Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has reached yet another technological milestone by introducing chip-based Smart Cards for customers. These fuel cards are the first of their kind to be launched by any Oil Marketing Company in Pakistan.
The formal launch ceremony was organized under the theme of “Your World Just Got Smarter!” at DHA Golf Club, Karachi. The launch event featured high-profile guests and decision makers from across the corporate sector. The event highlights included performance by the country’s leading musical band as well as a laser show by a foreign artist.
Introduced with the objective of providing increased convenience for PSO card customers, these fuel cards incorporate added security features in the form of chip-based encryption technology which secures all customer information residing in the chip from unauthorized access. Usage of these cards will benefit corporate customers by facilitating administrative supervision, economizing fuel expenses and selection of customized cards options.
Speaking at the occasion, CEO & MD PSO, Naeem Yahya said:
“Through the launch of this Smart Card, PSO has further underlined its standing as a customer-centric company which is continually introducing new products and services to provide ever greater benefits to the consumers at large.”
During his speech the MD also reiterated PSO’s vision of transforming itself into an integrated Energy Company. He stated that in its efforts to achieve this goal, the nation’s leading public company has been introducing new innovative ideas to offer increased value for its customers.
Being the perfect fuel management solution for corporate entities as well as individual customers, PSO’s new chip-based fuel cards will undoubtedly set new standards for OMCs across Pakistan. With a well-established trend of innovation and continual improvement in customer service provision, PSO is committed to responsibly providing for the fuel needs of the nation.
UBL Funds, under its Smart Investment Plans’ umbrella, has launched the UBL Wealth Builder Plan. The Wealth Builder is designed keeping in mind the need of investors for a lump sum and/or regular contribution plan that builds over time and is ideal for those who are not investment savvy but still want to capitalize on attractive returns.
CEO, Mir Mohammad Ali, CFA on the launch of this plan, said: “The UBL Wealth builder suits a wide group of people in various stages of their careers and life. The systematic investments feature assures that over time and with regular contributions, investments will grow to an extent that will greatly assist in achieving their financial objectives in life.”
UBL Wealth Builder Plan not only offers a Shariah-Compliant Islamic version but also boasts attractive features such as a moderately low account opening balance of Rs. 20,000 and easy minimum subsequent payments of just Rs. 2000 with no penalties on irregular payments or application of any withdrawal charges to allow investors maximum liquidity.
UBL Funds is one of Pakistan’s leading asset management companies with presence in the Middle East as well and provides organizations, institutional clients and individual clients with advisory services, comprehensive investment solutions and excellent products.
UBL Funds also enjoys the privilege of receiving the High Management Quality Rating of AM2 by JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company and has recently completed a decade of successful services.
Pakistan’s premier branchless banking service, Easypaisa has launched Khushaal Munafa, the first savings product on a branchless banking platform offering monetary returns to its Easypaisa Mobile Account customers.
The launch of Khushaal Munafa is yet another important step towards the financial inclusion of rural and semi-urban Pakistanis, many of whom have no choice today but to save their funds in informal savings.
Khushaal Munafa offers Easypaisa Mobile Account customers a profit of up to 9% on saving Rs. 2,000 or more in their Mobile Accounts.
The profit offered by Khushaal Munafa is also unique in the sense that it is calculated on a daily basis and the profit is transferred in the mobile accounts at the end of each month. Khushaal Munafa is available to both existing and new Mobile Account customers.
Speaking on the occasion, Roar Bjaerum, Chief Financial Services Officer at Telenor Pakistan said,
“Savings are an integral part of financial inclusion and Khushaal Munafa will allow Easypaisa Mobile Account customers to absorb fluctuations in daily income and financial shocks. This product will focus on micro savings, reducing vulnerability of low income families to unexpected events and promote savings as a way to increase their opportunities to grow and improve quality of lives.”
Nadeem Hussain, CEO and President, Tameer Micro Finance Bank limited said: “Khushaal Munafa will help create a financial ecosystem for the bottom of the pyramid and empower them with the basic rights to avail services that provide an affordable and convenient method of integration into the world of financial services.”
The following case is just another reason why Insurance companies are not trusted by Pakistani. Many insurance companies were accused of cheating and lying to their ‘respected’ policy-holders. A few days ago, an insurance company’s directors and CEO was penalized for over a million Pakistani Rupee by SECP Insurance division for not complying with laws and regulations relevant to them.
