ICICI Bank has launched India’s first locker facility powered by robotic technology. Christened as ‘Smart Vault’, this new service was formally inaugurated by Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank at their Defense Colony branch in New Delhi.
To start with, this new, futuristic locker facility has been offered only at Defense Colony branch, which also provides Wealth Management services. As of now, there are 500 such lockers installed in the branch, and depending on the usage, more branches would be enabled to have this service.
ICICI Bank refused to share pricing details of this unique locker service, but as per Chanda, there would be 3 different plans according to the size of the locker; and compared to traditional locker facilities, the service charges are a bit more.
Salient Features of ‘Smart Vault’
- Customers can access their lockers 24*7, 7 days a week.
- Smart Vault uses robotic technology to empower the customer to access their lockers, without any human interface.
- Instead of customer visiting an enclosed hall or large room to access their lockers via keys, Smart Vault lets the customer access their locker from a secured lounge, while comfortably providing their access details. Using robotic technology, the locker comes to the customer after authentication.
- Hence, the customer can access their locker in total privacy, without any intervention of bank employees
- Smart Vault is powered with multi-layered security which has been described as ‘state of the art’.
- The system includes biometric authentication and debit card & PIN check before providing access
- Smart Vault has the new dimple key technique, which makes replication almost impossible
- Besides ICICI Bank’s unbreakable lock-system, the customer can choose their own lock as well
- To ensure safety of the system, Smart Vault will have a biometric alert facility, wherein a direct call line to a central security team is provided to thwart any attempt to open the lock without permission
- Every time the locker is accessed, customers will get alert SMS
- 24*7 video patrolling of the premises and CCTV surveillance
Check out this introductory video that shows how ‘Smart Vault’ will function
Digital India & Make in India Into One
The usage of modern robotics mechanism to offer locker facility is a direct alignment with PM Modi’s Digital India mission, wherein technology and digital platform are used to serve the society in a better way.
The robotic system for lockers has been designed by Pune based Precision Automation and Robotics, a startup which was provided with seed-fund by ICICI Bank in early 1990s. The ‘Make in India’ vision is being implemented by choosing an Indian company for such advanced, futuristic system, which has never been introduced before in India.
In a press release, Chanda said, “We are especially proud of the Smart Vault since it has been both designed and manufactured by Indian partners, and is an example of Make in India.”
We had reported earlier about India’s first Digital village: Akodara, which has been adopted by ICICI Bank, and powered with unique digital initiatives. ICICI Bank were the first to introduced Internet Banking in India, and recently their new mobile banking app ‘Pockets’ have crossed 1 million downloads.
With their new robotics powered locker facility, ICICI Bank has increased the gap between their competitors, and introduced a new paradigm of banking services.
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