Mr. Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank is responsible for Retail Banking, Inclusive & Rural Banking and SME & mid-corporate business. He is also the Non-executive Chairman of ICICI Home Finance Company Limited. Mr. Sabharwal has done his Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and Management from Indian Institute of Management Lucknow. He has over 18 years of experience in the Banking/Financial Services industry. He joined ICICI Group in 1998 and has held leadership positions in credit policy, collections, business analytics, mortgage finance, consumer loans, credit cards, rural and microfinance lending and financial inclusion. His contribution in the growth of mortgage and retail business is widely acknowledged in the industry circles and within ICICI group. He also has considerable knowledge relating to the securities and portfolio management business segments as he has been on the investment advisory committee of ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company's Real Estate Portfolios since 2007. Prior to joining ICICI Group, Mr. Sabharwal has worked in the Consumer Durables Marketing, Commercial Finance and Retail Finance businesses at Godrej, SRF Finance and GE Capital. In January 2009 he joined Sequoia Capital, a leading venture/growth capital company and worked as Operating Partner focusing on the financial services sector. There he led new investment decisions as well as represented Sequoia at the board in existing investments. He then rejoined ICICI Bank Limited from April 2010.
ICICI Bank is India's second-largest bank with total assets of Rs4,736.47bn (US$ 93bn) at March 31, 2012 and profit after tax Rs64.65bn (US$1,271mn) for the year ended March 31, 2012. The Bank has a network of 2,763 branches and 9,363 ATMs in India, and has a presence in 19 countries, including India. ICICI Bank offers a wide range of banking products and financial services to corporate and retail customers through a variety of delivery channels and through its specialised subsidiaries in the areas of investment banking, life and non-life insurance, venture capital and asset management. The Bank currently has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Russia and Canada, branches in United States, Singapore, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Dubai International Finance Centre and representative offices in United Arab Emirates, China, South Africa, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Our UK subsidiary has established branches in Belgium and Germany. ICICI Bank's equity shares are listed in India on Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India Limited and its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Mr. Rajiv Sabharwal says, “New avenues of business generation, as shopping and other merchant payment solutions options, do show early potential to bring a sea-change in banking business.”
Give us a brief overview of the mobile banking space. What kind of transactions are you seeing here? Share with us some data.
Over Rs2.3bn worth of transactions happen over mobile banking across banks in India every month, as per the RBI data published monthly. With over Rs0.8bn worth of transactions, ICICI Bank is a leading bank in the mobile banking space. Fund transfers, bill payments and merchant services as prepaid mobile recharge are the dominant services, while creating term deposits (FD, RD) and ticket bookings (movie, travel) are some of the fastest-growing services.
How can one get registered to iMobile app? What are the requirements?
In order to use ICICI Bank’s advanced mobile banking application, the customer has to register his mobile number with us and all the mobile transactions have to be done only from this registered number. Once the customer registers his/her number, s/he has to follow these simple steps to get our advanced iMobile application.
Step 1: Customers using Java / Windows enabled phones can send SMS "iMobile" to 5676766 to download the application on their phones. Customers using Android and iOS5 enabled phones can download the app from Google Play and iStore respectively. Customers can also download the application from our website www.icicibank.com
Step 2: Customers then can activate iMobile on their mobile phone and generate a login PIN.
To get more details on each and very step please visithttp://www.icicibank.com/mobile-banking/imobile.html
What are ICICI Bank’s initiatives in this space and what has been the response?
With the launch of a variety of services, ICICI Bank is today present across all facets of mobile banking: Mobile App (iMobile), SMS Banking, Dial *525# (Menu-based USSD Banking), IVR (Integrated Voice Response, for merchant payments) and Internet over Mobile (m.icicibank.com).
The Bank's advanced mobile banking application is the one of the richest applications of its kind in the world offering banking as well as shopping over phone. By downloading and activating a single app, customers can view their relationships with the bank across products like savings accounts, credit cards, demat and loan accounts. They can transfer funds to other accounts using NEFT or IMPS, create deposits (FD/RD), avail cheque related services (order cheque book, track cheque status, stop cheques) and much more. Also, over and above their registered billers, customers can make payments to over 20 non-registered billers across telecom, insurance and utility companies.
Since its launch in 2008, the iMobile app has received tremendous response from customers. We have been doubling up the user base year over year since launch.
What are some of the major hurdles due to which people avoid mobile banking? What are you doing to address the same?
Some of the major hurdles are data speed even on 3G connectivity and awareness among people about mobile banking. To increase the awareness among the customers, we are educating customers through branches, websites, TV commercials, activities at ATMs, corporate offices, social media etc. on the benefits and features of mobile banking to increase awareness among the customers.
You claim iMobile has the maximum features compared to other banks. Could you elaborate on the same?
iMobile is ICICI Bank’s advanced mobile application, which is easy, convenient and secure to use. We have an application that is compatible with approximately 1200 phone models. This application lets you do almost everything that is possible on the Net. Our benchmarking exercise shows that it is the most powerful application in the industry in India. ICICI Bank offers the widest range of services through advanced mobile banking which can be broadly classified as:
Banking- this includes Fund transfer through NEFT as well as IMPS, Balance Enquiry, View Last 5 Transactions, Opening of Fixed deposit/Recurring Deposit, Stop Cheque Request, Cheque Status Enquiry, Cheque Book Request, Credit Card-Balance, Last payment and payment due details, Demat account and loan account details
Shopping - which includes prepaid mobile recharge, buying of Movie, Airline and Bus tickets, Shopping, DTH recharge
Bill payment - this includes the bill payment for electricity, telecom, gas, insurance etc.
It not only allows you to do the financial and non-financial transactions as mentioned above but also helps you to locate an ICICI Bank branch or ATM near you, show track payments made by you from your account, apply for new account, home, car loans and much more and also check status of your service request. We also offer SMS, USSD and IVR based services, which can be used from any mobile phone.
How do you assure the safety on the mobile?
Mobile banking transactions are as safe as Internet banking transactions. Every customer whoever is using mobile application has to register his mobile to avail the mobile banking facility and any Mobile transactions have to be done from this registered number only. Apart from this, there is a PIN validation during login and transactions which has 2 factors of authentication; a) What you know which is say an MPIN, an OTP etc. and b) What you have which is SIM or mobile handset etc. Even if one loses the phone, one is safe as the MPIN is required to complete a transaction.
What is the minimum handset requirement for iMobile?
ICICI Bank’s mobile application is easy, convenient and secure to use. We have an application that is compatible with approx. 1200 phone models. Our mobile banking transactions are handset agnostic; only the user interfaces are different depending upon the core capabilities of the native features of the handsets.
What are some of the regulatory changes required to make transacting on mobile easier?
The RBI's amended mobile banking guidelines recently liberating limits on mobile banking transactions for encrypted transactions and increased the limit for unencrypted transactions to Rs5000. This will really give a boost and add depth to this segment.
The advent of ATMs had brought down costs compared to a bank transaction. Do you see mobiles bringing about a sea change in the banking business?
Yes, usage of any electronic channel does bring down the costs of transactions, both for the customer and the bank. However, services like ATM, Internet banking or mobile banking are developed and deployed with the primary objective of enhancing customer convenience significantly. New avenues of business generation, as shopping and other merchant payment solutions options, do show early potential to bring a sea-change in banking business.