emergency. It’s also a good place to put some of your investments as a hedge against losses – you can’t lose everything if some of your money is in an ordinary savings account, after all. It is a great short-term option.

Don’t overlook the virtues of the ordinary savings account. It can should be a part of your financial plans.

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Taxpayers can file dispute settlement requests till end of September

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NEW DELHI,
CBDT :

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Tuesday gave time till September end for tax payers to file applications for settlement of tax disputes before the Interim Boards of Settlement set up last month. 

These Interim Boards were set up to decide on applications that were pending at the four-decade old Settlement Commission which was closed down with effect from 1 February this year.  

When the government announced the winding up of the Commission earlier this year, it had said that no new applications can be filed from 1 February. The winding up of the Settlement Commission was announced in view of a new tax dispute settlement scheme offered in the union budget this year to small tax payers.  

CBDT said that the decision to give extra time till end of September to file applications before the Interim Boards were given based on representations received from a number of tax payers. The tax authority said that many tax payers said they were in in advanced stages of filing their applications before the Settlement Commission as on 1 February. Also, some taxpayers have approached High Courts requesting that their applications for settlement may be accepted have secured relief. This, CBDT said, has resulted in uncertainty litigation. 

CBDT said that the relief will cover tax payers eligible to file settlement application on 31 January this year for the relevant assessment years. They should have all assessment proceedings pending as on the date of filing the request. These applications will be dealt with by the Interim Board as pending applications, the tax authority said.  

Taxpayers who have filed such applications cannot withdraw them. Legislative amendments will be made in this regard. 

The union budget had announced the winding up of the Settlement Commission creation of a new dispute resolution system under a committee. This would be available to assessees with taxable income upto 50 lakh in cases where disputed income is upto 10 lakh. 

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What to Know About the Buy Nothing Project | Saving Budgeting

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It sounds like the ultimate spending diet: buying nothing. If you haven’t heard of the concept, it’s spreading with Buy Nothing groups popping up throughout the world. Thank the Buy Nothing Project, a nonprofit organization with chapters now in 44 countries with more than 6,500 communities.

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So what is the Buy Nothing movement, should you join a local Buy Nothing group?

Don’t worry: This isn’t a cult, the concept doesn’t have to be taken to the extreme. Yes, you can still buy stuff. We’ll explain.

What Is the Buy Nothing Project?

In 2013, two friends, Rebecca Rockefeller Liesl Clark, created a gift-giving group on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The idea was that instead of bartering or offering gifts with strings attached, you’d just give away stuff you don’t want to people in your community who might be able to use it. And what do you get in return? Hopefully a nice thank you.

Within Buy Nothing groups, members offer up everything from baby gear to furniture, but it’s not always about “stuff.” Sometimes people give or receive expertise, says Katie Emery, a Los Angeles resident who belongs to a Buy Nothing group. For example, she says a member in her group offered to gift one hour of her time to advise someone on gardening.

“I’m a novice gardener, so I took her up on her kind offer. She spent over an hour with me showed me what plants would work best in various sections of my garden, even showed me how to arrange my potted plants better,” Emery says. “That one hour meant a lot to me, I hope to give back to my community with my own knowledge soon. It was so inspiring.”

Another member gifted a 100-year-old sourdough starter, Emery says.

“Suddenly, everyone in the neighborhood was learning to bake sourdough bread. And even the finished bread was gifted to other neighbors,” Emery says. “It’s been such a great experience, I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Where Can I Find Buy Nothing Groups Near Me?

The Buy Nothing Project provides links to Facebook groups in states, cities sometimes neighborhoods. Most Buy Nothing groups are on Facebook, the Buy Nothing Project is also working on an app.

How Buy Nothing Works

After you join a local group, you can ask for things you want or need or offer things you would like to give away – or a bit of both. You can also lend items to people in your community.

Saying “thanks” is the main payment for getting free stuff, so be sure to make it clear to the giver that you appreciate what you’re receiving.

Here are some of the main reasons to join a group, according to members:

Save money live better. Daniela Sawyer, in San Mateo, California, has belonged to a Buy Nothing group for about six years – in part, she says, because money was tight.

“Buy Nothing enabled me to get second-hclothes, shoes, novels toys for my children,” Sawyer says.

Do something good for the planet. Sawyer says she likes her Buy Nothing group for this reason as well, that giving something away “provides the item another chance to be used keeps it from going out in a landfill.”

Feel good about giving. Rebecca Churchill, in Oakton, Virginia, says she joined a Buy Nothing group after helping her mother pack up her home to relocate to a smaller place.

She likes the idea of giving things away to help others. “I don’t need a new handbag, but there are Afghan refugees moving to this country who need everything, there are children in my own town who are going to bed hungry,” Churchill says.

Get rid of clutter. Another selling point is downsizing belongings to make your home more manageable organized. “There is peace in living more simply, I feel mentally more organized calmer when my home is not choked with visual clutter,” Churchill says.

Get to know your neighbors. You can feel good about helping people in your community, as an added benefit feel a little closer to your neighbors. You’ll be giving things to people you either know or will get better acquainted with.

What Are Buy Nothing Group Rules?

The rules require members to “give freely” without any expectation of reward or compensation. “Trading, bartering, buying or selling is counter to the Buy Nothing Project mission,” according to its website. It also suggests that members “give creatively,” for example, by sharing skills or through community lending libraries, clothing share events bike programs.

What Is Buy Nothing Day?

