#icicibankpay: ICICI Bank’s Reply To Kotak’s #Hashtagbanking

Following the recent launch of Kotak's Jifi Saver, ICICI bank has now launched ICICIbankpay for real-time fund transfers,p repaid mobile recharges and to check balance


2015 appears to be delighting more and more Indian banking customers. Following the recent launch of Kotak’s Jifi Saver - a social savings bank account which can be managed via Twitter and Facebook; ICICI bank has now launched ICICIbankpay in association with Twitter India.

ICICI Bank, India’s largest private bank is stating that ICICIbankpay is a first-of-its kind service in India that enables ICICI Bank customers to transfer money to anyone in the country who has a Twitter account, check account balance, view last three transactions and recharge prepaid mobile in a completely secure manner.

From now on ICICI Bank savings account customer, who has a mobile number registered with the bank and has a Twitter account, can access the facilities of ICICIbankpay. The customer can send money to anyone in India even if the recipient does not have an ICICI Bank savings account. However, customers can send up to Rs. 5,000 per transaction with a limit of Rs. 10,000 per day. The online NEFT charges will be applied. Besides both the recipient and sender need to have a Twitter account.

Registering and using #icicibankpay

To register for the service, a customer needs to follow the bank’s Twitter account, @ICICIBank and send a Direct Message (DM) in the format “#regICICI Bank>”. As a safety measure, the customer will receive a ‘one time password’(OTP) on her registered mobile number, which in turn is required to be sent as a DM from her Twitter account to the bank’s Twitter account in the format “#regotp”.

Once registered, the customer can transfer funds, check account balance, view last three transactions and recharge prepaid mobile by simply sending a DM from her Twitter account to the Bank’s Twitter account. The below tweets explain how to perform the three transactions. You can also find similar details on ICICI bank portal.

Speaking at the launch today, Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said, “We introduced the world’s most comprehensive banking facility on Facebook in 2013. Now, ‘icicibankpay’ will help our customers to execute banking transactions while they are socializing on Twitter. This innovation is in line with our philosophy of ‘khayaal aapka’ wherein we offer products and services which make banking easier and more convenient for our customers.”

Pockets on Facebook evolves to ICICIbankpay

ICICI Bank may have been one of those banks which started slow on social media but it was one of the first banks to spread the idea of banking via Facebook in India with its Pockets app.

Launched in late 2013, ‘Pockets by ICICI Bank’ assured a safe, simple and social way of banking, while you are Facebook-ing. In addition, it also offers features like recharging your prepaid mobile phone or booking movie tickets for your whole gang. All you have to do is register on the Facebook app with your debit card number and PIN.

In an earlier conversation with  Sujit Ganguli, Senior General Manager, Head Brand and Corporate Communications, ICICI Bank had informed that to get started with Pockets, one has to register on the Facebook app with their debit card number and PIN. Designed as a complete website, the informative app has many social features including the ability to make transactions.

Later to that ICICI focused on building a fleet of mobile apps and left out Twitter until now.

Competing with Kotak’s #Hashtagbanking

Kotak’s Jifi Saver also facilitates bill payments, offers mobile and DTH recharge via Twitter, reward and transaction points, 25 free at par cheques per quarter and avail unlimited free transactions at Kotak ATMs.

Kotak Jifi Saver

At the launch the company stated that, “Jifi Saver will take care of online shopping, on-the-go transactions, financial planning, etc. It also offers all benefits and functionalities of a regular savings bank account.” Available in 27 cities across the country at present, Jifi Saver will enable customers earn savings interest rate offered to all savings account holders, i.e., 6 percent p.a. on balance of above Rs. 1 lakh and 5 percent on balance up to Rs. 1 lakh.”

Jifi Saver is the latest addition to Jifi which the bank had launched last year - a first-of-its-kind fully integrated social bank account designed for the tech-savvy socially connected generation of today. Jifi, a non-interest bearing account integrates social media platforms. Account updates are received on Twitter as a Direct Message (DM) by simply tweeting to the Twitter handle @KotakJifi with predefined hashtags.

“About 25 percent of our customers are using Twitter to bank with us, while about 50-60 percent bank using Facebook,” said Deepak Sharma, Executive VP, Digital banking at the launch explaining the changing trends in banking. He further added that about 40 percent of Kotak bank customers are using internet and mobile banking.

Interestingly similar trends are being witnessed by ICICI Bank. “Mobile transactions account for 10 per cent of our total transactions, increased from 2 per cent in 2.5 years.We have about 2.8 million customers on mobile banking, while about 15 million Internet banking users,” said Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank.

Armed with innovative features, both banks have raised the industry benchmark of social media engagement, which for the last few years had been focused on running contests on Facebook and trending on Twitter. Hopefully, other banks wake up and rush to their drawing boards after watching these developments.