Hoping to stay ahead of an increasingly competitive Indian mobile banking market, ICICI Bank announced that it will make its Pockets mobile wallet available on Google Play, even to those who do not have ICICI bank accounts, according to company sources.
The mobile wallet, unique considering that existing digital wallets are developed by non-bank companies like Apple or domestic tech company Citrus Pay, can be set up instantly without documentation or a bank visit required. Funds can be transferred to it from any bank in the country, and can be used online or on mobile in India. Pockets will also enable customers to top up mobile plans, as well as pay bills and transfer money via email, mobile numbers, or through Facebook. Savings accounts are also available for customers that accrue interest and don’t require a minimum balance, but that will require meeting with an ICICI employee before opening the account.
Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank was quoted in Finextra saying that the new wallet is meant to target India’s millennials who have an expectation of convenience: “Today’s youth wants everything instantly, on the go. Pockets addresses this need by allowing anyone to open an account on their mobile phone in an instant and start transacting immediately. We believe that Pockets will help shape the future of digital payments in the country,” Kochhar said.
ICICI is entering a fiercely competitive, if not still in development, mobile banking market in the country. Earlier this month, Ant Financial waded into the game through a large investment in One97. MasterCard opened its largest tech hub outside of the U.S. in Pune, and has announced that MasterPass will be rolling out sometime in April, putting local startups against one of the world’s largest payments processors as well as a rapidly growing e-commerce giant from China.