India’s two largest banks have announced new tech measures to enhance banking experience. While State Bank of India has launched a mobile wallet app, SBI Buddy in collaboration with Accenture and Mastercard, ICICI Bank Ltd has introduced ‘Smart Vault’, a fully automated locker facility with high-end robotic technology.
Launching the new app, SBI Chairperson, Arundhati Bhattacharya said, “This is one more step in our ambition of becoming the provider-of-choice for customers’ everyday needs, both financial and non-financial. Mobile is going to be at the centre of this transformation and this application will help us strengthen our proposition through this medium.”
The mobile wallet app can be used to send money to new and registered customers, book for movies, flights, hotels as well as for shopping. It also has features like reminders to settle dues, recharge and pay bills instantly. The app is available on Google Play Store, at present, and soon will be launched on Apple App Store. The service will be available to existing as well as non-SBI customers.
In the ‘Smart Vault’ launched by ICICI Bank, robotic technology is used to access the lockers from the safe vault. Customers can conveniently access their lockers at any time of their preference, in the comfort of a secure lounge where the locker automatically comes up to them. A customer can gain access to the locker room by swiping his debit card and validating his identity through biometric authentication. Once inside, the customer is required to swipe the debit card again and enter the PIN on the interactive touch screen kiosk to select the locker.
The robotic arm in the safe vault room then identifies, retrieves and presents the locker to the customer at the lounge. The customer will now have to use the unique dimple keys to open the locker and deposit or withdraw valuables from the locker.Once the transaction ends, the robotic arm retracts the locker back to the secured location.
Launching the initiative, the bank’s MD &CEO Chanda Kochhar, said this initiative marked a milestone in the Indian banking industry. The facility was initially being launched from Defence Colony in New Delhi.