Innovative initiatives to incentivize alternate banking channels

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 18, 2013 11:55 hrs

​With the advent of digital platforms there is a paradigm shift in the way customers interact, transact and experience banking services across the globe. The journey from a branch centered 'in person' banking, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to emerging alternate platforms like web, mobile and other electronic channels is still evolving.

The benefits of technology in terms of reduction in operational costs and process efficiency to financial institutions are likely to drive innovation in products and services through alternate channels. Also, increase in usage of digital platforms will have a positive impact on the environment in reducing the overall carbon footprint of individuals and organizations.

With any emerging technology platforms, there is an adoption curve from discovery to active usage in day-to-day life. There has been a significant increase in usage of net banking amongst Indian customers in the last few years with mobile banking gaining momentum. In order to accelerate adoption and usage of alternate channels, initiatives such as customer education, enhancing platform usability, loyalty programs, customer query resolution, ease of access customer touch points, incentivizing higher usage amongst others are being undertaken by Indian banks.

A recent example of an initiative to incentivize usage undertaken by ICICI Bank is 'MySavings Rewards' program, a reward program for ICICI Bank Savings Account customers through which they get reward points when they use their ICICI Bank Savings Account, within certain limits. A sizeable proportion of rewards to customers are on usage and transactions conducted through alternate banking channels. Customers can earn reward points by conducting bill payments through internet banking, online shopping, auto-debit on home loans, auto loans, personal loans and recurring deposits. Also, activation of ICICI Bank's iMobile mobile banking application and iDirect platform along with transacting through a debit card earn reward points for the customer.

These reward points can be redeemed by customers at leading consumer, lifestyle and retail brand outlets which is facilitated through an exclusive tie-up with PAYBACK, India's largest multi-brand loyalty program.

Having a savings bank account with ICICI Bank is even more beneficial for customers who want to take a home loan. ICICI bank has recently launched a plan which offers 1% Cashback on home loans. Once the EMI starts getting deducted from your ICICI Bank savings account after activating auto debit facility, every EMI will be taken into account for the cash back offer.

Using digital channels makes implementation, tracking and redemption of reward points hassle-free and convenient. Such innovative initiatives will ensure that customers are encouraged to use alternate banking channels in their day-to-day transactions leading to wider adoption across markets.

ApnaPaisa News Desk

ApnaPaisa is India's leading Online market place for financial products such as loans, credit cards and insurance plans. Author can be reached at

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