ICICI Bank, the Indian private sector bank, has launched 25 self service e-branches across 18 cities including in metro and tier II cities for enabling 24*7 banking transactions.Essentially these are banking terminals, which will do away with full service staff and provide customers with facilities such as cheque deposit machines, cash deposit machines with instant credit, and 24-hour video conferencing with ICICI Bank customer care personnel.
– Tablet based account opening: Apart from the e-branches, ICICI has also launched ‘Tab Banking’ that will allow customers to open ICICI bank account on a tablet from their home or office. An ICICI executive, equipped with a tablet and mobile connectivity will visit the customer’s home or office to scan KYC (Know your customer) documents and click a picture to open the bank account. The bank has already deployed 2,000 tablets as a part of its Tab Banking initiative, across eight centers in the country, according to a report by Moneycontrol. However, ICICI Bank claims that this will not reduce the roll out of physical ATMs and branches.
– Bank on move: ICICI has also launched Bank-on-move, a POS terminal with in-built GPRS and WiFi connectivity, to reach out and facilitate banking in areas where there are no branches and ATMs. This would essentially benefit rural areas, however, it remains to be seen how many such terminals, the bank will be deploying.
– E-Locker: Apart from that, ICICI Bank has also launched E-Locker, a virtual online locker, which is available on the ICICI Bank internet banking platform. The E-Locker can be used to safely store electronically scanned copies of important documents like legal agreements, policy documents, degree certificates and bank statements in various formats. The facility serves as a backup and retrieval tool for important documents and offers a storage space of 1 GB per customer. What’s interesting is that the E-Locker can be availed at no additional cost by wealth customers.
As more and more people adopt new technology, online banking is seeing increased adoption and acceptance for its convenience. It’s not the first time that electronic terminals have been deployed – Citibank and HDFC Bank have had ATMs that were capable of accepting cash, and Citibank was encouraging savings bank account customers to not use branches. However, remote account opening, mobile POS terminals and lockers for electronic documents are an interesting offering.