Avoid Using Mobile while Driving  

Posted by NoeL in ,

"I can’t follow you everywhere"

Credit Cards - How does it work?  

Posted by NoeL in , , ,

Many of us are having the following apprehensions or doubts about Credit Cards.

  • How does Credit Cards Work?
  • What is the VISA or MasterCard logo on the Credit Cards signify?
  • What is behind cash back offers?
  • Is is safe to use a Credit Card?
  • Are Credit Cards handy?
You will get your answers below. All these are well explained as a conversation between Ramu & Shamu...

Ramu: I want to buy a Sony digital camera costing Rs.20,000, but I don't have any cash right now.

Shamu: Why don't you use your ICICI Bank credit card? Never heard them say? Hum Hain Na??

Ramu: I am quite skeptic about using these cards. I pay using the card, get a bill after 30 days and pay after another 20 days. This is a maximum of 50 days interest free loan. Why does any bank do it?

If I borrow Rs.20,000 on personal loan at 11%. Interest to be paid for 50 days = Rs. 20,000 * 11% * (50/365) = Rs. 301.40.

Here the bank is giving me a loan without interest when I use the credit card. Something is wrong somewhere!

Shamu: Well? Let me tell you how it works when you use your card to pay for the camera.
  • You present your ICICI Bank credit card - a VISA card.
  • Sony World swipes your card on a machine provided by Citibank. Lets call Citibank, "the acquirer bank" and the process of Sony World swiping the card on that machine, "requesting authorization."
  • Citibank communicates with the card issuer, ICICI Bank through VISA Network to check if the card is valid and has the required credit limit.
  • ICICI Bank reviews and approves / declines which is communicated back to Sony World.
  • You sign a receipt called Sales Draft given by Citibank. This is the obligation on your part to pay the money to ICICI Bank. Data on this receipt can be captured electronically and transmitted.
At the end of day or at the end of some period Sony World chooses:
  • Sony World submits the receipt you signed to Citibank who pays Sony World the money. Sony World pays Citibank a fee called Merchant Discount. Let us say this is 6% of the sale value = 6% * 20,000 = Rs. 1200
  • Citibank sends the receipt electronically to a Visa data center which in turn sends it to ICICI Bank.
  • ICICI Bank transfers the money to a settlement bank which in turn transfers the funds to Citibank.
  • Citibank pays ICICI Bank an Interchange Fee of 4% of the sale value =4% * 20,000 = Rs. 800
  • 20 to 50 days later ICICI Bank gets the money from you and you don't pay the interest!!
Ramu: Interesting! So Sony World pays more than the interest that I should have paid for the loan that I take. I, as a card holder have the following benefits.
  1. Convenience of not having to carry cash.
  2. Credit availability - Free of interest.
However what benefits does Sony World get for paying so much money? Isn't it more profitable for them to take cash? They can save as much as Rs.1200.

Shamu: Certainly. Some retail outlets offer you discounts if you pay by cash, don't they?

However when you don't count the money that you are spending, you tend to buy more! Cards encourage this - called impulse purchase.

If you did not have access to credit, you would not have bought the camera this month, or may be not any time soon either. By accepting cards, the merchant is actually extending you credit at the risk of the card issuer. He pays money to the banks to carry that risk.

Ramu: So ICICI Bank uses this money to pay back to us when they announce 5% cash back. They insist that the Sales draft that I sign at the retailer should also be from ICICI Bank. This means they are saving on the Interchange Fee and also pay me a part of the Merchant Discount
that they get.

Shamu: Exactly! If you have noticed, ICICI Bank gives you the cash back in the next credit card statement. They keep the "cash back" money for a maximum of 60 days before passing on a part to you. This accrues them interest too.

Say if ICICI Bank earns an interest of 6% per annum for the cash they carry? They get Rs.1000 * 6% * (60/365) = Rs. 10

That is not huge, but money nevertheless. And when you consider that almost everyone in this city shops with a credit card these days, it is a big sum.

Ramu: And that also explains why banks tie up with petrol pumps? Like ICICI Bank has tied up with HPCL and I could re-fuel there without having to pay the fuel surcharge of 2.5%. The card issuer and the acquiring bank is the same and that saves interchange fees.

Shamu: Good! You seem to have figured out how it all works!

