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- No fee on card, online payments made to govt
In order to promote `less-cash' economy , the government has said it will bear the transaction cost for all payments made to it through debit or credit cards and net-banking.At present, customers bear the transaction cost, commonly known as merchant discount rate (MDR), on payments made to the government.
“Government departments shall take appropriate steps to bear MDR cost like other merchants. The public shall not bear any MDR cost for making payment to government through debit cards or credit cards or digital means,“ said an office memorandum issued by the finance ministry. It said the methodology to reimburse such payment to intermediaries on transactions involving debtcredit cards or digital means is being worked out and the detailed guidelines and operational modalities would be issued in due course.
The ministry has issued the circular in line with the government's decision to promote creditdigital transactions in government payments and collections.
Earlier, the government had set up a task force under department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) Secretary Neeraj Gupta.
The Task Force has flagged issues with respective government departments.
The Reserve Bank in 2012 had capped the MDR for debit card transaction at 0.75% for transaction values up to Rs 2,000 and at 1% for transaction values above Rs 2,000. However, there is no RBI cap on MDR on credit card payments.CommentQuote0Flag
- Ujjivan and Idea are ready with their infrastructure to work as payment banks. Wallet companies are also searching for new business model after UPI at the door step. PayTM working hard to be payment bank, Oxygen got license for BBPOUCommentQuote0Flag
- Payments Process UPI Gets RBI Nod
Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the brainchild of the Reserve bank of India (RBI) which is expected to revolutionise peer-topeer payments in the country, has received clearance from the RBI and is ready to be launched on Thursday, two people in the know of the matter said. The bank applications will be made available on Play Store for download by customers over the next two days.NPCI chief operating officer Dilip Asbe said it will be sending the communication to the media shortly but did not elaborate.
The payments process, which was launched officially by RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on April 11 in Mumbai, was in the final stages of integration and testing with the banks and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
According to people mentioned above, 19 banks are go ing live with the UPI app and 22 banks are going to accept pay ments through the new interface.
“The banks as well as the clearing house are ready with the technology but even after the launch it will take some time to stabilise the systems,“ said Asbe.
NPCI had kept an internal criteria for the pilot of UPI that only lenders with thousand pilot customers, five thousand transactions and 90% success rate for transaction will be allowed to go live.
In the first stage, the likes of ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank of India and few others are going live. India's largest lender State Bank of India and private sector lender HDFC Bank are yet to have an UPI app and they are expected to go live by October.
Unified payments is supposed to do away with the whole business around adding a beneficiary for peer to peer online payments. Through UPI the customer can download any bank's UPI app on his smartphone, just add the amount to be transferred, provide the beneficiary's UPI handle and click send. Money will be transferred through the IMPS railroad in real time.CommentQuote0Flag
- Real-Time Money Transfer Via Unified Payments Interface Set to Become Reality
Interface will go live with 21 banks in the first phase, compete with mobile wallets
Trying to split the dinner bill that a friend has paid for with his card?
Or, no money in the wallet and no ATMs around to pay the taxi driver? These won't be much of a headache now, as the Unified Payments Interface has finally become a reality.UPI, which allows easier real-time transfer of money between bank account using smartphones and touted to be the biggest development since ATM, has been a buzzword in the banking circles since its official unveiling on April 11.
On Wednesday, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella body for all payments within the country, received the Reserve Bank of India's clearance and allowed banks' UPI applications to go live on Google Play Store over the next two days. It is initially available only on the Android mobile operating system.
The interface will be going live with 21 banks in the first phase. These include ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank and a few others which already have a UPI app. IDBI Bank and RBL Bank, which don't have a UPI app yet, will allow payments through other banks' UPI apps for their account holders.
State Bank of India and HDFC Bank are in the process of developing their own apps.
“Real-time sending and receiving money through a mobile application at such a scale on interoperable basis had not been attempted anywhere else in the world. Now the UPI app will be made available on Google Play Store by banks,“ said NPCI chief executive AP Hota.
