Smart Vault: ICICI's futuristic any-time lockers

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2015 03:38 IST

It may sound like a scene straight out of a Bond movie.

You now have the option to access your bank locker 24x7, using your unique biometric code and debit card, to snare open your secret vault from under the floor. Walking through a closed enclosure to access your valuables could be a thing of the past. Call it any time lockers or ATLs. Shall we?

In what could likely set a trend, private banking giant ICICI Bank has launched a new locker facility — Smart Vault — using robotic technology, which would be available to customers 24X7 without the intervention of the bank staff.

Once the robotic arm in the safe vault room validates your identity, it brings out your locker from underneath to the lounge that you are in. You can operate the locker comfortably.

Once you are done, the robot takes back your locker.

“Through the Smart Vault, we bring a very different, much more convenient, state-of-art branch experience to the customers,” Chanda Kochhar, managing director and chief executive officer, ICICI Bank told reporters.

At present, the bank has opened just one such locker, but has plans to launch such facility elsewhere too. The Smart Vault is an example of “Make In India” programme as it has been designed and manufactured by Indian partners, Kochhar said.

The charges, however, would be “slightly” higher than the manual lockers that are available at present.

“The lockers are of two-three different sizes and charges would depend on that. Also, the locker charges in a city would vary depending on the real estate cost,” she said.

To add to the security of the customers, there are several alert mechanisms, such as a direct call line to a central team available round the clock, automatic alarms if need arises and video patrolling.

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