Let me summarize:


NB:- All the numbers used to explain concepts in this article must be treated only as an example. Merchant Discounts may vary from bank to bank. Interchange Fee is regulated by VISA and MasterCard.

Project Delta  

Posted by NoeL in ,

Hi all,

I am recently involved with the design of a new website for my school. Right now I in lookout for someone who is good in Photoshop/Fireworks and can spare sometime for me.

I need to design a beautiful template for my school site.

If anyone is interested, contact me in my email address. (You can find my email address in the right side bar.)


Euro 2008 - It's Show Time Guys!  

Posted by NoeL in ,

Hi all,

Euro 2008 Group games are almost over. Only a few games left. But even these are turning out to be finals. For example, today's game between France and Italy. The team that wins is through to the Quarters and the other out of Euro 2008. A final before finals...!

All the details on Euro 2008 can be found in the widget below. I found this in the Euro 2008 Official Site, euro2008.uefa.com


Scant Pay Growth for Business Grads  

Posted by NoeL in

Scant Pay Growth for Business Grads
An early look at 2008 graduates finds average starting salaries leveling off for business majors
by Alison Damast

College seniors watching the economic downturn might be feeling anxious about their hiring prospects as they search job boards in coming weeks. And business majors are feeling it more acutely. A report released Apr. 16 by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) found that for business professions starting salaries have remained almost flat, and cutbacks in the financial sector are dampening optimism for the months ahead.

Overall, however, the news is a little bit better, helped by a boost in salaries offered to liberal arts and computer science majors, NACE said. For all 2007-2008 grads, starting salary offers are on average 5.3% higher than last year.

Despite the doom-and-gloom in the financial pages, the NACE report found that college seniors remain optimistic and appear to be selective about accepting job offers that have come their way. In a survey of students who had received job offers, 75% had not yet accepted the position, a figure that surprised Edwin Koc, NACE's director of strategic and foundation research. He said that strong recruiting in the fall set the tone for the year. But he cautioned that the spring may be a different story. "I would have preferred more students accept the job offers they got," he said.

Starting Salaries Barely Budge
Fueling much of the reported salary increases are offers to computer and information science graduates, who are seeing average salary increases of 13%, according to the NACE report. Seniors with majors in software design and development are the most sought-after of all college graduates, with the average starting offer coming in at $65,379. Liberal arts students, as a group, saw their average salary offers rise 12.9% to $35,378, though data in this area for individual majors "still remains limited," according to the report.

For business majors, who had enjoyed some robust starting salary increases in recent years, the data are sobering. Business students' salaries barely budged this year, a combination of a slowdown in the economy and major financial firms cutting back on their hiring classes (BusinessWeek.com, 3/20/08). For example, accounting graduates saw no change in their average salary offer of $47,429, while business administration/management starting offers inched up just 0.3% from last year, to $44,195. In 2007, by comparison, accounting grads' salaries had increased 2.7% from the previous year, and business administration/management majors had posted 7.5% starting salary increases. "Where the slowdown really hit is with the business majors," NACE's Koc said. "There is really no increase in their salaries. They're flat, dead flat, which is very unusual."

Andrea Koncz, a NACE spokesperson, also warned that the data capture early hires of the most promising students from the current senior class. In general, those students obtain higher offers than the rest of the class.

From this point on, things might be more challenging. Elise Gould, a labor economist at the Washington (D.C.)-based Economic Policy Institute, predicts that college seniors who haven't yet secured jobs will see a trickle-down effect from the economic slowdown as they conduct their searches in late spring and early summer. For example, students may not have as much leverage in negotiating their salaries and it may be harder for them to secure perks such as health benefits. "Employers are not making as many offers, so they can pick and choose who they want for their potential workforce," she said. "Those new to the labor market won't have as much bargaining power as in previous years to bid up their average wage and benefits. They'll just be happy to get a job."

More on this can be read at the Source Link below.
Source: Business Week


'Related Posts' feature in Blogger  

Posted by NoeL in , ,

Are you on blogger and have always wished that blogger had the 'Related Posts' feature just like wordpress. Well if you did here is a widget at your service. I have just installed this widget and I already liked it.

Scroll down this post to see the widget at work. This widget finds related posts only as per the labels of the posts and not as per the content. But still its impressive enough for blogger.

