New Delhi: State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s biggest lender, is all set to open access to its mobile banking and lifestyile app ‘Yono’ to all after ICICI Bank on Monday launched a new version of its mobile payment app, which is known as ‘iMobile Pay’. This app is interoperable and allows payments and other banking services to customers of any other bank. ICICI Bank’s interportable app launch has opened up a new front in the battle for customers and cheap deposits.
ICICI Bank on Monday announced that customers of any bank can link their accounts, generate a UPI ID and start sending and receiving money to and from any bank account, payment app or digital wallet using the iMobile Pay app. Users of this app will also get instant access to the entire range of ICICI Bank’s services.
The Economic Times citing SBI managing director CS Setty mentioned in a report that the bank will open access to all on its Yono app within 30 days.
“We can say that the payment system is moving to interoperability. This is a precursor to an open banking system, whenever it happens. Gone are the days when to be near to customers you had to open a branch or ATM. Applications can ensure a deeper connect with customers and attract eyeballs,” the publication quoted Setty as saying.
Not only SBI, but also other banks and NBFCs are planning to launch similar apps or upgrade their existing apps to become interoperable. Sameer Shetty, head of digital banking at Axis Bank, said in an email response to the business daily that his bank, too, plans to upgrade its app to allow this functionality, but did not give a time frame.
Anup Bagchi, executive director, retail banking at ICICI Bank said with the launch of its new app the lender hopes to benefit from new customer leads and ultimately deposits in the long run by allowing other bank customers to use its application.
“The NPCI’s digital infrastructure based on the banking system is anyway used by foreign payment companies to allow customers to make payments for free. We thought why not we disrupt the disruptors and go to the front end allowing everyone to use our app. The immediate benefit will be building our brand before customers and in the long term this could also lead to customers actually shifting their accounts and keeping money with us,” the business daily quoted Bagchi as saying.
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