In an interesting technology innovation, ICICI Bank has announced introduction of a “Face Book” application which can enable you transfer funds from your account to your face book friends.
According to information available, in order to make a payment to any friend on Facebook using the Pockets app customers fill in a short form, choosing which account to send the money from, the recipient’s name and the amount to be transferred. Once the transaction is confirmed, both the sender and the recipient receive a ‘coupon ID’ and a passcode. Then the recipient has to click a link in an e-mail, which takes them to a page where they have to enter the coupon number, their name and bank account details and, finally, the passcode, to accept the payment.
According to the CEO of ICICI Bank, Mrs Chanda Kochchar, “This innovation is in line with our philosophy of Khayaal Aapka wherein we offer products and services which make banking easier and more convenient for our customers. ‘Pockets by ICICI Bank’ will enable the young consumers, who spend a lot of time on Facebook, to carry out a wide set of transactions without having to leave the social media site.”
This is fine. But what ICICI Bank needs to disclose is the “Risk” that this new application will pose to the users and who is responsible for the loss if any which may arise due to either phishing or a trojan on the mobile.
I also urge RBI to clarify if this form of banking is approved from their end taking into account any risk assessment that has been made. I would like some body in Mumbai to apply for an RTI with RBI to find out if a risk assessment has been done by RBI before permitting this Facebook app and if not whether the system of Internet Banking as approved by RBI can be extended to such methods. If the risk in such applications is higher than the current Internet Banking or Mobile Banking methods, will RBI clarify what steps it has taken to ensure safety of Bank Customers.
We would like to draw the attention of the new Governor Mr Raghuram Rajan that while he is correct in identifying the inflaiton control as a priority, he should also bestow attention on preserving the integrity of the Indian Banking system.