ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, today announced that it has crossed the milestone of 1 lakh Virtual Payment Addresses (VPA) on ‘Unified Payments Interface’ (UPI) within three weeks of its launch. The bank is the first to do so.
In a bid to further enhance the usage of UPI, the bank has also announced partnership with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to offer UPI based payments at its retail outlets, making it the largest forthcoming deployment of in-store payments using UPI.
With this, customers of any bank who have created their VPA on ‘Pockets’ as well as ICICI Bank customers using ‘iMobile’ can soon pay using their smartphone at over 6,500 HPCL petrol pumps and more than 2,000 stores of ABFRL across the country. The latter’s network includes brands like Louis Philippe, Peter England, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Planet Fashion and Linen Club among others.
Ms. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said, “UPI is a path-breaking concept which will enable convenient person-to-person and merchant payments using mobile phones. It is the first time in the world that a project of such a scale is being introduced to customers.
I’m delighted to share that ICICI Bank has crossed the milestone of creating 1 lakh VPAs for enabling UPI based payments, within three weeks of its launch. We have received encouraging response from users including non-ICICI Bank customers for creating their VPA using ‘Pockets’. To add to this positive momentum and widen our reach across sectors, we have also collaborated with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited & Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited to enable users to make payments at retail outlets from their mobile phones using UPI. We intend to continue exploring more such potential partnerships which will go a long way in popularising the usage of UPI. I believe that UPI will revolutionise the landscape of electronic payments in India and go a long way in reducing the usage of cash in the economy”.
Mr. A. P. Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI said, “ICICI Bank was among the front runners to launch our product UPI through app and we are glad to see such impressive acceptance in such a short span of time. Transactions on a real-time basis via mobile app has not been made possible anywhere else in the world. Considering the ease of transactions offered by UPI, in the days to come more customers will get accustomed to UPI based transactions.”
UPI is available on two of the bank’s customer facing mobile banking applications – ‘Pockets’ and ‘iMobile’. Anyone, including non-ICICI Bank customers can access UPI by creating their VPA on ‘Pockets’. They can also link their bank accounts with other banks (who are also on UPI) and make payments from that account as well using their VPA on ‘Pockets’. Additionally, ICICI Bank’s customers can access UPI on ‘iMobile’.
The VPA acts as a financial address for a user in lieu of their 16 digit bank account number and the 11 digit IFSC code. Once registered for VPA, bank account holders (of banks participating in UPI) can send and receive money from their smartphones without the need to enter bank account information or net banking user id and password. Users can make payments using UPI 24×7 on all days including bank holidays. They can also make payments to merchants from their mobile phones where UPI is accepted as a payment mode.
The upgraded ‘iMobile’ application comprising UPI services is available on the smartphones with Android and iOS operating systems. UPI services on ‘Pockets’ is available on Android and will soon be available on the iOS operating system as well.
To know more on UPI enabled payments visit www.icicibank.com/upi
ICICI Bank is the most comprehensive player in the Indian mobile banking industry. It is the numero uno bank in FY’16 with close to Rs one trillion worth of transactions in mobile banking. It was the first bank to launch a mobile banking application in India, iMobile in 2008. The application today offers over 165 services, the most in the Indian mobile banking industry. It includes an array of industry first features including the recently launched ‘iMobile SmartKeys’ – Asia’s first payment service using a smartphone keyboard, advance tax for individuals, Positive Pay for cheque protection, rail-ticket booking from within the app on IRCTC as well purchase of mutual funds, travel & motor insurance.
ICICI Bank’s mobile banking foray extends to ‘Pockets’, largest wallet by a bank. This comprehensive application allows anyone, even those who are not customers of ICICI Bank to instantly download, fund the wallet from any bank account and use it. ‘In a short span of time, ‘Pockets’ has over four million downloads; over 75% of these users are new to the Bank. ICICI Bank recently unveiled ‘Touch & Pay’ on ‘Pockets’, the country’s first contactless mobile payment solution. It leverages the Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology to create ‘virtual’ cards for ‘physical’ credit or debit cards of the Bank, thus enabling customers to make electronic payments in-stores from NFC enabled smartphones by just waving his/her phone near a contactless merchant terminal.
ICICI Bank services its large customer base through a multi-channel delivery network of 4,451 branches, 14,073 ATMs, call center, internet banking (www.icicibank.com), mobile banking, banking on Facebook & Twitter and ‘Pockets by ICICIBank’ the country’s first digital wallet. (Figures as on June 30, 2016)
About ICICI Bank Ltd: ICICI Bank Ltd (NYSE:IBN) is India’s largest private sector bank with consolidated total assets of US$ 139.14 billion at June 30, 2016. ICICI Bank’s subsidiaries include India’s leading private sector insurance companies, securities brokerage firms, mutual funds and private equity firms. Its presence currently spans 17 countries, including India.