IndusInd: Banking on numbers

By Rashmi Menon , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 13, 2013
The bank has launched a full-fledged campaign around its new service, 'My account, my number', which enables customers to choose their account numbers.

While a large majority of people are intimidated by maths, most of them love numbers, especially if it happens to be a lucky number - be it the favourite vehicle number plate, house number, phone number or even the date of birth. Based on this insight, IndusInd Bank has launched a full-fledged campaign that promotes its unique proposition in the sector - My account, my number. Unfurled two weeks ago, the new service offers an account number of the customer's choice. In other words, the customer can choose 10 out of the 12 digits that form the account number.

The new IndusInd Bank TVC

Mohit Ganju

Sumant Kathpalia

Banking is a sector where the basic processes leave consumers with little choice. Acknowledging this, IndusInd has slowly been building its value-added services around the Responsive Innovation theme, which began three years ago. The current campaign is an extension of this theme.

Mohit Ganju, head, marketing and communication, IndusInd Bank, says that under the Responsive Innovation theme, the bank has been offering services that are not only innovative but also fairly relatable and usable, for the last three years. The 'My account, my number' service was launched with the same guiding principle, he adds.

"Love for numbers is predominantly an Indian consumer insight and cuts across different strata of society. It may be because of superstition, numerology or someone's belief in a lucky number. Besides, bank account numbers are not easy to remember. So, while we were looking at creating a new product and service, we hit upon this idea (My account, my number)," Ganju says.

He adds that unlike other categories, in banking, customers don't get to choose anything when they enrol in a bank. "So we decided to start this service, where customers can choose the number of their liking," he says.

According to Sumant Kathpalia, head, consumer banking, IndusInd Bank, the 'My Account, my number' service was created after an extensive consumer research that found a need-gap.
While the campaign kick-started last week, the initial response has been quite heartening. In fact, two of the most popular requests for bank account were date of birth and mobile number, as they are easier to remember, Ganju reveals. A few have also opted for lucky numbers.

Conceptualised by R K Swamy BBDO, the television commercial for the service features actor Sharman Joshi, who links everything to his lucky number, including selection of his trousers to appreciating the exam scores of his son. When he visits IndusInd Bank, he is overjoyed at being given a choice of his account number.

The campaign's media spend is about Rs 15 crore. Joshi was chosen as he has not been overexposed in the ad space and will not overshadow the brand, Ganju says. "Sharman has an endearing personality and we thought he would do justice to the character we wanted to create," he explains.

Interestingly, unlike the "youth-centric" approach taken by brands across categories, IndusInd's campaign is targeted at people, who are existing bank account holders and entrenched in the banking space. "We are not looking at 21-year-olds or first job holders. Our services are targeted at people who are above 30, have experience in the category, who will understand the unique value proposition offered by us," says Ganju. Fortunately, the number fetish transcends all demographics.

Besides TV and select multiplexes, the campaign will be extensively spread across digital and outdoor, especially airports. Ganju informs that the brand has invested a lot on its digital campaign for the first time. With the help of Dynamis Partners, IndusInd has created a Facebook app that engages with the user. "It is an interesting app, where users can generate their lucky number by sharing their name and date of birth." Ganju says the app was properly tested in the market and will be rolled out soon. The brand's other social media agency is Webchutney.

IndusInd Bank began operations in 1994. Currently, it has close to 900 ATMs and over 500 branches spread across the country, with added offices in London and Dubai. In order to differentiate itself from other banks, the brand began the Responsive Innovation services and products three years ago, which has helped the brand to not only to attract more users but also ensured significant jump in its customer acquisition. While the bank's customer base was about 20 lakh as on June 30, 2009, its current customer base stands at about 37 lakh.

Some of these innovative features include 'Choice Money ATM', which was launched in 2011, where a user, irrespective of whether he is IndusInd's customer, can choose the denomination of notes to withdraw money from its ATMs. Ganju says that the impact of this innovation was the bank received 60 per cent usage of this service in the first month of the launch itself. Currently, about 70 per cent of all transactions in all its ATMs are taking place using this service.

'Check on Cheque' is a technology-driven initiative that provides copies of the cheque issued in a statement cycle on the reverse side of the physical statement, and also sends it online. To ensure that the signature of the cheque is protected, the signed area is covered. The idea behind this innovation is that customers needn't keep records of single cheques.

Also, to ensure that IndusInd customers are not inconvenienced by the IVR procedure when they call the bank, under 'Direct Connect', when the customers call from their registered number, they are directly connected to the agent.

The 'Cash-on-mobile' feature, which records fairly decent usage, enables IndusInd customers to transfer money through their mobile banking app. The person who receives the money can then withdraw the money from IndusInd's ATM, after undergoing security procedures, without the card. Finally, in the 'Quick Redeem' service on credit cards, the points can be redeemed either via cash or through frequent flier miles points. The insight behind this service was that many people are lethargic in redeeming their reward points.

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