Breaking from the ranks of other banks in India, ICICI Bank Ltd. says it plans to charge customers transferring funds between their own as well as others’ bank accounts using their mobile phones.

The Mumbai-based bank announced March 1 that it would levy a service charge of 5 rupees (10 U.S. cents of 7 euro cents) per transaction on transfers initiated via the Interbank Mobile Payment Service. The new charge follows an internal review of service fees and takes affect April 1.

The bank also says it will limit daily funds transfers at 50,000 rupees. The limit previously was 100,000 rupees.

Representatives from the institution declined PaymentsSource requests for comment, calling the policy change a “periodic review of account charges.”

The National Payments Corp. of India backs the service, and ICICI, which is the first participant bank, also is the first to levy a charge.

Government-owned National Payments rolled out its instant interbank mobile fund-transfer service in November 2010 (see story). The service initially enabled customers of seven banks in the country to exchange funds with one another but now also accommodates payments (see story).

Besides ICICI, HDFC Bank Ltd. and Axis Bank Ltd. are the biggest participating private banks, by customer base, among the seven founding institutions, but some smaller state-owned banks have since joined (see story).

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