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Product crack: Pockets by ICICI Bank

This app can be used to do financial as well as non-financial transactions while you are on Facebook.

What is it?

On 24 September, ICICI Bank Ltd launched Pockets, an application on Facebook. This app can be used to do financial as well as non-financial transactions while you are on Facebook.

How does it work?

This app can be used only by ICICI Bank customers. To register, you will have to go to the ICICI Bank Facebook page (http://on.fb.me/zrLd3z ) and click on the “Pocket" icon. It will take you to the registration page. You have to register with your debit card number and your personal identification number. You will have to set your own four digit password which will become your login password. Once you become a registered customer, you can start using your banking services. It works almost like Net banking ,so through this you can check your account details, get mini statements and transfer funds, among other banking activities.

What’s special?

Using this app, an ICICI customer can send money to any of her Facebook friends even if she does not have the friend’s bank details. To transfer money, you either need a mobile number, an email ID or a Facebook account. Once you select an option, type the amount and name of the friend and submit. The receiver will get a coupon number and a password. You will also have to send a password, which the bank sends you. Using both the passwords along with her bank account number, your friend can get the money credited in her account. The money transfer system works on NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) platform.

The costs

The duration and limit of transaction is the same as that for NEFT. If you want to pay a Facebook friend, the limit is 10,000 per day. For prepaid recharge of mobile phones, the limit is 1,000 per day. Fund transfer to ICICI Bank account, the limit is 50,000 per day and for other bank accounts it is 10,000. The duration for the transaction is four to six hours. The cost will be similar to NEFT transfer—2.50 plus service tax for amounts up to 10,000. However, for now the bank is not charging anything.

Is it secure?

ICICI Bank states that all banking activities will take place on the bank server only. While you see the Facebook frame, the activities will happen on ICICI Bank’s server. The bank claims that the Facebook app is as secure as their Net banking platform.

Mint Money take

The only benefit the product gives is convenience. This is the first time that banking transactions would happen using Facebook as a channel. The bank claims that the server used is the same as that for its other products. Also the app uses one time passwords for every small transaction. If you are tech savvy and are used to banking online, this may look like one step ahead. But if you are sceptical about using Facebook as a replacement to Net banking, this app may not interest you. Also, for any grievances you will have to contact ICICI Bank.

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