In order to understand how a zero balance account works, you must first know what is a zero balance account. So, let’s begin with the basics.

Image Source – Zero Balance Account

What is a Zero Balance Account?

A zero balance account can be any type of bank account which does not require a minimum balance to maintain it. Conventional bank accounts require the account holders to maintain a minimum balance at all time. If the account holder makes withdrawals from the minimum balance, the bank will charge a penalty. However, with a zero balance account, you can even withdraw the entire amount in your savings account without attracting any penalty.

Zero balance accounts can be used for both personal and professional purposes. Businesses generally use a zero balance 811 account to make payments. Since a balance is not maintained in these accounts, the interest earned from these accounts will be less. Hence businesses maintain just enough money to cover their pending debts in a zero balance account.

A zero balance accounts are a great way to keep your money liquid and separate from the other interest earning assets. They have great utility for controlling your money flow. Hence the chances of money loss from bounced checks, theft and mistakes are quite less. Moreover, banks allow expedite transfers between zero balance and other accounts, hence it is a quick and reliable way to obtain funds. Financial emergencies may strike out of the blue, however, with zero balance accounts, you can be assured of quick availability of fund without any restrictions

Benefits of a Zero Balance Account

  • One of the major benefits of a zero balance account is the feature of no minimum balance.
  • Earn interests on the amount deposited as per prevailing bank rates
  • Free ATM cum Debit card
  • Get new cheque book each year with no extra charges
  • Free access to online banking and fund transfer services
  • Special privileges and offers for salary account holders

The RBI has mandated all the banks to allow a zero balance account to be used as a secondary bank account. Therefore, even if you have a saving account with a particular bank, you can use this as a secondary account to manage your regular savings. Moreover, the rate of interest offered by zero balance accounts is the same as savings accounts. Hence you need not worry on that note.

How to Get a Zero Balance Account?

Most of the banks offer zero balance accounts for personal as well as business use. A personal zero balance account can be opened with minimum documentation. You just need to submit your identity proof and address proof along with the KYC form to the respective bank. Business customers can speak to their bank about zero balance account options.

Microsoft have launched Azure Location Based Services, a new public cloud offering for enterprise customers, providing location capabilities built & integrated directly into Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. The new location capabilities will provide cloud developers critical geographical data to power smart cities and Internet of Things [IoT] solutions across industries including manufacturing, automotive, logistics, urban planning and retail, among others.

Image Source – Azure

Addressing at the at Automobility LA 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Sam George, Director – Azure IoT, Microsoft said

Microsoft is making efforts to solve mobility challenges and bring government bodies, private companies and automotive OEMs together,  using Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform.

TomTom Telematics, will be the first official partner for the service, supplying critical location and real-time traffice data, providing Microsoft customers with advanced location and mapping capabilities. Microsoft also announced that Azure LBS will be launched in calendar year 2018 and will be available globally in more than 30 languages. The company will also enter in a cloud with ICONIQ, a Chinese Electric Vehicle company. In the year 2018 Microsoft is expected to be joined in by several partners who will be showcasing various location, connected car and smart city-relevant technologies they are building on top of the Azure cloud.

  • Microsoft’s Azure Location Based Services will offer enterprise customers location capabilities integrated in the cloud to help any industry from manufacturing to healthcare to automotive track assets or improve traffic flow.
  • Microsoft is providing an enterprise-ready location service for customers to build location of things applications and easily access location insights through one dashboard, one subscription, and one bill.
  • Microsoft customers will benefit from TomTom’s hyper-accurate location data enabled by hundreds of millions of connected devices, providing the most up to date maps.

For further information, please visit Microsoft builds and integrates Azure Location Based Services directly into the cloud

Internet of Things [IoT] has become one of the most popular technologies, especially when the discussion is about creating an overall connected eco-system. Be it homes, offices, vehicles, etc. most of them are now becoming ‘smart & connected’ and are able to generate data on which actionable steps can be performed.

Image Source – IoT

Most of this is possible due to the wide range of Sensors that are very important part of the IoT setup. Some of these sensors are Temperature Sensor, Pressure Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometers, Gyroscopes, etc.

