India’s ICICI Bank Launches NFC Prepaid Account

by Tristan Hugo-Webb 0

One of India’s leading banks has announced the launch of a limited NFC program that will use prepaid technology to allow customers to make payments via their mobile handsets at offices and canteens through a partnership with Tech Mahindra. According to the announcement, any person including non-ICICI Bank customers can use the service and if they don’t have a NFC enabled handset can attach special NFC sticker.

Commenting on the announcement, Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said,

“ICICI Bank has always been at the forefront of introducing innovative technology for a world class customer experience. We are delighted to partner with Tech Mahindra to enable a contactless payment service in the country for low value transactions. This initiative will offer a new, differentiated digital solution to replace cash for regular and small value payments made over the counter in large campuses. We believe that this service will offer users an unparalleled experience of making quick and safe payments like buying meal coupons at canteens with just a tap of their mobile phone or the NFC tag. Its usability is wide as it allows customer of any bank to register for ‘Tap-n-Pay’ with no documentation or branch visit. It will additionally ease the day-to-day hassle of cash handling and currency change for merchants too.”

While the service only has a limited base and potential it highlights that even in under developed payment markets like India, NFC infrastructure is being built out in order to accommodate shifting consumer trends towards mobile payments and contactless enabled cards. As a result, one can expect the ICICI announcement to be the first of many NFC and contactless focused partnerships and deployments.

Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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