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ICICI Bank launches Robo Advisory App for Mutual Fund Investment

Naveen Kumar     December 6, 2018

Fintech players have changed the way financial services are offered and now pose a serious challenge to banks. Banks are facing the heat even in their traditionally strong areas like loans and investment advisory services. This has worked well for customers as banks leave no stone unturned to bring innovations on their platform.

Sensing potential in the Mutual Fund Robot Investment Advisory domain, ICICI Bank has launched "Money Coach", a software robotics algorithm-led investment advisory application on mobile. The app will provide seamless service through a bank account right from enrolment into a mutual fund and then to actual investment and liquidation. It will facilitate a paperless KYC and online registration process for mutual funds in a single click, which is a first among banks.

"We are proud to share that our journey of pioneering digital channels has completed the milestone of 20 years, a first in the industry. To celebrate this milestone, we are unveiling an array of futuristic features on our digital channels, including voice-based services, biometric recognition-led login, single click registration of KYC for mutual fund investments, and intelligent algorithms to display portfolio status and spend patterns," said B. Madhivanan, Group Executive and Chief Technology & Digital Officer, ICICI Bank. "I believe that the future of internet banking lies in digital loans and quick investments. For mobile banking, I foresee that in the near future, growth will be led by voice-based services & technology, AI (artificial intelligence)-led personalised suggestions and services for every customer and 'satchet'  like financial products with small ticket digital loans and insurance."

Remarkable reduction in cost of data on mobile phones has led to rapid increase in use of mobile applications. The adoption rate of mobile-based app has created a new opportunity for financial institutions to tap this growing segment. While launching the new app, Madhivanan highlighted that almost 80 per cent transactions in the bank are taking place through digital channel and this app is a logical next step to provide a convenient investment platform to its customers.

Many automated mutual fund advisory platforms, including PayTM and ET Money, have made headway of late. This is the first time a bank has come with such a service. In case of ICICI Bank, though the service is offered free of cost and enables goal-based investment advisory it will work as a regular scheme of mutual funds which has inbuilt distributor commission.

Should you invest through this app?

If you are a savvy investor and are confident about selecting a suitable fund yourself, then you may look at direct plans through other apps where you can save the distribution commission and enhance your return. However, if you are new to mutual fund investment, it would be better to have some handholding. For new investors, this new app from the bank may be a good tool to learn and observe both your bulk investment and Systematic Investment Plans. This is the reason why the primary targets of this app are people, who are new to investment into equity and debt through mutual funds. It will manage the entire investment journey of a customer from building an investible corpus to investing in recommended portfolios and tracking it 24x7. For savvy investors, who need much sophisticated advices, the bank will maintain the traditional mode of individual advisor led investment advisory services.

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