As per a report by Gartner on IoT, there might be around 20 billion connected things by 2020. Things in IoT would not only be limited to smartphones, PC’s, etc. but also extend to other appliances. The meteoric rise of IoT and IIoT has resulted in evolution of new business models, thereby resulting in number of startups trying to solve ‘customer centric’ problems via IoT.

We take a look at ‘11 Internet of Thing Startups to Watch‘, a useful compilation created by Wrike, a company that specialises in project management software and has interesting set of tools with which you can manage projects online.

11 “Internet of Things” Startups to Watch
Infographic brought to you by Wrike manage projects online

Uber announced UberEXCHANGE finalists at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017. As a part of this program, ten startups won an-all-expense-paid trip to San Francisco, where they will visit Uber’s headquarters to meet the executive leadership team and be introduced to potential investors.

Image Source – UberExchange

UberEXCHANGE was launched in 2016 as a part of Uber’s mission to create a startup ecosystem in partnership with Invest India. Since then, over 150 startups have been mentored by Uber’s senior leadership team. The finalists have been chosen through a rigorous selection process anchored by T-Hub, Telangana’s flagship startup incubator and accelerator. Among the winning startups, 5 startups are based in Hyderabad – Anytimeloan, Docturnal, Imaginate, Ekincare and Carengrow.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri. K.T.Ramarao, IT Minister, Government of Telangana said

Many compliments and congratulations to Uber and the startups that have been selected for the trip to San Francisco. T-Hub will continue to guide the startups and Uber is an exceptional partner who can really take them places. I hope the startups do extremely well going forward.

Amit Jain, President, Uber India & SA said

We are very excited to announce UberEXCHANGE finalists at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017. We launched this program in partnership with T-hub last year  to support the Prime Minister’s Startup India vision. Since then, we have had the opportunity to mentor over 150 starups and be a part of their entrepreneurial journey. We thank the Government of Telangana and T-hub for their continued support in helping us bring this initiative to life.

Srinivas Kollipara, COO, T-Hub said

We aim to create opportunities for the startups in India to benefit from the global ecosystem through exchange of knowledge, access to mentors and investors. Through UberEXCHANGE, several startups  in India have benefited from hands-on mentorship sessions by Uber’s global leadership team. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership to provide a platform that will help many more Indian startup succeed in their entrepreneurial journey.

Gayam Raja, Founder, Gayam Motor Works said

We signed up UberEATS as our first customer for limitless e-bike in Singapore, Hongkong and San Francisco through UberEXCHANGE. Thanks to UberEXCHANGE and T-Hub for the kickstart.

UberEXCHANGE Delegation to San Francisco include:

  • Anytimeloan.in is a P2P platform for anyone who is in need of an instant loan or for people looking to leverage their savings by lending in a proven and scientific ecosystem, in a paperless and contactless environment.
  • carenGrow monitors complete physical, psychological and behavioural health profile of children in school through objective and non-invasive decision based intelligent monitoring system.
  • Docturnal, a non-Invasive point of care screening and diagnostics for tuberculosis & diabetes related ailments leveraging real time machine learning results.
  • Preva Systems offers end-to-end solutions in the area of real time identification, location and mobility of things/assets using its IoT platform enriched with analytics for superior business results.
  • eKincare is a patent pending wellness platform that integrates medical records, healthcare services and leverages predictive analytics to design wellness initiatives & reduce healthcare costs
  • AlgoSurg is a cloud-based software platform  for ‘X-ray based 3D surgery planning and patient specific instrument (PSI) design’ for deformity correction and replacement surgeries.
  • Imaginate Software Labs is a renowned augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) based technology enterprise, that offers innovative visualization products and services. Through its strong and proven technology expertise, it offers experiential solutions in the fields of retail, defense, enterprise, finance, entertainment and healthcare sectors.
  • JioVio HealthCare aims to provide home based predictive maternal care ecosystem in both urban and rural areas. Inspired by beauty, JioVio helps create a better, healthier lifestyle by bringing IOT base medical devices to pregnant women, encouraging them to take care of their health and to be informed.
  • Gayam Motor Works manufactures electric bikes and smart autos – the first EV in India with automatic battery swapping system.
  • Gray Routes Technology Pvt. Ltd is a leading provider of location analytics and field automation software. They aim to transforms the way the world’s leading brands use data to solve their toughest distribution problems.