If you’ve heard of Buy Nothing Day, it actually has nothing to do with the Buy Nothing movement. It was started as a protest against consumerism by a Canadian artist, officially or unofficially, in the U.S., it’s held the day after Thanksgiving (countering one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday).

Buy Nothing: the Bottom Line

The main thing to remember is that “buy nothing” isn’t all or nothing. Buy joining, you aren’t pledging to never buy anything again, never hold a garage sale or never list something for sale on eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Of course, you’re going to shop live your life. But if you join a Buy Nothing group, you may be able to seamlessly incorporate it into your life enjoy some of the benefits while getting to know more people in your neighborhood.

In any case, when you happen to have stuff that you no longer want but don’t feel like selling are loathe to throw away, a Buy Nothing group can do a lot of good.

That’s why Christine Alemany likes her Buy Nothing group in New York City. She says a lot of people leave things behind when they move out of the apartment building she lives in.

“We have found rugs, art, furniture when people move out. Some are lightly used. Others are antiques. I hate that these are being thrown away. So why not give to the local community?”

She other fellow tenants have done just that.

“These items can mean so much to people would otherwise be put in a landfill. Instead, students people who are starting over can furnish their apartments. They can then use the money that would otherwise be spent for medicine, health care, etc.,” Alemany says.

Besides, Alemany says, “it just feels good.”

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El Salvador becomes 1st country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender – National

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El Salvador on Tuesday became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, although it suffered teething problems when the government had to unplug a digital wallet to cope with demand.

President Nayib Bukele, who pushed for adoption of the cryptocurrency, says it will help Salvadorans save $400 million a year on commissions for remittances, while giving access to financial services to those with no bank account.

Doubters say the move may fuel money laundering financial instability. It has already muddied the outlook for more than $1 billion in financing that El Salvador is seeking from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The 40-year-old president is Latin America’s most popular leader but has been accused of eroding democracy, not least by the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden.


Click to play video: 'El Salvador 1st country to make Bitcoin legal tender'







El Salvador 1st country to make Bitcoin legal tender


El Salvador 1st country to make Bitcoin legal tender – Jun 9, 2021

Last week, top judges appointed by his lawmakers ruled that he could serve a second term.

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Early on Tuesday, Salvadorans trying to download the Chivo digital wallet, which the government has promoted, promising $30 of bitcoin for each user, found it was unavailable on popular app stores. Then Bukele tweeted that the government had temporarily unplugged it, in order to connect more servers to deal with demand.

Bukele blamed Apple Inc, Google Huawei’s app download platforms for the delay.

“Release him! @Apple @Google @Huawei,” Bukele wrote in one of his tweets, which was accompanied by a red-faced “angry” emoji. The wallet was later available from Huawei.

BITCOIN BEACH

Polls indicate Salvadorans are wary of the volatility of the cryptocurrency, which can shed hundreds of dollars in value in a
day.

Ahead of the launch, El Salvador bought 400 bitcoins, Bukele said, helping drive the price of the currency above
$52,000 for the first time since May. Hours later, however, it had weakened about four per cent to $50,516.

Read more:
Cryptocurrency could become an Edmonton election issue

The change means businesses should accept payment in bitcoin alongside the U.S. dollar, which has been El Salvador’s official currency since 2001 will remain legal tender.

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Some citizens were optimistic.

“It’s going to be beneficial … we have family in the United States they can send money at no cost, whereas banks
charge,” said Reina Isabel Aguilar, a store owner in El Zonte Beach, some 49 km (30 miles) southwest of the capital, San Salvador.

Known as Bitcoin Beach, El Zonte aims to become one of the world’s first bitcoin economies.

However, uptake across the rest of the country may slowed by a lack of internet penetration. It remains unclear whether businesses will be penalized if they do not accept bitcoin.


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Cryptocurrency could become an Edmonton municipal election issue


Cryptocurrency could become an Edmonton municipal election issue – Aug 29, 2021

 

In the run-up to the launch, the government installed ATMs that allow bitcoin to be converted into dollars withdrawn without commission from the digital wallet, called Chivo.

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“Like all innovations, El Salvador’s bitcoin process has a learning curve,” Bukele tweeted. “Not everything will be achieved in a day, or in a month.”

LEVERS OF POWER

In barely two years in office, Bukele has taken control of almost all levers of power. But although he has promised to clean up graft, the Biden administration recently put some of his close allies on a corruption blacklist.

Analysts fear that the adoption of bitcoin, whose transaction records are distributed across the internet, beyond the reach of national jurisdictions, could fuel money laundering.

Read more:
AMC could start accepting bitcoin as payment by the end of 2021

After the bitcoin law was approved, the rating agency Moody’s downgraded El Salvador’s creditworthiness, while its dollar-denominated bonds have also come under pressure.

Bukele, who does not shy away from controversy, on Monday retweeted a video that showed his face superimposed on actor
Jaime Foxx’s body in a scene from Django Unchained, a Quentin Tarantino film about American slavery. The video portrayed Bukele whipping a slave trader who had the IMF emblem emblazoned on his face.

Bukele later deleted the retweet.

In his own tweet, Bukele said: “We must break the paradigms of the past. El Salvador has the right to advance towards the
first world.”

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(Reporting by Anthony Esposito Nelson Renteria; Additional reporting by Wilfredo Pineda in El Zonte, El Salvador Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by David Gregorio, Catherine Evans Bernadette Baum)




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