(If you want to skip all this background, and go directly to the steps to make card payments through ICICI Infinity, click here])
With Indian banks making life worse for customers using their credit cards, especially while paying their dues, I am exploring the mechanisms available to make payments for credit cards electronically. After all, if I can currently make payments for virtually any of my bills from the Internet, why do I have to run around looking for a place to deposit the credit card cheque? Especially, when banks have virtually ruled out the possibility for paying credit card dues via cash - they actually fine you if you do that.
So to begin with, I sent the following mail to Standard Chartered Bank, credit card division:
To: card.services(at)in.standardchartered.com Subject: Information required to pay credit card dues using NEFTI do not have a savings account at Standard Chartered bank. I would like to make online payments to my Standard chartered credit card directly from my bank (ICICI) where I have my salary account.
Most banks like ICICI, ABN Amro, Deutsch Bank, etc. are giving an option to make NEFT based payments to their credit cards from any other bank online. For example, here are the details to pay Deutsche Bank credit card from a different bank - http://www.deutschebank.co.in/credit_card_neft_bill_payment.html .
Do you have a mechanism to accept payments via NEFT from other banks? If so, could you let me know the details?
Thank you, Sandip
I just got the reply from Standard Chartered bank:
Ref : 08/08/037083/CRDDear Mr.Bhattacharya,
This is with reference to your e-mail dated August 22, 2008
We understand from your query that you wish to effect payment vide NEFT from the Savings Account which you hold with other bank to your Standard Chartered Bank credit card account. As per the RBI guidelines, we wish to apprise you that, fund transfer through NEFT could be made only from one savings account to another savings account. Further, we note that funds cannot be transferred from savings account to credit card account.
Assuring you of our best services always
Ramya Saravanan Officer - Customer Care
So in effect, because of the other examples I had given in my query, Standard Chartered is either bullshitting me, or is saying that all the other banks are violating RBI NEFT guidelines.
I smell something stinking about all of this.
Update - Aug 28 2008: Just got a call from Standard Chartered about this query of mine. The lady mentioned that they are looking into the NEFT mode of payment for their credit cards. They will let me know if and when they allow it. As of today, they have just two alternatively for electronic payments - funds transfer from a Standard Chartered saving account and Visa bill transfer(doesn't apply to me I think, since I have a Mastercard). I am happy that they are considering NEFT though.
Update - Sep 10 2008: Just got a mail from Standard Chartered with the following text:
Dear Mr. Bhattacharya,
This is with reference to your e-mail regading your card account.
At the outset, we regret the delay in our response. We thank you for the cooperation and patience extended in the interim.
Further to our telecon on August 28, 2008, we are pleased to inform you that we authorise NEFT payment towards the repayment of your credit card dues. We regret any communication to the contrary.
Assuring you of our best services always
Meena Rajashekar Officer, Customer Care Unit
So, well .. that is a relief - they do accept NEFT payments. But since the mail doesn't actually let me know how to pay credit cards using NEFT, I probably need to needle them further. :) The Deutsche bank instructions indicate that the only information needed from Standard Chartered is their IFSC number. But it is probably a good idea to ask StanChart before making my first payment.
Update - Jan 8 2009:
With the info from some of the comments below, I have succeeded in making the first NEFT payment from ICICI Infinity to Standard Chartered credit card. For the benefit of others, I am detailing the steps here.
Making payments to your non-ICICI credit card from ICICI Infinity
Step 1. Login
Login to Infinity. By default you are taken to the bank account section. Click on Funds transfer to the left.
Step 2. Select fund transfer type
In the funds transfer menu, click on the third option, i.e. transfer to any specified non-ICICI bank account
Step 3. Add echeque
Now you would be at the echeques menu. Click on the "Add …" button indicated below.
Step 4. Enter details for credit card
- First add the name on the card and the nickname you are going to use to refer to the card while making payments in the future.
- The account type is going to be savings only.
- For city search enter the first few characters of the city. I believe credit card payments are not restricted by city, but I found it safer to use a city like Delhi.
- Click on Get cities to get the list of cities which match the first few characters you entered. Then select the city you want from the drop down (like NEW DELHI in the screen shot above), and click Get Banks.
- You should now see the form change and show you the list of banks available in the city you had selected. Remember, not all banks are available in every city. For example, I had initially searched for Delhi and not New Delhi. The Delhi area doesn't seem to have any branch of Standard Chartered. So I searched and selected New Delhi instead.
- Select the bank that you want in the drop down that you get. This whole example focuses on Standard Chartered credit card, but you can pay to any credit card supporting NEFT payments similarly.
- After selecting the bank, tick the Terms and Conditions checkbox below and click submit.
- Now you should select the branch that you want to make the payment to. One of the commenters below mentioned that the IFSC code to use for payment for Standard Chartered cards is SCBL0036001. While most branches had this code, some didn't. I just chose a branch I was familiar with. I do not think the branch matters as much as the IFSC code. So take your pick.
- Enter your credit card number below .. twice, as asked. And no, that is not my real credit card number. :)
- Select submit.
Infinity will then take you to a page asking for your confirmation. After you confirm, they will send you a confirmation code to your mobile.
Step 5. Confirming the payee
Go to the page in step 2 above, but instead of clicking the link for non-ICICI accounts, click the "Confirm payee" button below that. This will take you to a simple form where you can enter the code you have received on your mobile to confirm your card as a payee.
Step 6. Making payments
After all this, whenever you want to make a payment, you can go to the page shown in step 3, and click on the "Make a payment" button. Select your card by the nickname you had entered earlier, and enter the details for your payment.
Remember, NEFT transfers like this only happen real-time during regular working hours. If you are making the payment at an odd hour, instead of selecting "Pay immediately", schedule your payment for the next day.
Hope all this helps somebody. Thanks to everybody who chipped in with comments all these days.