Indian bank ICICI has launched a service to allow customers to make payments using Twitter, making it the second bank after France's BPCE to harness Twitter to move money.
ICICI Bank has launched icicibankpay, which enables customers who register to send a direct message to @icicibank with the recipient's user name and the amount to be transferred. The person receiving the money does not need to be an ICICI Bank customer.
In October 2014, French bank BPCE enabled Twitter users to tweet payments to each other through its electronic money subsidiary, S-money.
The service is available to any Twitter user in France with a bank account, regardless of which bank they belong to. There is no need to fill in the recipient’s bank details.
Jean-Yves Forel, Groupe BPCE commercial banking and insurance CEO, said at the time that the bank was the first to offer individuals the ability to transfer money with a simple tweet.
He said it could be the first of many commercial uses of social media, opening up “whole new range of payment possibilities on the social networks”.
More on finance and social media
The most common use of Twitter among banks is to engage with customers. For example, Nationwide Building Society provides 24-hour service to address customer questions via Twitter.
The use of Twitter and other social media has gone way beyond what many in the banking sector expected.
A behind closed doors meeting of bankers, social media experts and technologists at The Financial Services Club back in 2009 revealed how the sector, which traditionally leads technology innovation, viewed social media technology at that time.
Comments included: “Twitter is interesting but I do not know why. It is interesting because people are using it”; “Banks will have to get used to the idea that some customers will want to use the web”; “Social media is a good way of engaging with employees as well as customers”.