As a technology enthusiast and travel blogger, I review a lot of apps to check out how useful they are. I’m specially intrigued by mobile wallets as the convenience of paying at an offline location with my online bank details, helps me a lot. I have used many mobile wallets to make payments at restaurants, pubs and cabs. But what was missing was that many of my favorite places didn’t have these integration with the mobile wallets as they were not ready to make changes to their Point Of Sale (POS) systems. I was wondering how technology is going to avoid this hurdle when I bumped into the Pockets App by ICICI.
Pockets App By ICICI seemed like a regular mobile wallet which allowed me to do some basic stuff like recharging mobile and paying bills but slowly as I started exploring it, I found it to be very different in its usefulness over the existing mobile wallets. So I decided to set out one day during a weekend to go completely cashless by forgetting my wallet at home but taking my fully charged smart phone along with the Pockets App installed in it!
As I was heading out in the cab, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t recharged my mobile for the Internet that I would need while making payments online. I was just left with around 50MB 3G internet left! So I immediately went to “Recharge Mobile” section of Pockets App and it had auto populated my number and auto detected my network too. I just needed to select the recharge plan and immediately my mobile was recharged within seconds!
I was wondering where to take my wife to celebrate our special day that evening. So I was wondering whether I should use any app to book tickets. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that in Pockets App itself you have a way to book movie tickets to many popular Cinema halls in Town. You could either search for your favorite Cinema hall or select it from the list.
Once you have selected the movie, the show timing and the number of tickets, you have a very cool option of actually choosing your seats. My wife hates to sit in the front row of a movie screening so it was great to see that I could choose the last row seats while booking the tickets. The entire process was very smooth and simple.
I remembered that I had to send some money to a friend who was in dire need of financial help. I had promised him to send money that day but I forgot whether I have his account details handy with me or not. I didn’t want to disturb him so I checked out the “Send Money” feature where I just selected his name from my WhatsApp list and sent Rs.5000 to him. He just had to enter a code shared by me and he could transfer the money to his account. Neither him nor me was an ICICI customer but we could successfully complete this transaction!
It’s very easy to pay bills like DTH bill on the Pockets App. You just have to enter the Subscriber ID, Service Provider and the amount and you would immediately get confirmation about the payment. I would have liked if these details could be stored in the app itself.
One of the best features of Pockets App is the bill splitter functionality where I can split a bill with several of my friends at a later stage than at a restaurant or bar. I can enter their details, the breakup of how much each one has to pay (or let it split equally!) and then request them for payment. All of them can then easily pay the required amount from their Pockets App!
This Bill Splitter functionality ensures that there are no hard feelings between friends when we have a great time out and then don’t burden one friend unnecessarily with the bill amount.
Brilliant aspect of Pockets App is that all the above features are available to you even if you are NOT an ICICI bank customer. But there are some killer features which are going to be game changer in it’s own right which are right now available only for ICICI bank customers. One of these features is the “Pay with mVisa” feature where I can just scan the QR code displayed at the merchant outlet, enter the amount and debit card pin and viola, your payment is done!
We tried this out at a retail shop in Bangalore and the entire process was very smooth. The payment was done within seconds and the merchant also was very happy to see the future of payment demonstrated at his place. He had to be educated about the benefits of the same and he was sold on the idea!
If you are an ICICI bank customer, you could also create a new Fixed Deposit right on the move rather than going through the online banking process. That’s great convenience at finger tips!
I guess the USP of Pockets App by ICICI is going to be the quickest integration of Merchants with least possible technical help as all they need to do is generate a unique QR code for each merchant. There is no need for integration with the POS system. This would ensure that maximum number of merchants will adopt this system very quickly and you can leave your wallet at home while out shopping!