ICICI Bank: Banking on a tab

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 13, 2014
A part of the 'Khayaal Aapka' brand thought, the bank's latest TVC talks about 'Tab Banking' and promises customers a smoother option of opening new accounts.

The internet and mobile devices have changed the way people transact. People use their handheld phones not just to shop and pay bills but also to bank. Mindful of this growing trend, ICICI Bank has developed a mobile strategy that offers consumers an easy alternative to the otherwise tedious process of opening a new bank account: Tab Banking.

Sujit Ganguli

This allows a potential customer the convenience of opening a new bank account from the comfort of his/her home or office. Here's how: Using a tablet equipped with mobile connectivity, the bank's executive comes over and fills out the required information, clicks a picture of the customer, and takes the relevant KYC (Know Your Customer) documents, thereby doing away with the need for the customer to visit a physical branch. The process makes data entry/documentation errors seem like 'yesterday's problems', and the account can be opened (that is, ready for transactions) within a day.

A TVC (released on January 3) attempts to inform consumers about this service. Created by Ogilvy India, the film features Amitabh Bachchan... in the best mood possible! He is engaged in a game of kite-flying with a few youngsters on a rooftop. An executive from the bank, who is seated a level below, waits for him patiently. When asked what's going on, Bachchan explains to one of the youngsters that the man is from ICICI Bank and has come there to set up his bank account.

Underscoring the brand's message, another youngster pointedly asks him if that means Bachchan won't have to visit the bank. Evidently, the idea is to convey that lengthy procedures at banks needn't eat into one's leisure time.

Through its visual imagery, the ad goes on to spell out the simplicity of the procedure, an important part of which includes the executive clicking Bachchan's photo (for ID purposes) on his tablet. At the end of the film, a voice over says, "With ICICI Bank Tab Banking, you can now open a savings account from home, so that you have time for the more important things in life."
Further highlighting the role of devices, the camera zooms in on the post-procedure text message Bachchan receives from ICICI Bank. Finally, the VO and super go, 'SMS TAB to 5676766'.

Sujit Ganguli, senior general manager and head, corporate brand and communications, ICICI Bank tells afaqs!, the campaign serves two purposes: One, driving awareness about Tab Banking and positioning it as a 'thoughtful' (as consumers needn't leave the comfort of their home/office) and fast service. Two, reinforcing the bank's 'Khayaal Aapka' promise of putting the consumer first and using technology-led solutions to make banking easy and convenient.

The Tab Banking feature was launched by the bank in November 2013. About releasing the ad over two months post the release of the product, Ganguli says, "Since the Tab Banking feature is meant for our prospective customers, it was essential to first reach a critical mass before promoting it." Presently, the feature is available across 29 cities through over 9,000 tablets.

The TVC is being aired in seven languages across news, business, movie and general entertainment channels, during programs such as Comedy Nights with Kapil, C.I.D., Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, India's Got Talent, Ultimate Discovery, Star Super Singer in Tamil Nadu, Dhinakkondhu Kathe and Mahabharata in Karnataka, among others. On Star Sports the commercial will be seen during the England-Australia ODI and T20 series.

Additionally, there is a hoarding-led outdoor plan that covers 13 major cities, namely, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune and Surat. Social media will also be used to promote the serivce.

Banking on-the-go

Tab Banking enables bank officials to document customer details in front of him/her, at any location and then synchronise the records to a central server over a 3G mobile network. There is no need for paperwork/physical photographs or waiting in lines at bank counters, as all the documentation is digitised.

Customers can view/verify account the information that is being entered into the system and also watch videos of various products/features (for instance, 'how to' videos for internet banking/mobile banking). This is done through a high-end tablet with a high quality camera and a healthy audio-visual interface. The gadget serves as a 'branch in the hands of the sales officers'. Currently, ICICI Bank is the only bank in India to offer this service.

According to Ganguli, the main objective of this service is to reduce turnaround time for account opening and eliminate rejections due to incomplete forms or KYC mismatch. Using a tablet, the bank's executive generates transaction vouchers. "Multiple visits by customers to our branches have been eliminated due to this process. And with readily available tools, customers' queries are resolved instantly in a single visit," he says.

According to an IAMAI report, the total digital commerce market in India was valued at Rs 62,967 crore at the end of 2013, and financial services -- including paying insurance premiums/renewals, paying utility/mobile bills and trading shares/securities -- amounted to six per cent of the overall share. As per a Deloitte study, 41 per cent of India's households are unbanked (the term indicates the absence of bank accounts) and approximately 67 per cent of all retail transactions are still being conducted in cash. In contrast, as per TRAI, India had 738.86 million active mobile connections till September 2013.

The implication is that the mobile platform could foster financial inclusion in terms of banking or payment services. In the days ahead, we could see more banks introducing mobile-enabled services.

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