BANKING TECHNOLOGY | Cesar Tordesillas, India

Indians most interested on Facebook banking

Citi is gauging public reponse about offering banking transactions through Facebook.


"If you could do your banking on Facebook - Would you?," Citi asked on its official Twitter and Facebook pages.

Reponses ranging from a straight 'no' to certain "yes" and also comprising of many guarded replies expressing concerns about safety issues.

While Citibank was non-committal on whether it was actually planning to offer banking services on Facebook, most of the replies to its message asked whether it would be secure to conduct banking transactions through a social networking platform like Facebook.

Incidentally most of the responses came from Indians.

Citi seems to have lost the race to India's largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank, when it comes to offering banking services through Facebook.

Earlier this year, ICICI Bank launched its Facebook banking application, through which its customers can carry out a number of banking related tasks such as checking account details, getting account statements, upgrading debit card and cheque book enquiry.

Also, it claims that checking account through the 'ICICI Bank App' on Facebook is completely safe and secure due to features such as "Secure SSL connection, two-factor authentication process (and) activity details not (being) published on Facebook Wall."

"There is no charge for this application. ICICI Facebook banking application is totally secured. All communication between the app and ICICI server is encrypted. No data is stored on Facebook. All communication is secured and encrypted," the bank says.

As part of the security features, registration is subject to Debit Card and PIN authentication and access to application is subjected to separate PIN authentication generated by the user.

It goes on to claim that a customer's account details would remain secure even if the Facebook ID is hacked.

"Since your account data is not stored on Facebook, your bank account is completely safe. Even if your Facebook ID is hacked, the hacker will not be able to access the application unless you have shared your application password with the hacker," ICICI Bank says on its Facebook page.

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