ICICI Bank today announced the launch of a unique facility of linking a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) ID to its digital wallet ’Pockets’, marking a departure from the current practice that demands such IDs be linked with a savings bank account. New users, including those who are not customers of ICICI Bank, can now instantly get a UPI ID, which is automatically linked to ‘Pockets’. Further, customers who already have a UPI ID, will get a new ID when they log on to the ‘Pockets’ app. This initiative enables users to undertake small value everyday transactions directly from their ‘Pockets’ wallet using UPI in a safe and secure manner. It helps them to streamline the number of transactions being undertaken daily from their savings account and thus de-clutter their savings account statement of multiple entries. Further, it expands the convenient usage of UPI to young adults like college students, who may not have a savings account.
ICICI Bank is the first in the industry to enable customers to make UPI transactions from their wallet balance instead of their savings account.
The Bank has collaborated with NPCI to link its ‘Pockets’ digital wallet to the UPI network, paving way for this novel initiative of linking of a customer’s UPI ID with his/ her digital wallet. With this, customers using ‘Pockets’ can pay/ receive money directly from/to ‘Pockets’ wallet balance without using their savings bank account. Users of ‘Pockets’ digital wallet can use the UPI ID to make person to person (P2P) payments such as sending money to any individual’s bank account or paying to a contact. They can also undertake person to merchant (P2M) payments like paying online at merchant sites or paying by scanning QR codes. Additionally, users get exciting rewards on every transaction that they make using the wallet.
Mr. Bijith Bhaskar, Head- Digital Channels & Partnership, ICICI Bank said, “We, at ICICI Bank, focus on technological innovations to offer unique propositions that are simple, fast and convenient. Five years ago, we launched ‘Pockets’, enabling users to open a digital wallet instantly on their mobile phone and start transacting immediately. Our research suggests that users are keen to link their UPI ID with their digital wallet, so that they can directly use the balance in the wallet for smaller transactions while using their savings account only for the larger ones. Armed with this insight, we are delighted to have worked closely with NPCI to introduce this unique innovative solution in digital banking. We believe, the facility will provide immense convenience and the advantage of secured UPI payments to customers using ‘Pockets’ wallet.”
Ms. Praveena Rai, COO, NPCI said, “We are delighted to collaborate with ICICI Bank to launch the solution of creating and linking a UPI ID to digital wallet. This initiative will further democratize access to UPI and make it ubiquitous with digital payments by allowing consumers to directly pay through their digital wallets, in addition to the facility of paying from their bank accounts. UPI is a one-stop solution to payments of all kinds, both P2M and P2P, and this facility will provide an impetus to the burgeoning digital ecosystem in India. We at NPCI, constantly endeavour to create an evolved user experience by integrating technology with innovation, and the launch of this offering is a step in the right direction.”
To start using the facility, a new user needs to download and log-in to ‘Pockets’. On successful login, a ‘Pockets’ VPA is automatically created based on the registered mobile number of the user. For eg: 9999xxxxxx@pockets where ‘9999xxxxxx’ is the registered mobile number. There are no bank account details required for the creation of the UPI ID. Further, a user can also modify the auto-created UPI ID to an ID of his/her choice, through the ‘modify’ option under ‘BHIM UPI’ within the app.
An existing user can update their ‘Pockets’ app to the latest version and get going.
The advantages of UPI-linked ‘Pockets’ are:
· Scan and Pay: Users can scan QR codes and make payments at merchant outlets or other locations, through BHIM UPI on ‘Pockets’ app.
· Make and receive payments: Customers can use their ‘Pockets’ UPI ID to pay against a collect request sent by another user or app. They can receive money too by creating a collect request through entering a valid amount and the sender’s UPI ID.
· Pay to contacts: With this feature, users can seamlessly make payment to their contacts in the phone book.
· UPI payments at merchant sites: Users can make payments online at any merchant site by opting to make ‘payment through UPI’ and entering their ‘Pockets’ UPI ID. Once they enter their ID, a collect request is generated which can be accepted on the ‘Pockets’ app to complete the payment.
· Money transfers: Customers can seamlessly transfer funds from their ‘Pockets’ wallet to a savings account or any other ‘Pockets’ wallet, by entering the receipient’s ‘Pockets’ UPI ID or savings account details.