ICICI Bank launches Facebook app to tap mobile banking

The Indian bank is mixing up mobile banking and social media with its Facebook app called Pockets. This adds social features, including a bill splitting function for meals with friends.

The joint ICICI Bank and Facebook app is known as Pockets and its focal feature is known as "Split n Share". As the name suggest, a customer can split and track group expenses, along with sharing them friends, reports bankingtech.com.

There is another feature called "Pay a Friend", and as the name suggests, allows a customer to pay a friend without having to know the recipient's bank account details. Additionally, there is also a prepaid mobile recharge feature and another feature to book movie tickets.

Customers can access the ICICI Bank app by logging into Facebook and then going to the official ICICI Bank Facebook page, and clicking on the tab for Pockets. The customer then registers online, along with providing their debit card number and PIN, and selecting a new four digit PIN for subsequent logins.

Splitting bills and tabs when going out with friends can be a tricky situation at times, especially when it comes down to exactly how much each person has to pay, or worse yet, it someone can't pay and needs to be covered. Then again, perhaps that person shouldn't have come out in the first place, in my opinion. That being said, this issue is resolved with the Split n Share feature. So in the situation where a where friend cover the bill for another, now it makes even more sense as to why the Pay a Friend feature was also included. 

One of the key features of the app is "Split n Share", which allows bills to be divided among friends easily. (credit: ICICI Bank)

Clearly, these features are more aligned towards the social aspect of mobile banking . That being said, there already portals to recharge prepaid mobile phones, along with booking movie tickets, so these two features aren't entirely new. They've just been packaged with this app, again to reach out to those more socially inclined.

If you ask me, what ICICI Bank should have also done is integrate their marketing campaigns and promotions too. One thing I personally like as an ICICI Bank customer are the regular updates I receive in regards to their promotions, as I wouldn't have known about them otherwise.

Another feature which could also be introduced is a loyalty rewards program for users of the Pockets app, as increased use would result In more rewards. However, as I've come to find out over the years in India, if it isn't associated with a credit card, loyalty rewards programs aren't that popular as there are no sign up bonuses or deals, and you simply need to accumulate a lot points in order to redeem a product or service.