Mobile Banking Innovation from ICICI Bank
ICICI bank never ceases to amaze me with the amount of innovation / service offerings they bring to the customers regularly. Any industry will come with its own limitations and boundaries and it takes leaders / innovators like ICICI Banks pantaloons, walmarts, apples, googles, airtels of the world to change the game, remove barriers or revisit the assumptions. Its the sheer determination these companies demonstrate that forces everyone else to sit up straight and notice things.
The latest innovation (well not so much of innovation, but rather popularizing an emerging channel for banking) ICICI did is in the similar line. They have launched a mobile application (like the gmail mobile client) for doing mobile banking. Its called iMobile, any one [currently supported by only symbian phones] can download and install it for free (requires some validation etc.) and use it to pay bills, check balances, check your demat stock holdings [WOW], schedule transfers, locate an atm/branch, order a checkbook or get other services.
I think this is a really great idea. I am not really sure how secure the mobile communications are [for that matter after reading coding horror’s post on digital certificates I am weary about computer communications also], but ICICI is pushing everyone else in the ecosystem [other banks, mobile operators, payment gateways, ISPs, IT security authorities, certification companies etc.] to comply or remain outside. The same thing happened with online banking, stock brokerages, mutual fund selling, insurance selling, fund transfers, NRI banking – you just name it. I am guessing this will catch on with early adopters like tech savvy folks, people with decent mobiles etc. I would love to install this once I figure out about the security features.
This innovation seems more amazing now that I am in US, because here the banking service is close to 50% of what we get in India. Back home we used to take several things for granted like free fund transfers, free any ATM usage [as long as you maintain some balance], unlimited calls to customer care [as long as you dont abuse anyone], world class online banking, tight integration of various services like MFs, Stock trading, insurance, bill payment, mobile recharge, loans, credit cards etc. 2 weeks ago I have opened an account with ADP which has restrictions like 2 ATM transactions per month, 2 calls to customer care per month, 1.5$ charge for balance inquiry etc. I wish I was making it up, but what a contrast.
Check the iMoble flash demo yourself to know more.
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