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ICICI & Axis surf the digital wave

Sandeep Bakhshi, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank, and Amitabh Chaudhry, MD & CEO, Axis Bank provide insights into the technology-led business growth of their bank.

ICICI & Axis surf the digital wave

ICICI Bank has driven growth in SME and business banking portfolios by leveraging its branch network and digital offerings such as InstaBIZ, the business banking mobile app and Merchant Stack, the most comprehensive digital and contactless banking platform for merchants. There have been about 8.6 million activations of iMobile Pay by non-ICICI Bank account holders as of end-December.

Sandeep Bakhshi updates: “The value of transactions by non-ICICI Bank account holders in Q3 of this year was 2.3 times the value of transactions in Q3 of last year. We have seen about 215,000 registrations from non-ICICI Bank account holders on InstaBIZ till December 31, 2022. The value of financial transactions on InstaBIZ grew by about 29.2% yoy in the current quarter.”

The Axis mobile app now handles over 65% of all service requests by volumes. Amitabh Chaudhry, MD & CEO, claims: “Our mobile app is the world’s highest rated mobile banking app on the playstore, with rating of 4.8. It has over 1.6 million reviews, which is the highest across 59 global banks, 8 global neo banks and 50 Indian fintech apps.”

Stacks, Platforms, API

ICICI Bank has created more than 20 industry specific stacks which provide bespoke and purpose-based digital solutions to corporate clients and their ecosystems. Its Trade Online and Trade Emerge platforms allow customers to perform most of their trade finance and foreign exchange transactions digitally. About 71.2% of trade transactions were done digitally in Q3 of this year. The value of transactions done through these platforms increased by 59.3% yoy in Q3.

Sandeep Bakhshi elaborates: “Stack for real estate covers the lifecycle from construction to leasing, selling the property and services for their customers, employees and vendors. We have also launched comprehensive digital solutions, value-added services and Trade APIs for exporters covering the entire export life cycle including discovery of export markets, export finance – Insta EPC, foreign exchange services and export incentives.”

Axis Bank today is underwriting a loan or a credit card to any citizen of India digitally, without any physical documents or any human intervention. Also, it has built very successful digital partnerships. It’s cutting-edge digital product for corporate banking NEO is seeing strong traction among clients. It is building next generation technology architecture for wholesale digital banking.

With client-centric design at its heart, NEO is enabling multi-product, multi-channel end-to-end digital experience for its corporate clients. The bank has partnered with leading fintechs to offer connected banking experience. Amitabh Chaudhry describes: “About 100+ open banking APIs are now operational across the product suite. NEO allows us to integrate various API product suite via an ERP agnostic single utility. Within a short span, we have 1000+ fintechs corporates on our Axis API developer portal. I’m bullish on what NEO is doing and what it can do to transform our transaction banking franchise.”

Credit Cards, UPI, FASTag

The value of the ICICI Bank’s merchant acquiring transactions through UPI grew by 10.6% sequentially and 78% y/y in Q3-2023. It has a market share of 30.6% by value in electronic toll collections through FASTag in Q3.

Axis Bank issued over 3 million credit cards in 9MFY23, nearly 2X of that issued in 9MFY22. Cards and PL portfolio grew 39% yoy & 21% yoy respectively. The credit card spends in Q3FY23 grew 42% yoy. The credit cards business has delivered industry leading performance for 4 quarters in a row. We had a 16% growth in incremental CIF market share in Q3.

Building For The Future

ICICI Bank continues to enhance its digital offerings and platforms to onboard new customers in a seamless manner and provide them end-to-end digital journeys and personalized solutions.

On digital lending, Axis Bank introduced several new capabilities on account aggregator-based underwriting, eNach and eSign based approvals. It’s digital banking unit is now operating at scale and has won Red Hat APAC Innovation award for India for digital transformation and cloud native development during the quarter. Axis 2.0, the next-gen mobile bank platform, is beginning to fire at MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage. Amitabh Chaudhry reveals: “Axis 2.0 will focus on true digitally generated business with zero paper, zero-touch, zero-intervention. It will operate as a digital bank within the bank and is a significant leap in technology and business model.”

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