ICICI Bank Ltd., India’s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, announced the launch of a unique mobile banking app for rural customers that allow them to access banking services as well as information on agri services. Anyone including non-ICICI Bank customers can also download and use the app which is available in eleven Indian languages.
Christened, ‘Mera iMobile’, it allows users in rural areas to avail as many as 135 services — some of which are unprecedented in the industry — on their mobile phone, helping them to save the time and cost of visiting a branch to avail these services. The list of services include Kisan Credit Card, Gold Loan, Farm Equipment Loan and loans to Self-Help Groups (SHGs). The app also enables them to undertake an array of frequently used banking services from their smartphone, without using mobile internet services.
Additionally, it is the first banking app to offer agriculture related information like cropwise mandi prices of nearly 230 crop varieties across 460 mandis. It also displays taluka-wise weather update for close to 3700 talukas across and over 300 districts, aiding farmers to plan their sowing and harvesting activities conveniently and in an informed manner. ‘Mera iMobile’ is the only banking app to provide these value added services in one single app for the rural customer.
Ms. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said, “At ICICI Bank, we believe in investing in innovative technology much ahead of its time. In line with this philosophy, ICICI Bank has pioneered many innovative solutions for its customers like internet, mobile, Tab and ‘Touch Banking’ branches among others. Today, India has the second largest – internet user base and smartphone market globally. We envisage that the next wave of growth in internet usage will come from rural India due to growth in cheaper smartphone handsets, spread of wireless networks and evolving consumer behavior.
With the new ‘Mera iMobile’, we will offer our rural and semi-urban customers a unique and unparalleled experience in their interactions with the bank. ‘Mera iMobile’ is a result of extensive research and has evolved into the country’s first comprehensive offering for rural customers on smartphone with 135 services and in eleven Indian languages. It enables any user, even if they are not ICICI Bank customers, to download the app and get access to agri related advisory on mandi prices and weather. These aid in saving time and effort of travel to the branch and the mandi for various services. We believe this app will resonate with the needs of the rural customers and aim to have over half a million downloads in the next six months.”
‘Mera iMobile’ has been specially created to be ‘light’ to enable customers in rural and semiurban markets to download and run it easily even with low internet speed. To further aid quick download of the app, the Bank will introduce ‘WiFi enabled posters’ at its rural and semiurban branches. To begin with, these posters will be deployed across 700 of the Bank’s branches. The Bank also plans to mount these posters on vans and cycles to enable download of the app at places with high footfalls like haats and common areas in villages.
Any ICICI Bank customer with a rural savings account / Kisan Credit Card/ Gold Loan/ Self-Help Group/ other agri loans can download ‘Mera iMobile’ from Google Play store on their Android smartphone. Non-ICICI Bank customers can also download to use the agriculture advisory related services.