First-of-its-kind locker facility by a bank in India with state-of-the-art robotic technology · 24 x 7 access to customers with high end security including biometric authentication New Delhi: ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, today launched the ‘Smart Vault’, a fully automated state-of-the-art locker available 24×7, including weekends and post banking hours. The ‘Smart Vault’ uses robotic technology to access the lockers from the safe vault and enables customers to conveniently access their lockers at any time of their preference, in the comfort of a secure lounge where the locker automatically comes up to the customer. Customers can access the lockers in total privacy without any intervention of the branch staff.
This initiative embodies the Bank’s philosophy of ‘khayaal aapka’ – where in the Bank offers products and services specially designed to make banking a convenient and pleasurable experience for its customers. Located at New Delhi, the ‘Smart Vault’ is equipped with multi-layered state-of-art security systems including biometric authentication, debit card & PIN authentication, unique dimple keys that are difficult to replicate, unbreakable lock system and the option of using additional personal lock as well.
To add to the security of the customers, there are several alert mechanisms, such as a biometric alert facility, a direct call line to a central team available round-the-clock, automatic alarms for sessions beyond a specified time, 24×7 armed guard, video patrolling by the Bank post banking hours and SMS alerts to customers on usage of locker, thereby making the ‘Smart Vault’ safe and secure. Inaugurating the ‘Smart Vault’, Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said, “ICICI Bank has been a pioneer in leveraging innovations in technology to create products that suit customers’ needs and provide increased convenience as well as enhanced security.
We have shaped the direction of technological progress in the Indian banking industry by taking the lead in introducing path-breaking innovations including Internet, Mobile, Tab, Touch Banking branches and banking on social media. The launch of the ‘Smart Vault’ marks a milestone in the Indian banking industry as it joins a select group of overseas markets which has access to this unique vault with state-of-the art robotic technology and high-end security.
This innovation is an exemplary example of the potential of ‘Make in India’ – as it has been both designed and manufactured by Indian partners. We believe the ‘Smart Vault’ will be yet another compelling addition to our array of technology led propositions.” The ‘Smart Vault’ facility comprises of a comfortable locker room for complete privacy. A customer can gain access to this locker room by swiping her debit card and validating her identity through biometric authentication. Once inside, the customer requires to swipe her debit card again and enter her PIN on the interactive touch screen kiosk to select the locker she wants to access.
The robotic arm in the safe vault room then identifies, retrieves and presents the locker to the customer at the lounge. The customer will now have to use her unique dimple keys to open the locker and deposit or withdraw valuables from the locker. Once the transaction ends, the robotic arm retracts the locker back to its secured location. The ‘Smart Vault’ thus enables customers to access their locker at a convenient height, eliminating the need to climb a ladder or bend low as required in regular lockers. With 80% of the components being Indian, the ‘Smart Vault’ is an example of Indian innovation and design capabilities. Made of MS Steel, each locker can bear load of 70 kg. In contrast, lockers being offered by other banks globally, are made of plastic and they can bear loads of only 25 kg. Lockers in the ‘Smart Vault’ are available in four different sizes. ICICI Bank has a widespread footprint of over three lakh traditional lockers across its branches.
The Bank also offers a free of charge, ‘e-Locker’, an online document storage facility on its internet banking platform, wherein the customers can scan and store important documents like PAN card, birth certificates among others. This launch comes close on the heels of a slew of technology-led innovative services introduced by the Bank. The list includes fully automated and round-the-clock ‘Touch Banking’ branches, Tab Banking, banking on Facebook and Twitter, the country’s first contactless debit and credit cards, and ‘Pockets’, India’s first digital bank on mobile phone. The Bank has 4052 branches and 12811 ATMs (at June 30, 2015).