Originally this was created by Hoctro and then modified by Jack to simplify the installation. Its very simple to install (I have tried the modified version) but still make sure you have a backup of your blog template in case anything goes wrong.

Original version:- Here
Modified Version:- Here


Life Is Series Of Choices  

Posted by NoeL in ,

Life is as we have it.
With will power, we can change its course.
Life is a series of choices.
The thoughts that we have any time are own choices.
No one can enter into our mind and make us think in a particular way.
Similarly, our feelings are our own choice.
Whether a person is depressed or happy is his choice.
After all life is nothing but out own thought, feeling and actions.

Courtesy : Pravs World


Village labourer cracks IIT entrance  

Posted by NoeL in , ,

Here is another inspirational story from the millions out there. This is the second of its kind in my blog. The first one can be found here.

With hard effort and single-minded devotion, you can make possible what seems impossible.

That is what an 18-year-old has shown in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh. With not enough to eat, and no money even to burn the midnight oil, in a village with hardly nine hours daily power supply, the boy managed to secure 453rd rank in the IIT entrance exam. However, he has won only half the battle yet.

At Garikapadu village in Khammam district, the IIT entrance rank holder, Narasimha Rao, is a labour under the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

With the daily wage of Rs 80, Narasimha wants to repay dues for borrowing books from a reference library. Even at work, his thoughts revolve around science.

''When I am working in the field also, I think of questions in physics. I just can't understand how these mobiles work? How the waves travel?'' says Narasimha.

Narsimha's mother Lakshmi can't tell what exam her son has passed but the labourer parents say their son has made them proud.

''My boy said he would buy me a gas stove to cook after he gets a job. I know he is grown up now. My eyes burn when we burn wood,'' says Lakshmi.

Narsimha managed to get coaching in an IIT institute in nearby Vijaywada with the financial support by some elders in this village. Now the 18-year-old has to attend counselling at IIT Madras on June 18, for which he does not even have travel expenses.

''After I am settled in life, I promise to pay back the money. I will be so thankful,'' says Narasimha.

Source : NDTV.com


How fast are your ReacTions?  

Posted by NoeL in , ,

The automobile driving manual says the average driver's reaction time is: .75 seconds or 1 car length for every 10 mph..

Click the link below to test your average reaction time.
Sheep Dash!

I have scored 0.178 and my friend 0.172. What about you?


Caution:- Be careful. This can be addictive!

The Pathetic Condition of Indian Media  

Posted by NoeL in , ,

Breaking News

The Images are Self Explanatory. Click on them to enlarge and read the BREAKING NEWS.
Shouldn't we be ashamed of these?

Self Appraisal  

Posted by NoeL in , , ,

I got this one as a forward many times over. But when I got it today, I felt some kind of attraction towards it, for the first time. May be because my appraisal for 2007-08 got over very recently! I am posting the forwarded mail here for people who haven't seen it yet!

"Self Appraisal"

A little boy went into a drug store, reached for a soda carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so that he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits (phone numbers).
The store-owner observed and listened to the conversation:

Boy: "Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?
Woman: (at the other end of the phone line): "I already have someone to cut my lawn."
Boy: "Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now."
Woman: I'm very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn.
Boy: (with more perseverance) : "Lady, I'll even sweepyour curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you willhave the prettiest lawn in all of Palm beach , Florida."
Woman: No, thank you.

With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver. The store-owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy.
Store Owner: "Son... I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job."
Boy: "No thanks,
Store Owner: But you were really pleading for one.
Boy: No Sir, I was just checking my performance at thejob I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady I was talking to!"

This is what we call "Self Appraisal"


Two GeMs  

Posted by NoeL in , , , ,

I am just back in Nashik after a week long stay at HoMe. During my onward and return journey, I read two GeMs and was really inspired by them. They are

  1. The One Minute Manager written by Dr. Ken Blanchard & Dr. Spencer Johnson
  2. Who Moved My Cheese written by Dr. Spencer Johnson

Former is a real management GeM and the latter a Personal Development GeM. I am making summary for both the above books. In a couple of days' time, I will post them here for all you guys to read and enjoy.


NB: I suggest one and all to get a copy of the book and start reading it rather than waiting for my summary. It is worth it!


Legal Disclaimer

I study at European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel. The opinions expressed here are my own, and neither European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.