Black to white: How money becomes legitimate

Black to white: How money becomes legitimate

Moneycontrol News

Renukamata Credit Society, located in one of the oldest areas of Kalbadevi in Mumbai, has seen more than Rs 2,000-crore worth inflow and outflow of cash.

The small group accepts cash deposits of any amount and transfers it to anyone in any city on the depositor’s instructions. They follow a strict ‘no-question policy’ – which means no questions are raised on the funds, depositor or where the funds go.

According to a report in the Economic Times, there are no clues about the identity of the depositors. The IT wing has passed on the details to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for further investigation. However, tailing it might prove to be a tough task.

The task of keeping these transactions ‘layered’ lies with intermediaries or handlers on the lookout for people, mostly small labourers or workers, who willingly share their personal details for a meagre Rs 2500-3000.

Some deposit slips have initials and first name of people who deposited the cash. But while there is an upper limit of Rs 9 lakh for deposits, there is no limit on number of transactions by an account holder. So multiple transactions worth Rs 9 lakh are common.

There are also no defaults here – the depositors fill e-KYC (know your customer) and admit to depositing the money.

This is not the only branch of Ahmednagar-headquartered Renukamata Society. The Society has various branches across Maharashtra and also in Chennai and Hyderabad.

Chairman, Prashant Bhalero told ET the credit society is registered under the Multi-State Societies Act, 2002.

He said people who want to avail their services have to first become the Society’s member by submitting photo ID, residential proof, thumb imprint and photograph. They also have to pay entry fee and share subscription amount.

Considering these multi-state co-operatives societies are safe haven for money launderers, there have been suggestions to bring them under the newly-introduced statement of financial transactions that record high-value transactions.


LinkedIn Becomes Locked Out in Russia

LinkedIn Blocked in Russia

LinkedIn’s network just got a little smaller following a blocking order by a court that ruled that the social network had violated a law on data storage.

Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor ordered ISP’s to block LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) after a Moscow court upheld an earlier ruling that LinkedIn breached Russian privacy laws.

Some ISP’s have already cut access to the site, which has more than six million members in Russia.

The legislation has triggered a whole lot of criticism from both inside and outside Russia. Some of the players are actually seeing the new rules as the beginning of an end of their digital business in Russia.

Russia on the other hand says that it only seeks to protect its citizen’s personal data. Many have however disputed this reasoning saying that Russia only wants an easier route to access that data for itself.

More over, the country has in recent days been accused of a number of high-profile hacking cases like the recent breach of the Democratic National Committee servers. Those investigations are still on going.

Why Was LinkedIn Blocked in Russia?

The legislation requiring all social networks to store the personal data of Russian citizens on Russian servers was introduced in 2014. However, it is the first time we are seeing the law being enforced against a US-based social network.

Could Russia’s move be an indication of the resurgence of national sovereignty in the digital sphere? Could it also be a warning for global businesses that tomorrow’s internet might be far more fragmented than yesterday’s?

LinkedIn Photo via Shutterstock

More in: LinkedIn


Marketing Auto Repair Shops Becomes Easier With Mobile Apps

auto repair apps

As with many other things, car owners can now turn to their smartphones for the task of finding an auto mechanic who can take care of their auto repair needs. Services like RepairJungle and RepairPal allow customers to receive online estimates for auto repair services via a mobile version of their site so customers can process requests from anywhere.

Apps like the RepairPal app for iOS and Android devices provides customer reviews and the ability to locate a shop nearby. The app breaks down estimates by parts and labor costs and even connects you with roadside assistance.

Location-Based Marketing

Auto repair shops aren’t usually highlighted on the major review apps like Yelp or Around Me. But a majority of consumers will take proximity and user reviews into consideration when they choose a mechanic and decide to make an appointment. Many times, these two qualities are more important than offering the lowest price. So it makes sense for shops like these to embrace mobile technology to reach a wider audience and offer them the information and ease necessary to aid them in their decision.

Apps allow shops and businesses such as these to promote their services through a marketing medium they are used to: Word of mouth.

The only difference is that the recommendations come via the Internet. Shops who are able to provide quality service for a lower price can use mobile apps to draw in business from other parts of town.  Parts of town that may be wealthier, which makes a difference.

As John Mallette, owner of Burke Auto Body and Paint explains, “Where you get screwed in our business is labor hours.” His Long Beach shop charges 40 dollars per hour. But he has heard of shops in a nearby wealthier part of town, Newport Beach, that charge as much as 90 dollars an hour for the same exact service.

Making the Most of Online Services

Despite the fact that more people than ever use the Web to research everything before becoming a customer – including their auto mechanic – some businesses and shops still don’t advertise on the Internet, as hard as that may be to believe.

Online advertising can be extremely cost-effective. Consider the fact that services like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads charge only when someone clicks on the ad. Compare that to the cost of running an ad in a local newspaper or magazine and you begin to see the advantages.

In addition to cost, online marketing campaigns tell the business about customer intentions, behaviors and the effectiveness of their marketing campaign.  There is much information to be gained.

All businesses stand to gain a great deal from harnessing the power of online marketing through commercial apps, social media and search advertising. All it takes is some time to get familiar with the tools – but it’s well worth the investment.

Auto App Photo via Shutterstock


Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Becomes Chairman as Co-Founder Steps Down

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Becomes Chairman as Co-Founder Steps DownSpotify CEO Daniel Ek Becomes Chairman as Co-Founder Steps Down
Spotify co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek is consolidating power over the world’s largest music streaming service, taking on the role of chairman ahead of a planned initial public offering as soon as next year.

Martin Lorentzon, a co-founder of Spotify, is stepping down from his role as chairman after 10 years, a Spotify spokeswoman said in an e-mail. Lorentzon will become vice chairman, he said Thursday on his Twitter feed.

(Also see: Spotify Debuts in Japan, Complete With Karaoke Lyrics)

“I look forward to another 10 years at Spotify as vice chairman,” Lorentzon said.

Ek is leading the company as it prepares to make its case to public-market investors and takes on a growing list of rivals, including Apple, Amazon and Pandora. He’s taking a page from other technology industry founders such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – who maintain tight control over the leadership and direction of their companies – as he oversees a growing staff spread across Stockholm, London, New York and Los Angeles.

The company is in the midst of critical negotiations with record companies that will determine how much Spotify pays to carry music on its service. The outcome will help determine whether the company can bend itself toward profitability, as it currently pays most of its revenue back out in the form of royalties to labels and publishers.
Spotify last month surpassed 40 million paying customers, and has 100 million monthly users including its free, ad-supported product. It generated more than $2 billion in revenue last year but remains unprofitable.

(Also see: Spotify Said to Be in Advanced Talks to Buy SoundCloud)

Earlier this year, Lorentzon joined venture capitalist and Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom, former Finance Minister for Sweden Anders Borg and several other business leaders in signing an open letter calling for reforms in Sweden’s education, tax and housing industries, and warned that failure to do so could force businesses from the Nordic region’s biggest economy.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Spotify, Music Streaming Service, Music, Internet, Home Entertainment, Apps