Now – another unfortunate case surface up where employees of ‘East West Life Assurance company’ cheated a widow Tehmina Bashir for a small sum of Rs. 390,000. This case represents the cruel side of Insurance business.
Background of the Case
Mrs Tehmina, widow of Mr Bashir, filed a complaint with the insurance ombudsman that the employees and agents of East West Life Assurance approached her and persuaded her to buy 4 policies from them. Thus she paid Rs. 390,000 in cash to them in various amount and dates.
Mr. S Kazafi, Branch Manager, issued her provisional premium receipts for Rs 115,000, 25k and 15k but for the rest of the amount, no receipts was issued to her.
On her demand to refund the money for which no receipt, and no policy was issued to her, Branch Manager Kafazi initially issued her two cheques but both were later bounced.
Mrs Tehmina first approached the senior officials of the East West Life Assurance including CEO Khalid Sheikh – But no help was given to her and eventually the poor lady had to lodge a complaint with the Insurance Ombudsman and prayed that the whole amount of Rs 390,000 be returned to her.
The insurance company, in its comments to Ombudsman, maintained that the CEO of the insurance company, the regional manager had received no money, no premium, nor their company issued any policy to her.
And the copies of cheques produced by her allegedly issued by the company official were not the official ones nor did the company have any account with Soneri Bank.
And company’s employee who convinced Mrs Tehmina for policies was terminated because of his poor business.
Fact Finding Mission of SECP
Its a blessing that our corporate regulators including SECP and CCP are not corrupt like other govt agencies. Not that I’m ruling out the possibility but affairs are much better in these two bodies than other agencies.
The investigation official was sent out for fact finding mission by the ombudsman office, which went to Bahawalpur and held investigation for a month. While on other hand, East West Life Assurance’s CEO gave assurance to investigators that the company maintained no branch office.
But the investigators traced the local office of insurance company met the in-charge of regional officer of Insurance company.
CEO of East West Insurance Knew Everything
Regional officer revealed that he had been working with the company since 2008 and all the people involved were employees of the insurance company. Regional manager also revealed that all the alleged people were involved in mal-practice and cheating and he brought their conduct in notice of CEO Khalid Sheikh be he took no action.
Finally in 2010, all the four employees reportedly involved in the fraud were terminated by the company.
The Ombudsman observed later that CEO attempted to obstructed the proceedings by concealing the address of the company offices. The agents and employees of insurance company committed fraud with the indulgence of CEO Khalid Sheikh by depriving the widow of Rs 270,000.
The ombudsman ordered the insurance company to pay her the amount back within 30 days of the order.
Silk Bank, a mid-size bank in Pakistan, made another, but this time rather attractive, attempt to cater credit card clientele in Pakistan.
According to bank’s offer – they are now inviting those credit card customers who have been fed up with their outstanding balance with huge mark-up rates.
SilkBank offered new customers to avail a 0% markup by paying a nominal transfer fee and transfer their outstanding credit balance with other banks to theirs.
‘Smoking Causes Mouth Cancer’ – a typical message by Ministry of health written on every packet of cigarette with a horrible picture on it – could not aid smokers to avoid it resulting in a massive profit of PKR 173 Crore for Pakistan Tobacco Company, one of the Pakistan’s first foreign investment, who began its operations in 1947.
According to the available financial statements, Pakistan Tobacco almost quadruple its profits to PKR 173 Crore in 2012 from PKR 36 Crore in 2011, showing impressive growth from preceding year.
Government, which usually prohibits smoking through the message of Health ministry, collected revenues of PKR 5,000 Crore in form of Excise Duty and sales tax.
Company’s gross profits soard to reach PKR 845 Crore from PKR 624 Crore while the selling and distribution expenses increased only 12% and administrative expenses by 4.5%. Its other operating expenses declined by 23% and other operating income increased by 67%.
This effectively meant that almost all the increase in the company’s top-line went directly towards its net profits, as it also cut its net finance costs in the same period by 28%.
These results help Pakistan Tobacco in reporting an earnings per share of Rs6.77 per share, and board of directors has announced a final dividend of Rs3.25 per share in addition to two interim dividends (already paid) at Rs3.05 per share.
