ICICI Bank today announced launch of services to enable customers to create fixed deposits, pay utility bills and access details of trade finance instantly on WhatsApp. These new services– the first by any bank in India– offer unprecedented convenience to customers as they can undertake an array of banking requirements from their home or office while maintaining social distance.
Retail customers can now create FDs, pay bills for electricity, cooking gas and postpaid mobile phones simply in a few clicks through WhatsApp. Corporates and owners of MSMEs can check trade finance related services like customer ID, Import Export (IE) code, limit availability of all credit facilities availed from the Bank, status of pending inward remittances and history of inward remittances on-the-go. The bouquet of trade finance services is available for current account customers with trade services enabled in their account.
Services like opening FDs and paying utility bills are available for customers. The trade finance services are being piloted with some select corporates; they will be available for all in next few days. The service for recharge of prepaid mobile phones will also be available shortly on WhatsApp. These new services scale up the total number of banking services available to ICICI Bank customers on WhatsApp to 25. The Bank launched a host of services on WhatsApp six months ago. The list includes checking savings account balance, last three transactions, credit card limit, get details of pre-approved instant loan offers, block/unblock credit/debit card in a secure manner, opening of instant savings account in a few minutes, opting for loan moratorium, access pdf of some prominent newspapers /magazines and locating nearby essential stores.
Mr. Bijith Bhaskar, Head- Digital Channels & Partnership, ICICI Bank said, “With the growing prominence of social media in every-day life, we believe that banking on WhatsApp offers immense convenience to our customers. It allows them to bank seamlessly while they are on WhatsApp, without visiting a bank branch. Keeping the customers convenience in mind, we have introduced banking services on WhatsApp six months ago to help them bank conveniently and remotely without visiting the branch during the pandemic. We have seen encouraging response from our customers. Over two million users have adopted banking services on WhatsApp in a short span of six months. Enthused by the response, we have added these new industry-first services. WhatsApp Banking is now available for retail, NRI, corporate and MSME customers with a variety of services.
The new financial transaction services allow customers to instantly create fixed deposit and pay their utility bills from WhatsApp with just few simple steps.
We believe that ‘ease of doing business’ and ‘digitisation’ are key parameters for the growth of the corporates and MSME businesses. To this endeavour, we have introduced trade related services for proprietors, corporates and MSME customers on WhatsApp. We believe that this service will make banking easier to them and free up their bandwidth by elimination of branch visits which, in turn, will boost their productivity and efficiency. It will redefine customer experience with real-time information accessible at fingertips which is especially useful in current times.”
To start using WhatsApp Banking instantly:
Save number and say ‘Hi’: The customer simply needs to save ICICI Bank’s verified WhatsApp profile number, 86400 86400, to his/her ‘contacts’ on the mobile phone and send <Hi> to this number from his/her mobile number which is registered with the Bank. The Bank will respond with a list of services available.
Type keyword for service: From the list of services, type the keyword of the service required (keywords are highlighted in the conversation for easy recognition). The service is carried out and displayed instantly.
Simple steps to use the new banking services on WhatsApp:
Individual banking services and its keywords:
Create a fixed deposit: The service enables customers to create fixed deposit instantly on WhatsApp. Type keyword like <FD>, <Fixed Deposit> and select the FD amount—anything between Rs.10,000 to Rs. 1 crore– and the tenure. The system displays interest rates for different tenures and the amount of money on maturity.
Make a bill payment: Customers can now conveniently pay utility bills like electricity, cooking gas and postpaid mobile connection through WhatsApp. In case of electricity bill, the customer has to provide electricity board and consumer number. For paying the bill of postpaid mobile connection, the phone number and the network need to be confirmed by the customer. For paying cooking gas bill, the customer has to confirm the gas provider and the customer ID. Type keyword like <Pay Bills>, <Electricity>, <Gas>, <Mobile postpaid>