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Indian ICICI Bank launches Twitter payment service

India's ICICI Bank has launched a new service that allows customers to transfer money using Twitter.

The service, called 'icicibankpay' comes a year after a similar thing was introduced in France.

Customers need to have a Twitter account and follow the bank over that service. After that, they register their mobile phone with the bank, and then send the @icicibank a direct message with the recipient's username and the amount of money to be transferred.

The sender will get an SMS message with a unique code after the transfer. That code must be entered into a specially designed website in order to complete the transaction.

The recipient doesn't necessarily have to be a customer of the bank.

"This complies with all the regulatory requirements of two-factor authentication," executive director Rajiv Sabharwal said for The Times of India.

“Twitter always has and will continue to encourage innovation on our platform and we congratulate ICICI Bank for their creative use of Twitter in their new banking service”, said Arvinder Gujral, the director of business development at Twitter for Asia Pacific.

ICICI Bank is one of India’s big four banks and the second biggest in terms of assets. It’s also the first bank in Asia to support pay-by-tweet option and second worldwide, after Groupe BPCE, France’s second-largest bank by customers.

Sabharwal said ICICI serves more youth customers than any other bank in India, and the new service is aimed at that demographic.

ICICI has 2.8 million registered mobile banking users and 15 million Internet banking users, he said, adding that a team of 100 people is working on digital banking within the bank.