Though the technology is revolutionary, NPCI will still be using the existing IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) route for the movement of money between customers and banks. While this adds some sort of stability to the new technology, what needs to be looked out for are operational glitches which could pop up once people actually start transacting through UPI.
“The banks as well as the clearing house are ready with the technology but even after the launch, it will take some time to stabilise the systems,“ said Dilip Asbe, chief operating officer at NPCI.
UPI, when it was launched, had received a huge thumbs up because the whole banking sector stands to benefit from this interoperable payments mechanism against mobile wallets, which had eaten into the retail payments pie.
UPI will completely do away with any adding of beneficiary along with account number and IFS Code, as the technology requires just a virtual handle for instant peer-to-peer payments.
This can be used by merchants while accepting payments from customers, between individuals, for remittances as well as for online transactions. A bank customer can use any bank's UPI app as per his choice.
“The target is to get the small-value peer-to-peer payments made digitally through UPI. The existing modes like NEFT and IMPS are mostly being used for high-value payments and remittances,“ said Asbe.CommentQuote0Flag
- Send funds via an app without a|c number
Unified Payment Goes Live After RBI Nod
You can now send money to anyone without even knowing the recipient's account number using an emaillike alias through a mobile banking app. Also, use your favourite app to access your accounts in different banks.The RBI has cleared a Unified Payment System a platform which links bank account numbers to virtual payment addresses (aliases). The UPI-enabled app in effect turns your smartphone into a bank and has come as a boost to a cashless economy .
Just as an ATM of one bank can be used to access accounts in all banks in the network, any UPI-enabled app can be used to log into one's accounts in other banks. Second, the interface overcomes one of the biggest pain points in sending money online -that of knowing 15-digit account numbers and an 11digit IFSC code (used to identify bank branches). Instead of account details, the receiver has to merely share an alias like xyz@axisbank. The UPI makes use of the existing Immediate Payment System (IMPS) which allows funds transfer using bank account number, an IFSC code and other credentials.
“Real-time sending and receiving money through a mobile application at such a scale on interoperable basis has not been attempted anywhere else in the world. The UPI app will be made available on Google Play Store by banks,“ NPCI managing director and CEO A P Hota said here on Thursday .
Twenty-one banks will go live over the next couple of days. But the country's largest bank, SBI, has expressed concerns and has kept it on hold until it gets more clarity from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for retail payment systems in India. Of the 21 banks, eight banks have gone live.
“Our app is still under development. We have raised some security concerns on the registration process and transactions being timed out. The NPCI has not yet come back.We will be ready by Septemberend. But the decision to join will depend on NPCI coming back to us with clarifications,“ said Manju Agarwal, deputy MD, SBI. HDFC Bank too is working on its application and expects to be ready in three weeks. ICICI Bank has announced that it will integrate its iMobile and Pockets app with UPI in the next few days. iMobile is for the bank's customers, while Pockets is an app with a prepaid instrument available to anyone who downloads it.
Kotak Mahindra Bank has decided to play it safe and provide a separate application for UPI. “We are in process of development and certification of UPI-enabled app. We will launch a new app which will be UPI-enabled in 4-6 weeks. “ said Deepak Sharma, chief digital officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank.
- Banks asked to cut charges on online fund transfers
After Air India, the Centre now wants the railways to lower transaction charge for online bookings. It is also urging banks to cut charges as it seeks to reduce the usage of cash and promote the use of plastic money .Reducing the use of cash has been identified as a key priority of the government as it seeks to put curbs on black money . Several steps have already been initiated, which were expected to be in place during the coming weeks.
Recent steps taken by a PM-appointed task force on promotion of payments through cards and digital means have already prompted government departments to bear the transaction cost, commonly known as merchant discount rate (MDR). As part of the plan, Air India has decided to scrap the transaction cost on tickets booked through its websites using cards. Others such as state-run telecom company BSNL have also followed suit. In the months ahead, the National Highways Aut hority of India will offer some a cash back facility for those using a Tag that will help them drive through toll plazas smoothly and help reduce congestion.
