Thursday, 26 February 2015

Get Acquainted with Axis Mobile

My Saturday morning last week was well spent at the Axis Bank office in Worli. I attended my third Blogadda meet with over a dozen enthusiastic bloggers from all over Mumbai (and one from Pune).

Agenda for the Blogger-Meet

The event was held to launch the latest update of the Axis Bank mobile app. As I explain the app to you step by step, you will agree with me that this application is just as beautiful as Deepika Padukone - the brand ambassador of Axis Bank.

The Axis Team

The jovial team of Axis extended us a warm welcome and escorted us to their swanky conference room. The only thing on the agenda was the demo of the app... and of course, some light hearted talk and Q and A session.

Registering on the App

You must visit a branch to get your app authorized for your phone number, but the app is highly user friendly. When you click to login, it lets you register through multiple options. Onboarding takes less than a minute! You need not open an internet banking account if you already are an account holder or Axis credit/debit cardholder. (This will come as a great relief to many users who have had to open internet banking accounts just so they could start mobile banking with their respective banks.) For first timers, you may choose to onboard at one of Axis Bank's 100 wifi-enabled offices with the help of their customer care executives.

Security on the App

Registration is a one-time process, after which, the app works like a charm. You literally carry the bank in your pocket! In addition to being simple and convenient, the app is very secure. Other than the two layers of security provided by your m-PIN and first-time physical registration, there is a third layer of security - your mobile number. The app is configured to detect the number you are signing in from. Even if you lose your phone, your accounts are safe as only you know your m-PIN. Likewise, this app can't be prey to phishing scams as even if you disclose your m-PIN, only you will have your mobile phone to do the actual login.

The Axis Menu

The menu panel has a host of options from recharging, transferring funds and paying bills to claiming rewards points, maintaining accounts and making special requests. This view is customizable. You can either choose a menu or icons, depending on what you are comfortable with. You can also reorder the sequence of the options on the menu!

Another unique thing about the app is that you can simply click on "Logout" or the cross button (on the screens that have that option) to gracefully log off from your account. You need not close the app (as with most other mobile banking apps).

Checking Balance on the App

Most people (almost 95%) use their mobile banking apps just to check their account-balance. It is with this behaviour in mind that Axis Bank has designed their app to make it very simple to check one's balance. Clicking on "Accounts" from the menu will show you your balance right at the top. You will also be able to see the balance for other accounts you have - even your credit card outstanding balance.

Handling Multiple Accounts

If you have multiple accounts (Car Loan / Personal Loan / Home Loan / Credit Card / Savings) with Axis, you can access all of them from the same session. Suppose you have a home loan account. When you select "Home Loan" from the list of options, your screen will show you complete details of that loan history - the sanctioned amount, the term, the ROI, the EMI, the date of next installment, etc.

Bill Payment

Paying your credit card bill is also very simple on the app. If you have multiple cards, the "drum feature" kicks in, and you can choose the card you wish to pay for. You may either pay the full outstanding amount (default value) or edit the field to part-pay your bill. The app does not have the boring radio buttons, and instead makes the most of the touch platform to enhance user experience. In fact, the Axis team told us that they have user experience experts advising them after sessions of observing where users look when they try to find a feature. Their app releases are sent out after rounds of user acceptance testing (in addition to the other tests done internally).

Adding a Beneficiary

My favourite feature on this app is adding an Axis-Bank-beneficiary. This is so user friendly that you don't even need the account number or IFSC code! You only have to enter the mobile number (which was registered during account opening) of the beneficiary, and you are all set! For non-Axis accounts, you have to know the account number and IFSC, as usual. All of these additions seamlessly reflect on your i-banking account. Similarly, all the beneficiaries added via i-banking auto-populate on the mobile app.

The moment you add a beneficiary, your first need is to transfer money to that account. Ordinarily, you would have to tap around and reach a fresh page, choose your beneficiary & then transfer the amount. But on the Axis app, the page that confirms the successful addition of your beneficiary has buttons to do an NEFT (standard or at a future date) or an IMPS (for those of us who only add beneficiaries to instantly transfer the amount and remove the account thereafter). The only downside is that RTGS is not allowed over the mobile.

Social Media Integration

An exciting attribute of the app is that it is integrated with social media and many things are customizable. For instance, once you add a beneficiary, you can take her picture (using your phone-camera) or import it from Facebook and save it with the account details! Nobody ever thought of that! The image can further be cropped to your liking.

Other Tasks via the App

From the menu, you can select "Requests" to access many other features such as requesting a new cheque book, getting your account statement emailed to you (in PDF), checking your MMID (for IMPS transfers), generating an OTP, etc.

Blocking Your Credit Cards

If you lose any of your Axis credit cards, you can block it in a couple of taps. Here too you can select the requisite card using the slide-feature (and not an outdated form / radio button). The only issue here is that you are also sent a replacement card at your registered address (so, you can never really get rid of a card once you order one).

Security for your Debit Card

You can effortlessly change transaction limits for ATM and purchase, especially if your card is lost. This makes your account highly secure as you can easily bring the limits down to zero in case of a theft. All of these changes, undoubtedly, require your m-PIN. Another option on the app, only for debit cards, is that you can "switch off" the card when you don't plan to use it (e.g., if you will be abroad for some time), and switch it on again when you wish to resume. This is an ingenious power in the hands of the accountholder!

eDGE Loyalty Rewards

Axis Bank runs the pan-bank eDGE loyalty rewards program for each of its customers - account holders who only do physical transactions, internet banking users, credit card holders and mobile bankers. Nobody is ignored in this program, and the points accumulated can be tracked and spent via the mobile app.

Point Redemption

The reward-points can be redeemed on a variety of products at the touch of a finger. Many popular brands such as Flipkart, Pizza Hut and Bookmyshow have tied up with Axis to provide you instant e-vouchers which will be emailed to your registered id.

Axis to GPS

This app effectively uses the GPS to find you your nearest Axis ATM or branch, and even restaurant-partners where you can get 15% discount when you pay with an Axis card! This feature is simply mindblowing, and never before seen on another banking app. You can also use the "List View" to get a list of your nearest Axis ATMs, branches or partner-hotels (in case you don't prefer the map-view).

What Next for the Axis App?

The Axis Mobile app is available on Android, iOS, Windows and via mobile web (web browser of the cellphone). The app is about 5.5MB on Apple and slightly heavier on Android. The team, however, is working to bring the size down in the next release (slated for 15th March). They also have plans to bring in access to mutual funds for some of their customers in the April release. This app has a new release every 45 days.

I am thoroughly impressed by this mobile banking app. I have never seen such a beautiful balance of security, customization and ease-of-use in any other bank's mobile app before. If you are an Axis customer, you must certainly download this app and make the most of it!

This post is about 'Make the Axis Acquaintance' meet conducted by Axis Bank in association with

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