‘Jifi’ – what could be this Jifi?

That was my first reaction when I came across this word recently. It is quite a catchy and unusual term for the banking sector which is known for using  sophisticated legal terminologies sometimes way beyond the understanding of person with non-financial background.

This unique product name rang a first bell in the mind which prompted me to deep-dive into the various features provided by the product.

No-Minimum Balance (Ah! That’s good)

Where most of the banks ask you to maintain a minimum balance for the account and charge a penalty if not done so; Jifi is a unique product which does not compel customers to maintain a minimum balance thus making it a balance free account. This reduces the hassle to track whether minimum daily/monthly or quarterly average balance has been maintained for the account.

Auto-Term Deposits

Though feature of zero balance is normally associated with current account or in certain cases with salary accounts Jifi can be useful for other genres of customer which is ‘Youth’. The students or graduates (who have just started earning) and who cannot maintain a minimum balance for them this product is an attractive offering. Moreover all balances over Rs 25,000 automatically move into term deposits at applicable interest rates thus providing higher returns. Thus it keeps you free from all the hassles of maintaining minimum balance and at the same time helps to earn higher return at term deposit interest rate.

Social Banking (Welcome to the age of Social banking)

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The feature that makes it unique and makes it stand apart is the social media integration. ‘Social Media’ which is the buzzword in the today’s era is something unique to be offered with banking product – the domain which has always been regarded to be conventional in approach.  The customer can check account balance, transaction history or place a cheque book request and can perform many other activities (ATM/Branch Locator, Pin Regeneration, and Card Payment Details) with the help of tweet. The various hashtag provided make your life easy for doing any enquiry on your bank account. This helps the user to carry many of the banking services through social media sites without actually logging into the net banking application.

Unique Loyalty Program

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Apart from the transaction points which one can earn for each transaction performed, Jifi also measures what I call as ‘Social Quotient’. The social activities such as liking and commenting on Kotak Jifi and Kotak Bank Facebook pages, inviting friends to your Jifi Circle enables you to earn loyalty points.. These accumulated social points can then be redeemed for host of discount vouchers on various lifestyle products & services, movies etc. Indeed a bonus for using social media for banking services.

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Kotak Money Watch

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In today’s busy world it is very difficult to keep track of your personal finances. The complimentary one year free usage of Kotak Money Watch can enable customers to try out the features and also manage and track their assets and liabilities. One can monitor their finances and generate various reports related to expenses, earnings, investments and spending pattern through Kotak Money Watch application and accordingly plan for their future savings.

Other Features

Along with all these interesting features Jifi also offers Net Banking, Kotak Mobile App and Platinum debit cards.

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And Finally Security (We cannot ignore it!)

When accessing through social network sites security has always been the concern of the users that whether my transaction can be viewed by other users, what if someone hacks my account. Jifi also addresses these concerns. If the Facebook or Twitter account of the customer is hacked, then the hacker will be at the most able to see the reward points of the customers and use those points. But they will not be able to do any transactions or check the bank balance of the customer. This indeed addresses my concern.

The tapping of growing usage of social media is something a very innovative step. Some very interesting statistics I came across few days back on one of the site which states that:

  1. 72% of all internet users are now active on social media
  2. 18-29 year olds have an 89% usage
  3. The 30-49 bracket sits at 72%
  4. 60 percent of 50 to 60 year olds are active on social media
  5. In the 65 plus bracket, 43% are using social media
  6. 71% of users access social media from a mobile device.

(source: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/growth-social-media-2-0-infographic/77055/)

Thus this new initiave from Kotak bank  provides a huge potential to tap user groups of all age and make banking a fun experience.

This initiave will definitely change the course of banking in India and the terms such as social banking, social quotient will be the new terms added to the finance dictionary.

This is my post for blogging contest organized by Indiblogger and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Photos Courtesy: Kotak Jifi Website

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