The railways is, however, resisting the change as the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) rakes in nearly Rs 600 crore from card transactions. Sources told TOI that the finance ministry is in talks with the railways and has urged it to reduce the cost for rail travellers, especially when the onli ne channel brings down the cost of operation and the pressure at reservation counters.“The establishment cost comes down significantly as people use cards,“ said an official, who did not wish to be identified. Nearly 14 lakh tickets are booked daily on the IRCTC website.
Even petrol pumps pass on the MDR on several credit and debit card-based transactions.The government is also keeping an eye on this practice.
Similarly , sources said, banks are being asked to do away with the charges levied on electronic transfer of funds at least for a few transactions every month. The government is arguing that three free withdrawals must be allowed from ATMs every month and a similar number of free transactions should be allowed for those using the NEFT. Currently , banks levy a fee of up to Rs 25 for every NEFT transaction in addition to the service tax.
Further, efforts are being made to get banks to reduce the transaction charges on debit cards, which range between 0.75% and 1% of the transaction amount. “Unlike a credit card, where the bank is giving you money , I am using my own money while using a debit card. This charge needs to be reduced,“ argued an officer.CommentQuote0Flag
- War on black money: It’s mwallets vs UPI
Launch of Unified Payments Interface sparks a debate on whether it will hit existing payment apps
MUMBAI: India’s payment ecosystem has got a new boost in the form of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) to make digital payments and peer-to-peer money transfers. The question that now arises is, will it swallow up existing payments apps? Or will it encourage more consumers to venture into the market?
With its focus on cleaning up the black economy, the government and the Reserve Bank of India launched the UPI through the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Thursday with 21 banks to make hasslefree money transfers.
The UPI mobile application allows a user to send money to any bank account through your mobile phone without entering debit/credit card details, netbanking/wallet password or even knowing the recipient’s bank account number.
“UPI will be an enabler to existing wallets and in fact can be used to fund the wallets,” said Dilip Asbe, chief operating officer, NPCI. “We have not got wallets under UPI as it is designed for banks for now. Also, wallets offer facilities beyond money transfer.”
So are mobile wallets under threat?
According to companies, the ecosystem is large enough for all players to co-exist. At present, nearly 90% of transactions are cash based in India.
“I don’t think it will have any negative impact on the mobile wallet ecosystem, not at least for next five years... Banks existed even before wallets and so did mobile applications. Still wallets are being used,” said Upasana Taku, co-founder of MobiKwik.
“Wallets are too big a market in India,” added Pramod Saxena, founder and CMD of Oxigen, “However, you may see a hit on those wallets, which are primarily funded through debit or credit card.”
“I think wallets can participate by being partners with banks. You use a Paytm not (just) because of the wallet, but because it helps you get a Uber or Ola ride. Partnership is their strength and they should use that,” said Vivek Belgavi, leader fintech, PwC India.
SAME DIFFERENCE: WALLET VS UPI
What is a mobile wallet?
A wallet on your mobile phone in the form of a mobile application that allows user to transfer money through a mobile phone to any person or merchant including additional services like utility bill payments, mobile recharges, online ticket bookings, payments to taxi operators like Uber or Ola. A user can transfer money into the mobile wallet (application) through a debit or credit card, or via net banking. It works like a prepaid-card
How does UPI work?
All a user needs to do is create a virtual address, which can be your name, or your phone number, instead of bank account details. For example, if your name is ABC, the your virtual address could be ABC@axisbank or ABC@icicibank. The user need not remember the 15-digit bank account number or the 11-digit IFSC code (used to identify bank branches) needed for net banking.CommentQuote0Flag
- Digital India' Brings Big Gains to Payment Gateway Firms
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's `Digital India' push is proving to be a huge boon for the payment gateway companies as more payments are happening digitally which translates to increased traffic for these sites.A payment gateway is the interim page which opens up during the check out process of an online payment.
Mumbai-based digital payments company TechProcess, which runs the payment gateway BillJunction, is hoping . 1,000 crore jump in for a ` monthly transaction vo lume driven by more partnerships with state entities and bill pay ments going digital.
