ICICI ushers in branch free banking

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Mumbai, July 7 (UNI) Leading private sector Bank, ICICI Bank today ushered a new concept of branchless banking in the country to cater to the tech savvy customers, offering seamless information through a single interface to facilitating banking transactions over the internet.

Called B2 (Branch freeBanking), the new product was a unique direct bank, which would empower custiomers to manage all their finances online.

Aiming to tap over 500,000 customers to this new concept within the next 12 months, ICICI Bank Executive Director V Vaidyanathan said it would offer 100 per cent on line banking enabling customers to pay their bills or park their amount drawn either from the ICICI or other banks. He said the customers would also benefit from quantum optima facility, wherein if the balance exceeded rs.5,000 the money was automatically transferred in multiples of Rs.5,000 to a linked fixed deposit, which would earn ICICI Bank fixed deposit rates. It also offered facilities such as e waller-a zero limit pre paid visa card, which can be used for online purchases and to pay utility bills.

The initial customers would be those workinG in the IT and ITES segment, he said adding that the concept was not new to the Bank which was already providing similar services in England, Canada and Germany, having nearly 200,000 customers with the amount parked in these accounts being 5.3 billion US dollars.

He said India had over 49 million internet connections and this number was growing aroudn 20 per cent annually. This innovation of banking only on the net would gater momentum in the future.

As it is less than ten per cent of the bank customers visit branches with 35 per cent going to ATMs, and the ICICI internet banking having 26 million transactions in a month and mobile accounting for 23 million a month.

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