ICICI Bank has brought out a new version of its iMobile banking app, and the early word says that it's sufficiently jam-packed with features to make most users’ lives easier, at least as far as their banking goes.
While the most popular services associated with the iMobile banking app, according to ICICI's executive director Rajiv Sabharwal, are fund transfers, movie ticket booking, recharging prepaid mobile devices and paying other bills, there are plenty of others associated with the system overall. The iMobile app allows users to view their last five transactions, buy airline tickets or even find an ICICI bank branch near their current location.
Mobile banking is certainly catching on in the Indian region; by way of proof, Sabharwal detailed how the app was released in 2008 and how its user base was doubling, annually, every year since its release. Those are pretty substantial gains for any app, and ICICI points to its wide variety of services and its resulting ability to deepen its relationships with customers. The growing acceptance of mobile banking in general and ICICI's version in particular, has lead to some pronounced changes in terms of market share in mobile banking.
Perhaps one of the biggest problems, however, for ICICI, and indeed mobile banking as a whole, is the language in which the mobile apps are commonly presented. ICICI's iMobile app, for example, comes only in English, though Sabharwal apparently recognizes how unusual this is and assures users that the app is still easy to work with despite potential language barriers. Moreover, for those who don't have mobile Internet access on their device of choice, there are several other modes available to access the app's functions, including SMS, USSD and IVR, which actually makes a lot of sense given the levels of access that the user base might have.
ICICI's iMobile demonstrates clearly not only the value of mobile banking, but also the value inherent in opening up various platforms for the users to use to connect while on the go. An IVR setup makes particular sense as the voice responses allowed for by the setup itself mean that users can do their banking by remote, by voice, without needing to use mobile bandwidth, which can often be expensive or limited depending on the provider used to get it.
ICICI's iMobile should go a long way toward providing the services users want, as well as the sheer variety of connection options they need, and is an impressive model for other mobile users to consider in their own mobile app designs.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey