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|February 11, 1999||
ICICI Bank is upgrading its Internet banking facility 'Infinity' to introduce online real-time banking in a phased manner.
This will enable the customers to do the entire gamut of banking operations such as transfer of funds among their various accounts, third-party transfers and payment of utility bills by directly operating their accounts.
ICICI Bank, which in October 1997 pioneered the introduction of Internet banking in the country, currently offers customers access to their accounts both for viewing and downloading statements, chequebook requisition and stop-payment instruction facility.
They also have a secured mailbox for customers to help them correspond with the bank in a confidential manner.
All these facilities are offline and allow customers to merely give instructions to the bank.
According to Priya Nayak, manager, Infinity Centre, ICICI Bank, introduction of own account transfer would be the first step towards online Internet banking.
This facility, which is expected to be launched any time now, would enable the customers to transfer funds between their own accounts, be it savings bank account or current account, she said.
Unbreakable security features are a pre-requisite for online banking and ICICI Bank is working towards a foolproof system.
'Infinity' has a multi-layered architecture and is hosted on an in-house server. The security features include multiple firewalls, filtering routers, 128-bit encryption and digital certification to check the authenticity of the user.
In fact, the bank has employed the services of professional hackers to test their security system.
The bank is also planning to add utility bills payment, deposit and third party transfer instructions in the next three or four months. Initially, they will be offline and would be integrated with online system after testing.
Internet banking facility of ICICI Bank has received a good response especially with non-resident Indians for whom it is the quickest and cheapest way of tracking their accounts in India.
The monthly hits have crossed 55,000 and the bank claims that its NRI deposits, as a percentage of total deposits, has increased from 4 per cent to 10 per cent since the launch of the service.
About 2,100 customers (as of November), from countries such as Namibia, Mozambique, Kazakhstan, US and UK apart from increasing number of software professionals in India are utilising the facility.
IndusInd Bank, the other bank that is providing Internet banking facility, is also planning to go online next year.
Its 1,600 Internet customers have access to their accounts through the bank's Web site. IDBI Bank is also looking at Internet banking closely. According to its Vice-President (Finance) Ramachandran Chellam, the bank is on the lookout for software that is secure and compatible with its existing system.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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