Banking Mobile & Online UX

Axis Bank engages mobile users with augmented reality app

Axis Bank engages mobile users with augmented reality app. Main image: Inked Pixels, Shutterstock.com
Written by Resham Karira

Axis Bank is cleverly taking advantage of smartphone penetration in India, says Resham Karira, and will improve customer engagement as a result.

Augmented reality (AR) is making the navigation of banking solutions more engaging for consumers, and is the next stage in the evolution of mobile banking. Following the runaway success of Pokemon Go, India’s Axis Bank has introduced an AR feature called ‘Near Me’ within its mobile banking application.

Via augmented reality, Axis Bank’s mobile app users will be able to search for finance-approved properties, dining offers and cashback and ATM locations simply by using their mobile camera. Although many banks already use AR to enhance non-secure features such as ATM and branch finders, Axis Bank is the first in the country to use this technology, and offer interactive and engaging ways of navigating its banking solutions.

The bank has partnered with property site Magicbricks.com to launch this service, and the AR view incorporated in the ‘Near Me’ functionality is available to all individuals who download the Axis Mobile app. The app enables users to search and locate new, under-construction and resale properties in a 360º mode through their mobile camera. Users of the app can also connect sellers and builders across India, check if they’re eligible to purchase the property, and apply for a home loan with the bank.

The app is designed such that on-the-go customers can start the camera and see on the screen if there are any offers around them. To make it easy to use, Axis Bank has incorporated the search feature at the pre-login stage.

Playful and engaging

An interesting aspect for mobile banking is that with the introduction of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), mobile banking applications become interoperable. While GPS-based search tools feature in many mobile banking apps, the AR element makes the process more playful and engaging.

Axis Bank 'Near Me' mobile app using augmented reality. Source: Axis Bank, November 2016

Source: Axis Bank, November 2016

Augmented reality has the potential to transform the way consumers engage with their banks and their financial lives, and to do so in a way that doesn’t add significantly to operating costs.

Mobile has become an essential banking channel for consumers, particularly those in younger age groups. As per the Verdict Financial 2016 Consumer Payments Insight Survey, nine in 10 consumers own a smartphone in India, and four in 10 shop using their smartphone weekly . Given India’s rising smartphone penetration levels, it is forecasted to not only overtake the US as the world’s second-largest smartphone market in 2016, but will have 500 million internet users by 2017.

Adding augmented reality to its app is therefore a clever move by Axis Bank. Not only does it clearly differentiate the bank from its rivals, it also opens up a new way of engaging with mobile enthusiasts. Delivering added value through the ‘Near Me’ feature will help Axis Bank engage more deeply with its customers.

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– This article is reproduced with kind permission from Verdict Financial. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here.

About the author

Resham Karira

Resham Karira is a retail banking analyst at GlobalData. She looks at current trends and how different factors such as innovative products and services, technological development, and forecasting and meeting consumer demands, interplay with each other to create a winning proposition for a bank.