The world population is growing to upwards of 10 billion people by the middle of the century. This growth combined with the accelerating urbanisation will require the agricultural production to double. To succeed, we need smart solutions from farm to fork for healthy, fairly produced, and sustainable food, feed and fibre, which is the mainstay principle of CropIn Technology, a leading agri-tech company based in Bengaluru.

Image Source – Agritech

As an initiative to disseminate information and know-how about how CropIn can change the face of agriculture at a global level, the company conducts a series of webinars. The latest webinar titled From Agriculture to Agtech would take place on the 7th of December, 2017.

  • Live Webinar on December 7th, 2017 at 3 PM IST by Bhavesh Barot, AVP [Sales & BD], CropIn Technology.
  • Register for the Webinar here
  • Learn more about CropIn & Request for Demo here

The Webinar will cater to Agri-businesses, Agronomists, as well as ICT and IoT enthusiasts. The discussion will cover the evolution of agriculture from old growth drivers to new growth drivers, the way agricultural technology has progressed over the past decade and how CropIn is harnessing technology to revolutionize the agri-ecosystem.

The Presenter : Bhavesh Barot – After working with renowned Industries for over a decade, Bhavesh Barot, Associate Vice President [Sales &BD], CropIn Technology, decided to take up a role which stands to impact the lives of millions of farmers and make a difference to the global community of the future. He currently spends most of his time meeting Agri-Business stakeholders and explaining how Technology stands to Transform Agriculture.

About CropIn Technology

CropIn Technology, a leading agri-tech company based in Bangalore, provides SaaS based services to agribusinesses globally. CropIn enables its clients to analyse & interpret data and derive real time actionable insights on standing crop and projects spanning geographies. The company harnesses cutting-edge technologies – Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Geo-tagging & Satellite monitoring to revolutionize the agri-ecosystem. Providing sustainable solutions for food, feed and fibre and ensuring farm to fork traceability across the agriculture supply chain are the mainstay principles that drive the company. For more information, please visit

MoneyTap, India’s first App-Based Credit Line has now crossed the milestone of 1 million user installs. With an aim to serve the lower-middle income group, MoneyTap has now lowered the annual interest rate to 13% [down from 15%].

The company also tripled its growth in the last three months owing to the festive season and is seeing continued momentum in the current wedding season. MoneyTap is also now available to people in Indore, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam. With the addition of these three cities, India’s first credit line is now available in 20 cities in India.

The majority of MoneyTap users have a monthly income of INR 35,000 and are aged between 29~31 years, with the average Credit Line issue size being INR 85,000. Consumers tend to do multiple withdrawals from the Credit Line over a course of time and very few of them tend to withdraw the entire line amount. In-fact, 65% of the users have not used the entire amount at one shot but have used it multiple times over multiple months.

This usage pattern indicates that consumers frequently need small amounts of credit to tide over essential purchases and payments. Consumers also have varied requirements when it comes to cash and card. Not all purchases can be done through cash and not all payments are accepted by card; MoneyTap is currently the only product in the market which offers its consumers the convenience of using both card and cash through the App. Around 60% of transactions on MoneyTap are cash withdrawals and 40% are from card payments.

During 2017, MoneyTap pioneered the concept of a Credit Line for consumers. An unknown concept until now, Credit Line has seen a huge demand from consumers in the lower-middle income group, due to its unique product which combines the usage of cash and card. Consumers are not comfortable going to banks for loans for minimal amounts which could be anywhere from INR 3000 to INR 50,000 or even up to  1 or 2 Lakhs. The needs of consumers vary and could be anything from medical, birth, death, school fees, deposit to take a rent on house, etc. and asking for money from family and friends always has an embarrassment factor. The Credit Line for consumers with accessibility through an app is literally like a friend who gives you money when in need, be it marriage, birth sudden death in family, school fees, hospital bills or sudden cash crunch during the month end.

