ICICI Bank opens up its mobile app for customers of rival lenders

MUMBAI: At a time when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tightened scrutiny over digital services offered by banks in light of increased instances of outages, private sector lender ICICI Bank has upgraded its mobile app to allow customers of rival banks to avail basic online banking services on its platform.

The new app, which ICICI Bank claims is a first in the industry, will allow users to link their bank accounts, generate a UPI ID and avail services such as online transactions, opening savings accounts, making investments, applying for loans and credit cards without being an ICICI Bank account holder.

The lender in a statement said that it aims to “extend the ambit of mobile banking apps which are hitherto restricted to only the customers of the respective banks.”

Anup Bagchi, the executive director at the bank said that the new initiative will allow customers to avail “benefits of banking and payment apps in one single place” instead of having multiple such apps on their smartphones.

“In the recent past, we have captured two user insights while interacting with them. One, many of them, who are not our customers, are keen to use iMobile (ICICI Bank App). Two, customers are tired of using multiple apps…Now on, customers of any bank can experience the ease, speed and safety of our mobile banking app,” he added.

The move comes just days after RBI’s temporary sanctions on rival lender HDFC Bank to launch new digital initiatives and source new credit card customers noting instances of multiple mass outages in mobile banking services in recent years, amid intensifying scrutiny by the regulator on technological vulnerabilities in India’s banking system.

According to Dilip Asbe, the CEO of National Payments Corp of India, the initiative “will inspire the ecosystem to integrate interoperability on digital platforms…The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is known to provide seamless, secure and convenient payment experience to its users…,” he said.

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