Its’ worth mentioning here that Pakistan Tobacco owns famous brands including Dunhill, Benson & Hedges, John Player Gold Leaf (the largest urban consumer goods brand in Pakistan), Capstan by Pall Mall, Gold Flake and Embassy.
Standard Chartered Bank unveils a new bounty for its customer as a new year gift. According to its website, Standard Chartered Pakistan is going to distribute a total in 12 iPad Mini in the month of January with 3 every week to lucky customers.
Process of Registering Yourself into the Competition
All you need to do is to Log onto ’Online Banking’ and perform any of the following transactions to enter into Lucky Draw:
- Pay Utility Bills
- Purchase Prepaid Mobile Vouchers
- Transfer funds to any account within Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Limited
- Inter Bank funds transfer
- Pay Standard Chartered Bank’s Credit Card bills
There are certain terms and conditions applied to this promo.
(a.) All Customers of Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited (“SCBPL”) complete any one of the following transactions via Online Banking to enter into the lucky draw;
- Funds transfer
- Inter Bank Funds Transfer
- Pay utility bills
- Pay credit card bills
- Purchase prepaid vouchers
The following persons shall not be eligible for the Lucky Draw: -
- Standard Chartered Bank staff accounts (Credit Cards and Bank Accounts)
- Employees of advertising and promotional agencies engaged by Standard Chartered Bank
Any other person whom STANDARD CHARTERED BANK decides to exclude from time to time in its absolute discretion without any obligation on Standard Chartered Bank to give any notice or any reason.
Lucky Draw and Prizes
The Lucky Draw Qualifying Period is from 1st January till 31st January 2013 (both dates inclusive). Every week during the Qualifying Period when a Customer completes any one of the above mentioned financial transactions via Online banking, he will automatically be entered into the Lucky Draw for iPad Mini Prize.
Winners will be announced through Standard Chartered Website or notified by branches.
General Terms & Conditions
No cash refund will be given for any Lucky Draw Prizes (“Prizes”) that are not utilized.
- Standard Chartered Bank may at its sole discretion at any time substitute or replace any Prize with any other prize of equivalent value.
- Each Prize winner will only be eligible to win ONE Prize within the Qualifying Period.
- The Prizes are neither transferable nor exchangeable for cash, credit or any other item.
- The Customer Prizes are subjective to any required taxes as per law.
- Standard Chartered Bank will notify the winning customer by a telephone call and the winners are required to personally claim their respective Prize within 1 month from Standard Chartered Bank notifying the winner by phone (“Claim Period”). Any Prize not claimed within the Claim Period will be irrevocably forfeited without any liability on the part of Standard Chartered Bank.
- Prizes will be delivered at Standard Chartered Bank branch premises after Customer authentication, during the Claim Period.
- Winners whose Prize has been forfeited are not entitled to any payment or compensation from Standard Chartered Bank.
- The winner shall collect the Prize at their own risk and cost and shall accept the Prize as they are.
- If Standard Chartered Bank subsequently discovers that a winner is in fact not entitled to participate in the Lucky Draw, Standard Chartered Bank may at its sole discretion forfeit the Prize (or reclaim the same if awarded) and award or dispose it in such manner and to such person as Standard Chartered Bank deems fit.
- Standard Chartered Bank shall not be responsible for proper functioning of the Prize or any warranties/ guarantees that come with the Prize.
- The decision of Standard Chartered Bank on all matters relating to or in connection with the selection of the winners shall be final and binding on all parties concerned (including all Customers).
- Standard Chartered Bank shall not be obliged to enter into any correspondence with any account holder or any other person on any matter concerning the Lucky Prize Draws.
- Standard Chartered Bank may, at any time at its sole discretion and without prior notice, vary modify, delete or add to these Terms and Conditions and may also withdraw or discontinue the Lucky Draw at any time without notice or liability to any account holder.
- Standard Chartered Bank shall not be liable in any way to any account holder for any loss or damage arising in connection with the Lucky Prize Draws, including any error in computing, any breakdown or malfunction in any computer system or equipment and any notice that is misdirected or lost in post.
- Standard Chartered Bank shall not be liable in any way to any account holder for any loss or damage arising due to the quality of the Prizes.
- In the event of fraud, abuse, and/or an error affecting the proper operation of the promotion, Standard Chartered Bank reserves the right to end or suspend the Lucky Draw; amend these Terms and Conditions; declare void the notification of winners; and/or to allocate available prizes by conducting a simple draw from all wrongly allocated winners.
- By participating in this draw all Customers will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by the Terms and Conditions and by any other requirements set out in the promotional material.
Ufone, in collaboration with Summit Bank, has launched its foran foreign funds transfer service.
Service will allow anyone (even those who aren’t Ufone subscribers) to withdraw money – remitted from anywhere in the world – from Ufone’s authorized outlets, customer service centre and franchises.
Ufone said that with this first of its kind branchless banking service in Pakistan, your friends and family can now send you money from anywhere in the world using Western Union, Xpress Money and Summit Bank’s own product Amanat Cash and you can collect it in Pak Rupees from a service centre, franchise or an authorized outlet near you.
Ufone said that amount up to 1 lak rupees can be withdrawn at a time, with Foran Foreign Cash.
Banking customers in Pakistan are undergoing a new threat.
One of our sister concern publication, ProPakistani written in past about phishing (read as fi-shing) attacks, what they are and how these can be made ineffective.
Having said this, due to increasing popularity of online-banking, these phishing attacks against Pakistani banks are on the rise in the recent past.
All major banks are targeted by attackers, who fake their emails and present themselves as legitimate bank representatives asking the customers to either change their account passwords or update their profiles and PINs.
By definition, phishing is act of attempting to acquire user information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details or other private information by faking emails and representing themselves as legitimate businesses, such as banks, hosting companies, email service providers and so on.
Pakistan, due to lack of awareness and inexistence of cyber law, is considered a heaven for cyber criminals, attackers and spammers.
You might remember that few days ago – EconomyAge reported that Burj Bank website lost its data to hackers. Unfortunately there has been no response from State Bank to investigate weak internal controls of Burj Bank and maintain the integrity of customers’ data.
How Phishing Attacks Work:
Phishing attackers are sending millions of emails to Pakistani internet users asking them to change their passwords for online-banking accounts. They send email with similar-to-bank domain names, such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to make them look like legit system generated email by banks.
Typically, when user clicks on a URL in the phishing email, the user is taken to attackers’ website (instead of original bank’s website) which gives a similar look and feel of respective bank’s website.
All the data input on this fake website is automatically sent to attacker who can use your username/password to use your internet-bank account at his/her will.
Need for Awareness
Banks are sending out mass-emails to their users, explaining them what phishing attacks are and how not to respond to them. This is helpful in many ways, but banks probably need to do more. Maybe State Bank can take this initiative and do a mass-level campaign for users’ awareness.
Message for General Users:
- NEVER respond to any email that asks Password, Pin Code, Security answer or any similar information that you may not want to share with anyone.
- Immediately report any such email to your bank
- Register a complaint with FIA
Message for Banks!
- With increasing trend of mobile banking and net-banking, there should be a comprehensive awareness campaigns by banks to educate their customers of such phishing attacks.
- Enhance your security and intelligence to detect and deal with such criminal activities.
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a show cause notice to Reckitt & Benckiser Pakistan Limited, manufacturer of famous consumer brand VEET, for claiming in its advertisements of its product Veet that “9/10 women prefer Veet”, allegedly without having a reasonable basis.
According to CCP – Such a claim is prima facie violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010 that deals with deceptive marketing practices and prevents disseminating misleading and false information to the consumers.
Competition Commission of Pakistan received a complaint from Wyeth Pakistan Limited (subsidiary of Pharma Giant Pfizer Pakistan) against Reckitt & Benckiser Pakistan Limited, in which it was alleged that the claim made in the marketing campaign of Veet was false and misleading as it tried to convince the consumers that Veet, a depilatory (hair removing) cream, was the preferred choice of 90% of women.
A CCP inquiry into the matter found that the undertaking relied on a survey by Oasis Insights (Pvt.) Limited to form the basis of their claim. The volume share of the Undertaking, however, in the depilatory segment of the market was 46.2% during the period April 2011- March 2012.
Initially, the Undertaking aired its first television advertisement of Veet with a qualifier “after using Veet”, “9/10 women prefer Veet for smooth glowing skin”, but the ‘Qualifier‘ was omitted in print media advertisements, billboards, on shelve materials and later on in the second television commercial.
Consumer protection is an important aspect of the Act. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that information provided to the consumers through advertisement should not be false or misleading; as the misrepresentation cannot only mislead the consumers but it also harm the business interest of other competitors.
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