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Simplifying Banking with Geo-enabled Digital Solutions

ICICI Bank has been harnessing its digital capabilities by introducing various new digital services that simplify banking processes for customers.

Image credit: Wikipedia

BY GW Prime

ICICI Bank is one of the largest private banks in India, offering a diversified portfolio of financial products and services to retail, SME and corporate customers. It has a network of over 20,000 branches and ATMs across India and has a presence in 17 countries.

The Bank owns a comprehensive enterprise-wide data warehouse that conducts leading-edge analytics using statistical and modelling tools. Its dedicated Data Science and Analytics team works across business areas on projects relating to business analytics, decision strategies, forecasting models, machine learning, rule engines, and performance monitoring.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, ICICI Bank has introduced a host of new digital features and services to ensure its customers’ banking experience is not interrupted. As location information is vital in any banking services, many of the new features are geospatially-enabled.

Using satellite data for farmers’ credit assessment

ICICI Bank is the first bank in India and among a few globally to use satellite images to assess farmers’ credit worthiness. Data derived from satellite images is analysed using algorithms, in combination with demographic and financial parameters, allowing for fast lending decisions for farmers.  

Some of the key satellite data being used are rainfall and temperature data; soil moisture levels; surface water availability; trends in crop sowing; agriculture land location details; and nearby locations of warehouses and agricultural markets.

Additionally, the Bank creates indices at district, village, and individual land levels to provide an estimate of the past and future agriculture income, the timing of harvest, and sources of income. The indices help make the credit scoring more precise, which is key to credit assessments.

The use of satellite data is especially advantageous for farmers from remote locations. The quick and reliable analysis has replaced the need for farmers and bank officials to be on the ground to collect information. This cuts down significant time and cost in credit assessment process as well as increases credit accessibility to rural farmers.

Rural farm in India (Image credit: New Indian Express)

End-to-end digital facility

ICICI Bank offers a lot of instant products to its customers, including instant credit card, instant personal loan, instant home loan, instant car loan, and others. The entire process is done online without customers having to visit the bank.

For online loan applications, credit assessments of customers are done using digital analytics technology. The algorithm analyses various financial parameters, such as the credit bureau information, historical credit pattern with the Bank, etc., and then assigns a credit score for each applicant.

In June 2020, the Bank launched an online video facility for its ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) verification process. KYC is required to open a new relationship with the Bank. ICICI is the first in the industry to offer a fully digital KYC for opening salary accounts and availing personal loans. The process is done digitally within a few minutes, and the new customer’s account gets fully operational after a few hours on the same day.

Customers are required to allow location access on their device for geo-tagging within the country, before being routed to an ICICI Bank officer who conducts the KYC in real time via video interaction.

Self-service delivery facility

Another unique service provided by the Bank for the convenience of its customers is a self-service delivery facility called iBox. The iBox allows customers to collect their deliverables such as debit card, credit card, cheque book and returned-cheques from a branch of their choice at any time or day.

Available at over 50 branches in 17 cities in the country, the iBox is especially useful for customers who are not available at home to receive their package during working hours.

Similar to any other package delivery service, customers receive real-time updates of their package via an SMS. Once the package arrives in the ‘iBox’ terminal, customers will receive a GPS location of the ‘iBox’, an OTP and a QR code, which will be required to open the iBox.

The iBox facility at ICICI Bank (Image credit: Asianet News)

By integrating geospatial technologies in its digital solutions, ICICI Bank not only simplifies banking processes for its customers; its financial services have become more accessible as well.

Leveraging technology and analytical insights in banking processes