Bill Desk, which recent ly got the Bharat Bill Pay ments licence from the RBI, is also planning to de velop a mobile applica tion for retail users to pay their bills through Tech Process. It is also roping in retail agents to act as bill collection points for TechProcess where individuals without any access to internet can pay in cash for billers across the country .
“We have tie-ups with around 700 government entities whose payments are routed through us in collaboration with a bank. Now we are also planning to come up with our own mobile application for retail bill payments. This should take our gross transaction value to `. 3,000 crore per month from around `. 2,400 crore presently,“ said Anand Ramachandran, chief finance officer, TechProcess Payment Services.
The company has tied up with entities like the Airport Authority of India, Telengana State Pollution Control Board, Pune Municipal Corp, MSRTC to route payments through TechProcess.CommentQuote0Flag
- Bharat Bill Pay: RBI Extends Time for Bidders
The Reserve Bank of India has extended the deadline for Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOU) applicants to December 31 to enable them to meet the requirement for the starting paid-up capital.This will also allow applicants to meet the criterion of minimum one year of experience in bill collection if they could not meet it previously.However, the regulator has clarified that those who fail to meet the criteria will not be allowed to function as a bill collecting agent after May next year.
“Entities undertaking the business of billing under the current scope of BBPS would be required to become an agent of authorised BBPOUs or exit the business of bill payments covered under the scope of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) by May 31, 2017,“ the RBI said in a notification.
While RBI had come out with a list of 26 banks and about eight non-banking entities that were granted in-principle approval for BBPS, the National Payments Corporation of India will start the pilot from August 31 with eight to 10 entities, sources said.CommentQuote0Flag
- 21 BANKS LIVE ON INTERFACE - New to UPI? Here's how to Navigate Through it
Unified Payments Interface was launched with much fanfare last week, and a lot of banks have started going live with their own UPI apps.However, both the banks as well as the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have been flooded with queries from customers who have faced issues while accessing the new mode of payment in town. ET tried to decode some of the questions that were posted on social media.Are all banks on UPI?
Till now 21 banks have gone live on UPI, but few major ones such as State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank are not yet on UPI. These banks are expected to join by November. The banks that have their UPI apps include Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bhartiya Mahila Bank, Canara Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, DCB Bank, Federal Bank, ICICI Bank, TJSB Sahakari Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Karnataka Bank, UCO Bank, Union Bank of India, United Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, South Indian Bank, Vijaya Bank and YES Bank.
What happens if my bank's name is not on the list?
If you are banking with RBL Bank or IDBI Bank, you will still get the benefit of UPI by using some other bank's UPI app. But if you are with any other bank, you will have to wait till November to be able to use UPI.
Why is my phone's app store not showing any UPI apps?
If you are using an Apple phone or a Windows phone, then it will not show. UPI, as of now, is available only for Android smartphone users.Feature phone users will also not get the benefits of UPI.
Why is my account not getting connected to UPI?
Many people who tried integrating their bank accounts with UPI have found difficulty in doing so. However, in many such cases, it has been found that the account has become dormant. A dormant account is one where no withdrawal or issuing of cheque has happened in six months. In such cases, individuals will first need to activate the account and then start operating.
Why is my mobile number not getting registered on UPI?
To be able to use UPI, customers first need to register their mobile number with the bank.If their mobile number is not registered, or they are trying to use UPI on some other number, UPI will not function. While activating the mobile app, the customer needs to get his mobile number verified by the system. If he is using some other mobile number, UPI will not get registered.CommentQuote0Flag
- Unified interface to be fourth option for e-comm payments'
UPI Will Be Common Gateway For All Banks: NPCI Chief
The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) had generated much excitement even before it was launched.The platform runs on the Immediate Payment System (IMPS) network, a real-time fund transfer mechanism maintained by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The IMPS itself was born out of an effort to network ATMs of all banks through NPCI's National Financial Switch. In an interview with TOI, NPCI MD & CEO A P Hota explains how the payments landscape is set to change. Excerpts... The UPI is perceived as a person-to-person (P2P) payment mechanism. Is it all that is there to it?
