08 October 2015 10:28:21 IST

ICICI Bank launches in-store mobile-based payments with ‘mVisa’

Customers can make electronic payments at physical stores, e-commerce and other deliveries

ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, launched a service to enable customers to make electronic payments from their smartphones at physical stores, e-commerce and other deliveries at home, radio taxis, and utility billers, among others.

This service is based on ‘mVisa’, a new mobile payment solution from Visa. ICICI Bank claims to be the first bank globally to launch a mobile app-based ‘mVisa’ solution for consumers and merchants.

With this service, users of ‘Pockets’, ICICI Bank's app, can make cashless payments from their smartphones using their debit card by simply scanning an ‘mVisa’ Quick Response (QR) code at a merchant location without swiping the card at an EDC machine, the bank said in a statement.

This service provides customers the convenience of speed to complete a transaction along with enhanced security as the card remains in the possession of the customer.

To use this facility, a customer needs to click on the ‘mVisa’ icon on the home screen of the ‘Pockets’ app. The app automatically activates the camera in the phone, allowing customers to scan the QR code and enter their debit card PIN.

Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank, said: “...While there are 570 million debit cards in the country, there are only 1.1 million point-of-sale (POS) machines available for card payments. This restricts cashless payments to a certain category of merchants. We believe the simplicity of this technology will allow us to address this market gap and enable digital payments for an array of untapped categories such as home deliveries, cab services, and small merchants.”

TR Ramachandran, Visa Group Country Manager India and South Asia, said: “...The mVisa solution will enable consumers to engage in secure and convenient payments, and more easily access funds in their existing bank accounts to make everyday purchases and pay utility bills. mVisa will provide the benefits of electronic payments to thousands of consumers and small merchants across India, in line with the Government’s Digital India mission.”

To start with, this facility has been introduced in Bengaluru with 1,500 merchants and will shortly be extended to other cities.

The availability of electronic payments using debit cards through mobile phone is a new addition to ‘Pockets by ICICI Bank’, its own digital bank.

It also offers the most comprehensive digital wallet from a bank that allows anyone to download and start transacting instantly. The wallet allows users to send money using e-mail id, mobile number, Whatsapp, or bank account. Users can pay bills, recharge mobiles, book movie tickets, send physical and e-gifts, split and share expenses with friends.

‘Pockets’ uses a virtual Visa card which enables users to transact on any website or mobile application in India.

Customers can also request for a physical card to use it at any retail outlet. ‘Pockets’ has garnered over two million downloads in a few months since its launch, the bank statement added.