After launching its mobile banking app, ICICI Bank has now announced another new service for its m-banking customers which enables them to recharge their mobile phones via SMS. As the internet is not required here, it makes the service relevant for feature phones as well.
To avail this service, just send the text message MTOPUP to 9222208888 and you can get recharge of up to Rs 1,500. An MPIN is required to use this facility, which can be generated by sending MPIN to the same number. A host of other services such as balance enquiry, cheque status enquiry and last 3 transactions can also be accessed via SMS. Interestingly, banking services via SMS are also offered by other banks such as SBI, Axis Bank, Union Bank and HDFC Bank.
Earlier, online recharge provider Paytm started a similar service where users can recharge their mobile phones via SMS and also by calling a toll-free number.
Since the previously launched mobile app from ICICI Bank has been a huge success, new services from the banks in the mobile recharge space may put players like Paytm and Freecharge on the backfoot. Using a bank's direct service is essentially hassle-free and given the credibility, it easily gains customer trust. The reach of the banks is also wider, which helps them gain a large customer base.
Will banks then become a threat to other recharge services already in the market? The popularity of the banks' own services is on the rise, which can be seen by the sheer number of downloads â€“ more than 1 lakh for ICICI Bank's Android app (Paytm's is exactly half the number). Watch out the space for more updates on the same.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)