ICICI Bank uses Sama for Resolving Loan Matters

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ICICI Bank is one of the largest private sector banks in India. They provide approximately 4 lakh crore loans to retail borrowers across 7 different sectors – Home, Vehicle, Business Banking, Rural Loans, Personal Loans, Credit Card and Others.

Many small value loans (value lesser than 20 Lakh INR) are disproportionately difficult to recover in case of default. Court cases require significant person-hours and travel. During the years it takes to resolve the case, underlying assets are inaccessible!

How does ICICI bank use Sama?

Using Sama's ODR platform, ICICI bank resolved around 8000+ disputes in one year. All of them were resolved via Online Conciliation or Online Arbtiration. ICICI bank now uses Sama to resolve commercial disputes arising from 3 out of their 7 sectors.

ICICI Bank uses the Sama Clause in their Credit Card Master Service Agreements. The Sama Clause is a Conciliation-Arbitration clause, therefore in case of a dispute conciliation will be attempted first and upon failure the case will move to arbitration.

In credit card and personal loan cases, recovery of money in cases of default can prove to be a hassle. Using ODR, ICICI Bank was able to upload tens of thousands of cases to Sama's ODR platform easily. Sama would then send out automated digital notices in each case.

What is a digital notice and how does Online Conciliation work?

In a digital notice, the party can respond through selecting a settlement option within the notice content itself. This is another advantage of using ODR, in situations where the person who has defaulted wants to quickly dispose of the case, they can select a pre-defined settlement option from the digital notice itself. This speeds up recovery and settlement manifold.

Parties are also reached out to over email, sms, and call through automated Interactive Voice Response. Once consent has been obtained for conciliation, Sama allocates a trained Conciliator to each case. The Conciliator then reaches out to the person who has defaulted, hears them out, and speaks directly with the Bank's Debt Service Managers for an appropriate settlement option.

Cases of such nature get settled within 30 days. In case a settlement does not occur within 30 days or if conciliation has been rejected, the case is escalated to arbitration. Arbitration follows a 45-day timeline.

ICICI Bank vs Ramesh

Ramesh took a platinum credit card from ICICI bank in January 2021. His company downsized due to COVID-19 and therefore shortly after taking the credit card, Ramesh was laid off. By this time he had already raked up credit card bills amounting to Rs. 75,000. Unable to repay the same, he was forced to default on his dues. The matter was then filed on Sama for Conciliation.

Sama's Conciliator Sangeeta Mehrotra was allocated this case. She is an advocate with Delhi High Court and an esteemed ADR professional. She spoke with Ramesh, heard him out, and suggested to him some favorable repayment terms. She then reached out to the bank and explained Ramesh' situation, put forth a proposal that fit within the guidelines provided by the Bank and upon approval, generated an agreement online for e-signature by both parties.


Over the last two years, Sama has helped ICICI bank recover crores through its Online Conciliation and Online Arbitration services. All of this for a fraction of the cost of litigation, much faster than litigation, and without losing on customer relationships!