Lakshmi Vilas Bank Extends The Mobile Experience With PayMate

The mobile application will enable the bank's customers to make utility bill payments, book movie tickets and airline tickets, and carry out fund transfers among a host of other facilities.

Ankush Sharma August 11, 2009 12:24:18 IST
Lakshmi Vilas Bank Extends The Mobile Experience With PayMate

When everything is going mobile, and the whole world is converging into one big global village, there is no reason for a traditional South Indian bank to stay away from this innovation. Lakshmi Vilas Bank is a private sector bank with a network of 246 branches, five satellite branches and five extension counters, spread over 14 states. It has its operations mainly in the southern peninsula of India.

Lakshmi Vilas Bank recently incorporated PayMate’s application onto its network, which facilitates mobile payments for its customers. "We have gone forward with this deployment mainly because of the potential it has in terms of reach vis-à-vis ATMs or even Internet Banking," says B M Nair, CTO of Lakshmi Vilas Bank.

Nair also believes the mobile payment platform has the power to be an excellent service delivery model. "We evaluated that the Indian customer is most comfortable with a mobile device, a fact confirmed by the large number of mobile users in the country. If deployed, this has the potential of becoming a very powerful channel of service delivery."

The mobile application introduced by Lakshmi Vilas Bank in association with PayMate enables customers to make utility bill payments, book movie tickets and airline tickets, and carry out fund transfers among a host of other facilities.

Considering the amount of subscribers added each day, India is the fastest-growing telecom market in the world today. Additionally, the constant introduction of VAS and the competition among service providers has brought value to the end consumer. Talking of competition, let us understand how Lakshmi Vilas Bank zeroed in on PayMate from the flurry of app providers in the market.

"We had evaluated many other solutions. The main criterion was that the application should be compatible with any make of the mobile device; the device may not be Java-enabled or Web-enabled or GPRS-enabled. Thus, any ordinary person can have a relationship with the bank through his mobile phone. The second important criterion was security and the availability of multiple levels of authentication. The third criterion was the number of services being offered by the service provider. The investment involved is also a criterion, though in this case it was negligible. Based on all the above factors, we decided to go ahead with PayMate," says Nair.

Lakshmi Vilas Bank did not face any major hassles as far as the implementation was concerned. "It was a smooth affair once the transaction flow and the security architecture were decided. We could roll out the project in a month’s time after these two things were in place," adds Nair.

The transaction architecture was so designed that all the transactions were routed through the ATM switch. This required tweaking of the parameter configuration at the switch level, which was done by the bank’s in-house team.

The launch is still in its infancy, but the response has been tremendous from the customer side. On the day of the launch itself, Lakshmi Vilas Bank had more than 200 people registering for the service. "The reason for this success is that the app offers a very convenient way to transact routine business. In short, you can use your mobile as a debit card and that too without moving out of the comfort of your home," concludes Nair.

No doubt, this service is going to be a welcome relief from those painful queues outside bill payment outlets, malls, multiplexes etc and more customers would realise these benefits over time. In the months to come, Lakshmi Vilas Bank has ambitious plans to move most of their services onto the Web and make them more accessible and interactive.

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