ICICI Bank unveils Indian mobile app quartet
India’s ICICI Bank has launched four new mobile banking apps, as part of a drive to adopt digital channels and spread into India’s vast rural hinterland.
The new apps consist of an ICICI store, where customers can view and manage all their mobile banking apps; Insta Banking, which is used to cut the paperwork done in branch by letting the customer do it via mobile in advance; video banking, which lets customers video chat with the bank at any time of day or night; and mPassbook, which helps customers view their savings, credit card and PPF transactions on mobile.
The idea is to make banking faster and more accessible. On Insta Banking, a customer can process their desired transactions up to seven days before visiting the branch. When the customer visits a branch to complete the transaction, it is executed on priority. Cash deposit and withdrawal, updates to personal information such as address are also available on the app. Using mPassbook, users can also get real time updates and add remarks on the transaction to help them track it.
ICICI has offered mobile banking since 2008, when it became the first Indian bank to do so. It also has some unusual products, such as Pockets by ICICI Bank, which allows customers to send and receive funds directly via Facebook, and offers other technologies such as cardless cash withdrawal. In July last year, the bank announced plans to launch a mobile payments service built by Movida, the Indian joint venture between Visa and mobile money specialist firm Monitise, that will draw on the potential to reach unbanked customers in the country.
India is well-known as a market with potential for mobile payments, based on the presence of a significant unbanked population that has access to a mobile phone. The population of India is 1.2 billion according to figures provided by the World Bank, while the Bank of India estimates that 41% of the overall population is unbanked, rising to 61% in rural areas.
“With these new mobile banking applications, we will offer our customers a unique and unparalleled experience in their interactions with the Bank,” said Chanda Kochhar, chief executive at ICICI Bank. “These new initiatives are yet another testimony of our deep commitment to the philosophy of ‘khayaal aapka’- where we put our customers’ needs as the focal point of our business. I believe these apps will further propel the growth of mobile banking in the country.”
Founded in 1994 by Indian financial institution ICICI, ICICI Bank operates 3,377 branches and 10,943 ATMs across India and claims to be the country’s largest private sector bank. Based in the Indian city of Hyderabad, the bank has subsidiaries in the UK, Russia and Canada and also operates branches in the US, Singapore, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Dubai.