Kotak Mahindra Bank has launched an email-based funds transfer service called Mail Money. Though the service was launched last Kotak Mahindra Bankmonth, the bank will formally start promoting the product to customers for adoption later this month, Deepak Sharma, executive Vice President and Head of Digital Initiatives at Kotak Mahindra Bank told MediaNama.

” Mail Money is a product that we launched for existing Kotak customers who can by keying an email to beneficiary can initiate a fund transfer through our secure net banking environment,” Sharma said.

How it works

It’s important to note that here, the sender doesn’t need to know the recipients bank account number, and thus, this service allows Kotak Mahindra Bank customers to send money to customers of any bank. Kotak Mahindra Bank customers who want to use the service will have to:
– Login using net banking where there is an option to send funds via email.
– Key in the beneficiary’s phone number, email and the amount to be transferred.
– Send a unique OTP, which is generated for the sender, to the beneficiary.

The beneficiary will
– Receive an email with a one time password (OTP) and a link to a page on Kotak Mahindra Bank’s website.
– Have to enter his/her OTP, and the OPT received separately from the sender, as well as his/her bank account details on that page, for the funds to be credited.

The funds can be transferred via NEFT or IMPS fund transfer system.

Three factor authentication

It’s also worth noting that Gmail earlier this month started allowing users to send money via email as well in the US. The difference here is that users have to keep money in their Google Wallet to transfer it to other people. Gmail’s service too has a similar two-factor authentication for funds to be credited. A difference with Kotak Mahindra Bank’s service is that it has to be initiated through its net banking portal which essentially makes it a three factor authentication. Speaking on the additional layer of security, Sharma explained that the customers in their focus groups and testing preferred the additional layer of security for the transaction.

” When we launched mail money we looked at whether we were making it a bit too tedious by having two different passwords which is generated and sent to the beneficiary. About close to 80% of the people we spoke were pretty fine with the two passwords, because it is secure and they don’t mind communicating this password to the beneficiary, because they know a genuine transaction has happened and they are able to communicate the password,” Sharma said.

Kotak Mahindra Bank will later be extending the service to their mobile banking application.

Social Media Payments

Earlier in October, Kotak Mahindra Bank launched KayPay, a bank agnostic payment product for Facebook users to send money to each other.  The sender will have to register on a dedicated KayPay website wherein he will have to give bank account details and the bank’s MMID, apart from personal credentials. Once registered, the sender can initiate transactions and if the beneficiary is not registered on KayPay, he will be directed to a page to register for completed a transaction. Sharma also added that the service now has about 10,000 registered users.

Other payment solutions over social media

Rival private sector bank, ICICI Bank, too has a service to do financial transaction over Facebook. While payment solutions provider Oxigen allows people to send money over WhatsApp, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.