Every time customers decide to withdraw a certain amount from their pre-approved Credit Line, MoneyTap allows them to choose their own EMIs, which ranges anywhere between 2 to 36 months. It is not pre-fixed and is up to the repaying capacity of the borrower.

MoneyTap is available on Android Playstore and is targeted at salaried individuals and self-employed professionals earning more than INR 20,000 per month. Using the Credit Line, consumers can choose to borrow as little as INR 3000 or as much as INR 5 lakhs or up to their maximum eligibility limit. Customers can decide their own EMI plans with flexible payback periods ranging from 2 months to 3 years.

Interest is paid only on the amount borrowed and rates can be as low as 1.08% per month. If the user does not borrow any amount, then no interest needs to be paid. The credit limit also gets replenished once EMIs are paid back. All financial transactions such as billing and repayment are directly dealt with the respective bank or NBFC through the MoneyTap App using secure APIs, thus ensuring 100% secure transactions.

To keep up with its rapid expansion plans, MoneyTap is increasing its employee count and plans to add 50 new team members in Tech, Data, Product, Marketing & Ops in the next 6 months. MoneyTap also plans to solidify its leadership position by improving credit accessibility for other segments of customers, partnering with 6 other Banks and NBFCs and expanding to 50 cities in India by March 2018. The Bengaluru-based startup recently raised a total of $12.3 million in funding from Sequoia India, NEA & Prime Venture Partners.

Anuj Kacker, Co-founder, MoneyTap, said

We are excited about the possibilities that MoneyTap can bring to thousands of millions of Indians who are facing a cash crunch for regular needs. We help consumers get credit easily and quickly with the power of mobile technology. Middle income customers [salaried & self-employed] making Rs. 20,000 per month or more are not serviced by financial institutions today without putting up collateral such as gold or those who need smaller amounts.

This is the clear unaddressed need. When we spoke to customers, they not only wanted the above needs addressed but also wanted the product to be very flexible and convenient. For the very first time, MoneyTap is bringing the access to credit with a single tap on the mobile phone.

About MoneyTap

MoneyTap is a Bengaluru-based fintech startup, founded by serial entrepreneurs Bala Parthasarathy, Anuj Kacker & Kunal Varma, who are IIT/ISB alumni. Bala has co-founded multiple startups in Silicon Valley including Snapfish (sold to Hewlett Packard), which he helped grow to 100M users and $300M in revenue. After moving to India in 2007, he volunteered for UIDAI under Mr. Nandan Nilekani before starting AngelPrime in 2011 (now Prime Venture Partners) where he helped create companies like ZipDial (sold to Twitter), EZETap, Happay, etc. Kunal (ex Texas Instruments) & Anuj (ex Airtel & JWT) co-founded Tapstart that grew to 300K users and turned profitable in 2 years. MoneyTap works in very close partnerships with various banks and other financial institutions to make the process painless and on-app. For more details, please visit MoneyTap

What are the characteristics of a sound investment? Usually, a good investment gives profits, has the potential to tackle inflation, can explore the true power of compounding interest and diversifies your invested money. An equity mutual fund is one such investment that can display all these traits. What if, along with being a sound investment, equity mutual funds could also help you save taxes? Now, that would be an icing on the cake! However, you don’t have to look around hard. Equity-Linked Savings Scheme [ELSS], a type of equity fund, can provide the icing.

Image Source – ELSS

So, let’s run the rule over ELSS and see how it fares against other tax-saving products.

Tax Benefits

An ELSS is a diversified equity mutual fund with a majority of its investments in equities. Thus, like an equity mutual fund, there is no Long-Term Capital Gains [LTCG] tax for an ELSS.

ELSS funds have a lock-in period of three years. The amount you receive after three years is tax-free. ELSS helps you claim tax deductions of up to Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Notably, this proviso is not applicable to other types of equity funds.

Why ELSS trumps other investments?

National Savings Certificate [NSC] and public provident fund [PPF] can be considered ELSS’ direct rivals when it comes to tax-saving options. Let’s see how ELSS fares against these two tax-saving funds.

