Pockets – mobile wallet from ICICI Bank

What is Pockets from ICICI Bank

ICICI Bank has launched its Android based mobile wallet application – Pockets with a lot of zeal. The bank is hoping that the mobile wallet which provides the same user experience that a Payments Bank would deliver, will help them stay ahead in the overall Indian Payments Market.

pockets-ICICI-Bank

The key features of the Pockets ewallet from ICICI Bank are

  • Can be set up with minimal customer details like Name, Mobile Number, email etc
  • Can be funded by any bank account
  • No KYC needed if the monthly transaction volume is less than Rs 10,000/-
  • Does not pay any interest on the balances kept.┬áTransaction-account.

ICICI bank is planning to offer a basic savings account to anyone who wants to use the Pockets account for doing monthly transactions in excess of Rs 10,000/-. This would require the full KYC documentation to be done and hence might act as a hurdle in the adoption of the app.

Pockets has already crossed the 1 million download mark in the Android Marketplace, and carries an average user rating of around 3.9 (from 46K reviewers). This is pretty high by banking standards and re-inforces the hypothesis that ICICI bank seems to have got it right.

Pockets now comes with a free VISA card, that enables users to shop in the offline world also. The card is linked to the Pockets wallet and needs to be requested separately by the user. By default, the activation happens online and instantaneously wherein the user can leverage the wallet only in the online world (no physical transactions are possible without the VISA card). This add-on card to the wallet, allows Pockets to get into the offline world without investing in the building a dedicated merchant network. Most merchants have a card accepting machine and Pockets users can leverage the same.

Banks will now face Rs 1 Crore fine for each violation

RBI has just announced that it would fine a bank Rs 1 Crore for every single violation of norms. This is a substantial increase from the previous rate of Rs 5 Lakhs. The new slab comes into effect after the Section 46 of the Banking Regulation Act was amended in the winter session of Parliament.

If a bank is found to have violated multiple norms the fine would now be multiples of Crores. Typically RBI issues a showcause notice to banks if it suspects banks of violations of its defined norms. Usually the violations refer to know-your-customer (KYC), anti money-laundering and on foreign exchange derivatives norms.

Axis Bank pioneers Aadhaar based eKYC driven paperless account opening

Axis Bank has become the first bank in the country to have a paperless account opening process for applicants with an existing Aadhaar card. This eKYC process is expected to not only improve the customer experience but also taking the banking services to a much larger population base.

The critical documents like Address Proof, Identification Proof etc are pulled down from the UIDAI database and all that the applicant has to do is scan his fingers at the branch. The process is currently live at 1000 branches of Axis Bank and would soon be rolled out to almost 2000 branches.

The impact of this eKYC process is huge, given that there are more than 450 million Aadhaar cards/numbers that have been issued so far.