India’s second largest bank is leveraging technology to create new platforms for its burgeoning customer base.
In the highly regulated world of retail banking, only a few companies ever stand out for breaking the mould. Many have been associated with the introduction of new products, platforms or a fresh approach to customer engagement – think variously of First Direct, Egg, Virgin or Zopa in the UK or NAB, Charles Schwab, Capital One, Citibank, Santander and HSBC more internationally. New technologies are increasingly key but innovations like NFC are being largely embraced by multiple institutions simultaneously. With near saturation in developed markets, attention is now moving to Africa, Asia and South America where evolutions such as mobile payments and international remittances have built momentum. India is a particular hotbed of activity right now and increasingly taking a lead in new platforms for customer interaction. ICICI, India’s second largest bank is seen by many to be at the fore.
Predominately focused on the burgeoning domestic market, ICICI nevertheless has presence in 18 other countries around the world including the US, UK, South Africa and China as well as more local markets such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. With a wide range of products across retailing banking, investment banking, life and non-life insurance, venture capital and asset management already in place, now new innovations are coming into play – many with technology underpinnings. 2011 saw the launch of online banking apps through Facebook that take a lead in connecting social networks and financial services while multiple currency savings accounts are offering customers the choice of different interest rates. With a dual focus on the urban population as well as sustainable banking for the rural millions where fingerprinting recognition has been a popular innovation, as many Western counterparts struggle to recover from the financial crisis, ICICI is delivering double-digit growth.