Lock-in period
o ELSS: 3 years
o PPF: 15 years (option of partial withdrawal after 6 years)
o NSC: 5 years
Returns
o ELSS: 16.48%*
o PPF: 8%
o NSC: 8%
Safety
o ELSS: Related to equity performance
o PPF: Considered safe; different asset class
o NSC: Considered safe; different asset class
Deposit method
o ELSS: Systematic investment plan
o PPF: Available [deposits can be made in 12 instalments]
o NSC: One-time deposit
Tax on returns
o ELSS: Returns and dividends are tax-free, but only after the first year
o PPF: Returns are tax free.
o NSC: Not available

* Category average as on September 29, 2017 as per the CRISIL–AMFI ELSS performance index.

The lowdown on the three tax-saving funds show that ELSS can provide the highest returns. It also scores favourably on its liquidity quotient when compared to the other two options.

Additionally, by investing in ELSS through the Systematic Investment Plan [SIP] route, you get a chance to explore the power of rupee cost averaging.

ELSS: Your doorway to equity

In a country of over 132 crore people, a little above 5.5 crore people invest in mutual funds. According to another report, most states have less than 5% registered stock market investors. Thus, it is safe to assume that Indians don’t like to invest in equities. But, ELSS could help change your views. With ELSS, you can save taxes and simultaneously enter the world of equity.

Unit Linked Insurance Plan [ULIP] may shout out saying they provide the option of investment and insurance and is therefore better than ELSS. But ELSS is more liquid, tackles inflation better and can also provide higher returns. To top it, ELSS is managed by a professional fund manager; you don’t need to constantly worry about revisiting your portfolio.

To sum up

There are numerous options available for you to save taxes. However, very few options can help you save taxes and give high returns. ELSS can be that option. So why wait?

Uber, the world’s largest ride-sharing company, announced a collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., part of the US$ 19 billion Mahindra Group, which will explore the deployment of electric vehicles [EVs] on the Uber platform in several cities across India.

To begin with, the companies will deploy hundreds of electric vehicles in Delhi and Hyderabad. Mahindra’s electric vehicles on the Uber platform will include the e2oPlus hatch and the eVerito sedan. As part of this collaboration, both the companies will also explore deployment of Mahindra electric vehicles to other cities. The joint deployment of electric vehicles will further reinforce the strong relationship between Mahindra and Uber. Over the years, there has been a strong deployment of Mahindra vehicles on Uber’s platform and Mahindra is also a key financier for Uber’s driver partner through Mahindra Finance.

According to Madhu Kannan, Chief Business Officer, Uber India & Emerging Markets

We are extremely excited about our collaboration with the Mahindra Group to deploy this electric vehicles pilot in India. Aligned with the government’s vision, we aim to build a more sustainable future of mobility, moving more people needing on-demand services with fewer, fuller, and more efficient vehicle trips. We see a key role for high efficiency vehicle technologies, and therefore believe that this collaboration with Mahindra, the pioneers in the electric vehicles space, will be truly beneficial not just for Uber but for our driver partners, riders and the cities we operate in.

Speaking on the collaboration, Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said

Electric vehicle adoption is clearly gaining momentum in India. As the pioneers of electric vehicles in the country we would like to be at the forefront, leading this change toward smart and sustainable mobility.  Our collaboration with Uber is an important next step to help accelerate the large scale adoption of electric vehicles on shared mobility platforms, and meet the nation’s vision for EVs.

Through this collaboration, driver partners on the Uber app can avail of a package which will include Mahindra electric vehicles at competitive prices, attractive financing and insurance premiums as well as comprehensive maintenance packages from Mahindra and its associates. Further, to make this model sustainable, Mahindra and Uber will work closely with public and private players who are in the process of setting-up a common use charging ecosystem across multiple locations in the cities.

Mahindra will also support with driver education and training related to various aspects of electric vehicles. Going forward, electric vehicles will play a major role in reducing urban pollution plaguing several Indian cities and resulting in health hazards. With the increased penetration of EVs and eventual 100% transition, the country and its citizens stand to benefit tremendously.

All these initiatives align perfectly with Mahindra’s Rise philosophy of empowering people with the right products and services to enhance the quality of their lives and earnings.