Of all the channels, whether it is branch, ATM or internet, we would like to position the smartphone as the primary channel for day-to-day financial transactions. There are over 250-million smartphones and they are growing at 30 million every year. This year, around 50 million smartphones are expected to get added. Besides P2P payments, UPI can be used for e-commerce. From September 15, there will be a fourth option after credit card, debit card and netbanking. A customer will be able to enter his virtual payment address under UPI. He will then get an alert on his mobile app and can authorize it immediately . Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Federal Bank and Yes Bank are taking the lead in roping in large e-commerce companies.UPI will play the role of a common payment gateway for all banks. Merchants without a payment gateway can also accept payments online. With the launch of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), every mobile application will have access to all billers who have a tie-up with any bank.We expect that real usability will come around January 2017. There is also an initiative to bring schoolcollege fees to BBPS so that customers can make payments directly from any bank.Users have been testing UPI apps making small payments of Rs 10. Are such small transactions viable?
In the initial period, many banks have waived the charges. But in future they will start charging. For UPI, the charges start at Rs 3 and can go up to Rs 25. The current limit per transaction is Rs 1 lakh. So if banks decide to impose the Rs 3 per transaction charge, people might not want to make a small transaction of Rs 10. Fifteen banks have already put their apps on the app store and 3 more will launch on Monday .
Although 21banks have agreed to be part of UPI, SBI has said that it has concerns about the registration process...
SBI did not want the MPIN to be allowed to be generated on other bank's mobile app. We are in discussion with them on their security concerns.Many banks have already gone live. We are telling them that if mobile registration is made secure, there is no need to worry .
What is needed for UPI to succeed?
For UPI, use cases have to be discovered which are really powerful. One area where the re is unsatiated demand is person-to-person transfer. Although there are many channels already available, the requirement is so large it is still unsatiated. Second, merchants have to be really plugged in.
Today , a lot of work needs to be done on awareness. The importance of mobile as a channel should be propagated and it should not be left only to individual banks. This needs to be done at the industry level and also by the government and the RBI. It is a fundamental necessity to link mobile numbers to bank accounts. At the same time, there needs to be an awareness drive on security. Just as banks tell customers not to share passwords and not let anyone see them key in their ATM PIN, a set of dos and don'ts should be circulated.
How did NPCI come up with the concept of UPI?
We did not think of UPI and creating virtual payment addresses when IMPS was developed. It was when the wallet companies came out with really good products and banks were being left out that the idea was conceptualised to bring a similar product for banks. Nandan Nilekani was pushing for an electronic bank account-based payment system, which would be authenticated by Aadhaar. But when we started the system, everyone felt more comfortable with MPIN.CommentQuote0Flag
- Bank strikes are less relevant now
Rise Of Debit Cards, New Payment Tools Make Life Easier For Customers
Not so long ago, bank strikes would impact everyone -from large companies to the common man, who queued up at a branch to withdraw money or deposit a cheque.Now for most, bank strikes pass off as a non-event given the advent of other payment channels -from plastic money to mobile wallets.Add to that the rise of private banks and weakening grip of unions. On Friday , when trade unions called a nation-wide strike to push their demands, the All Indian Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) pulled out of the strike at the last minute, even as five other unions went ahead.As a result, the impact was limited at lenders such as SBI.
And, banks' work process has undergone a big change.“Money transfer can be done 24x7. There are options such as Immediate Payment Servi ce (IMPS), which are outside the branch network and are not affected by strikes,“ said A P Hota, who heads National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the agency working on developing payment channels. Agencies such as NPCI and Clearing Corporation of India are also not affected by strikes, resulting in seamless transaction.
Besides, banks have outsourced a lot of payment-related work and data centres are not part of the banking set-up in several cases. Similarly , reconciliation does not mean manual debit and credit entry and the clearing centres are not part of the RBI or SBI networks.
New channels such as ATMs and the tiny point of sale terminals have not only resulted in tellers in bank branches being just one of the windows, but have also sounded the death knell for metal tokens -which were a currency of sorts till a decade ago. Faced with manpower shortage, public sector banks, which still control nearly 70% of the banking business in the country , have more than doubled the number of ATMs and point of sale terminals over the last four years. In contrast, the number of bank branches has gone up by around 36%.
With more terminals where you can swipe your card or pay online, the proportion and number of cheque clearances or MICR-based transfers are lower. From nearly half the volume of transactions in June 2012, this payment tool now accounts for 6%. There are withdrawal slips too but data was not available.
Usage of debit cards has shot up, driven by use at ATMs, suggesting that cash remains the preferred mode of payment. Bankers said mobile wallets could soon be the most preferred mode of payment due to ease of transaction.CommentQuote0Flag
- New UPICommentQuote0Flag
- Cash less payments
- BIG FILLIP FOR ONLINE SHOPPING - UPI to Spread Net, Rope in 10-15 Etailers
Cos like eBay, MakeMyTrip, Pepperfry, BSNL, MTNL & Idea likely to join the unified payments network soon
The government-backed Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a system that allows money to be transferred between bank accounts through smartphones, could rope in as many as 10-15 ecommerce merchants in a big upgrade to enable people to seamlessly pay for online shopping.“In the next one or two months, a sizeable number of ecommerce merchants will go live on UPI. That's what our effort is. At least 10-15 merchants will be going live so that we can get good traffic,“ Dilip Asbe, Chief Operating Officer of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), told ET. He did not identify the ecommerce companies, saying banks are in talks with them. So far, personto-person transactions are taking place on the UPI platform, which was launched by NPCI and the Reserve Bank of India on August 25, with the participation of 21banks.
“Many providers will also come now, which will layer user services like bill payments and mobile top-ups, which will ride on UPI platform,“ Asbe said, dwelling on the upcoming plans. The Centre is rooting for the project, top government officials told ET, calling UPI a testament to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet projects of a Digital India and a cashless economy.
Online merchants, including eBay, MakeMy Trip and Pepperfry, are said to be joining the UPI network soon, along with Bharat Sanchar Nigam, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam and Idea Cellular for mobile bill payments. The Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation, which operates the widely used train ticket booking website, may also join the UPI platform to offer customers an instant payment option.
Flipkart-owned PhonePe has already launched its app-based on the UPI platform, ET reported on August 29. In a recent presentation to state governments, NPCI listed 26 “broad use cases“ of the UPI platform from paying one's local vegetable vendor to payment of EMIs, toll plaza charges, making donations, school fees, movie tickets, utility bills such as electricity, water, telephone and credit cards and even for cash-on-delivery option by online shoppers.
The UPI platform may compete with wallet services such as Paytm, which also use the RBI's Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) for money transfers. While digital wallets can be used without a bank account and offer users attractive cash-back offers and discounts on transactions, UPI requires senders and receivers of money to have bank accounts. Asbe, however, disagreed that UPI would compete with wallets.
“The market is too big...I don't see a reason why both (UPI and wallets) cannot survive.The ecosystem is large enough. As a country, we need multiple payment options. Finally, the consumer is king and will use the option most convenient,“ Asbe told ET.
An email sent to Paytm for comment was not answered.
The COO said UPI had been working with a couple of wallet providers so that the platform can be used for wallet top-ups. “Wallets should get benefit from UPI,“ Asbe said.He added customers would use both UPI and wallets.
“One segment wants to do fund transfer from bank account to bank account that segment will rely mostly on UPI. There will be people who want to use wallets for cash-back and the attractive offers from merchants they will use wallets,“ Asbe said.
One benefit that UPI offers customers is the ability to have multiple virtual addresses for accounts in various banks. To ensure privacy of customer data, there is no need to disclose their bank account numbers.This allows customers to freely share their financial address in the form of virtual IDs with others.
ET VIEW Revolutionary
The PMO's push makes sense. The goal of UPI is to foster financial inclusion and use technology to improve the quality of life. UPI allows people to transfer money from their accounts instantly to another bank account linked to a smartphone. The advantages include its open architecture and flexible user interface. Data connectivity has to be good. To enable rural massess to use UPI, India should lower the price of spectrum. Of course, online wallets can co-exist.CommentQuote0Flag