ICICI launches 'mVisa' mobile payment service


Top private sector lender ICICI Bank launched a mobile payment solution based on 'mVisa' that will allow its customers pay for services using their smartphones. The service, which can be used by customers who have installed an app of the bank's mobile wallet 'Pockets', works by scanning QR codes. They can make electronic payments from smartphones at physical stores, accept e-commerce deliveries, pay radio taxis and utility bills among others, the bank said in a statement.

The service is based on mVisa , a new mobile payment solution from Visa, and ICICI Bank is the first globally to launch a mobile-app based mVisa solution for consumers and merchants, it said. At present, customers pay either in cash or have to swipe cards at a point of sale (POS) machine to complete a transaction. The bank says it has had two million downloads of Pockets app and 70 per cent of them are non ICICI Bank account holders.

Customers will have to scan a mVisa Quick Response (QR) code at a merchant location for payment, it added. The customer first click on the mVisa icon on the Pockets app, the camera gets switched on and the customer has to scan the QR code and enter the debit card PIN, it said. The bank's Executive Director Rajiv Sabharwal said this service will help overcome limitations of low POS machines penetration, adding there are only 1.1 million machines for 570 million debit cards.

"This restricts cashless payments to be made only at a certain category of merchants. We believe that the simplicity of this technology will allow us to address this market gap," he added. To start with, the facility has been introduced in Bengaluru with 1,500 merchants, it said, adding it will shortly be extending it to other cities.

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