India’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, introduced a number of banking transactions on Twitter. The service named icicibankpay, will allow its customers to transfer money, recharge prepaid mobiles, check account balances and the last three bank transactions over direct messages (DM) on Twitter.

The service allows customers to send money to anyone in India using their Twitter handle, even if the recipient does not have an ICICI Bank savings account.

ICICI Bank

How it works

To register for the service: ICICI Bank customers who wish to register for the service need to follow the bank’s Twitter handle, @ICICIBank, and send a direct message(DM) to the handle with the a hash tag #reg along with the registered mobile phone number in the bank. As an added safety measure, customers will receive an OTP which in turn needs to be sent back as a direct message to the bank’s twitter handle with the hashtag #regotp to complete registration.

Transfer money: To transfer money, customers will have to send a direct message to the ICICI Bank twitter handle with the hash tag #pay followed by the handle of the recipient and the amount to be transferred. For example: #pay @lomirgenii1988 500. On sending the DM to the ICICI Bank handle, customers will receive an SMS on their registered mobile number with a four digit pass code which they have to share with the beneficiary.

The beneficiary will receive a tweet from the bank with a link of its website. Beneficiaries will have to click on the link which will take them to a secure page on ICICI Bank’s website. The beneficiary will be required to verify their Twitter account and provide their name, account number, IFSC code (only for non-ICICI Bank customers) and the pass code they received to complete the transaction.

Recharge prepaid mobile phones: To recharge their prepaid mobile phones, customers need to use the hah tag #TopUp followed by their 10 digit mobile number, operator code and the amount to be recharged. For example: #TopUp 9XXXX12345 Airtel 500.

To check account balance and transactions: Customers can also check their account balance with the hash tag #ibal.To view recent transactions, send a DM with the hash tag #itran to view the last three transactions.

Note the bank has set a limit of Rs 5,000 per transfer and customers can transfer a maximum amount of Rs 10,000 per day for the service. ICICI Bank executive director Rajiv Sabharwal also said that the bank would consider increasing the limits after following the customer adoption for the service. Sabharwal added that the service is currently running on the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) platforms and will be extended to the Immediate Payments Service (IMPS) soon. Customers will be charged the RTGS and NEFT fees for funds transfers.

Other payments solutions over social networks

– Earlier in 2013, ICICI Bank  had launched a Facebook application called Pockets which allows people to conduct banking transactions without leaving the Facebook site. Sabharwal added that there are now about 30,000 people using the Facebook application.

– Last week, rival Kotak Mahindra Bank launched a new savings account product aimed at the tech-savvy crowd. The new product known as Jifi Saver can be managed via a customer’s Twitter and Facebook pages.  The bank account is bound to the customer’s Twitter handle and the customer does not have to enter their bank account number or card details to conduct certain limited banking transactions. The product also allows customers to recharge their mobile phones and DTH connections via Twitter.

– Kotak Mahindra Bank also 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.