ICICI Bank and Vodafone announced a joint initiative to start mobile banking services in the country. Under this tie-up, the entities will offer mobile users a bouquet of financial products such as savings accounts, pre-paid instruments and credit products.
ICICI Bank will leverage the distribution strength of Vodafone, which manages over 1.5 million retail points for acquiring customers and servicing them.
RBI has allowed banks to appoint for-profit companies as business correspondents (BCs). The tie-up between ICICI Bank and Vodafone and also the SBI and Airtel JV are possible due to this change in policy.
Chanda Kochhar, the managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank, said, “We are very excited about the partnership with Vodafone, which will help ICICI Bank in deepening its base within the country.”
Marten Pieters, the managing director and chief executive officer of Vodafone Essar, commented, “The RBI move to allow for-profit companies to be business correspondents is a welcome move that will enable the population better access to financial services. With our reach and ability to connect to customers, we are uniquely positioned to aid the financial inclusion agenda of the Government of India and RBI.”
Not many details have been made available about the financial aspect of the deal. However, it is expected to be on the lines of the SBI-Airtel deal, except for the fact that it is not a joint venture.