Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SBI Card to debut contactless payments

Mumbai, September 11:  SBI Card customers could soon make payments by merely tapping their smartphone on a swipe machine. SBI Card is updating its mobile application to enable customers make contactless payments at point of sales (PoS) terminals using a technology called Host Card Emulation (HCE) which enables dematerialisation of the card.

Cardholders of the bank already use smartphones as an alternative for cards on the Samsung Pay platform and the bank will next month launch its proprietary application which enables virtualisation of the card in a smartphone using near-field communication (NFC). "Among our recent innovations we have enabled our card for Bharat QR code by incorporating the feature in our app," said Vijay Jasuja, CEO, SBI Cards.

SBI Cards, which recently entered into an agreement for partner GE to exit the venture, is looking to double its base from 50 lakhs in two years. The company, which is the second-largest issuer in India, has a renewed focus on SBI customers through pre-approved cards.

SBI Card has doubled its base in three years to over 50 lakhs and is recording fastest growth in issuance with 15% market share of cards in force (CIF) as well as card spends. "Before demonetisation the card volume growth rate was around 60,000 cards per month which increased to over 1 lakh cards per month post-demonetisation period and has now grown to around 2 lakh cards per month," said Jasuja.

At present, 15-20% of cards come from co-branded partnerships like Big Bazaar and Tata. State Bank of India customers account for 35% of cards. Bulk of the customers (45%) are from the open market. "While going after the whole lot does not make sense considering that the bank has a 50-crore customer base and we do not have the capacity for that, we will be picking them up in lots," he said.

Jasuja said that the company would invest in boosting infrastructure and working with partners. The company has recently identified top 100-200 institutions in the country where students in their final year of graduation, who are not yet employed, will be eligible for a credit card. Over the last one year the monthly card spend has grown from an average of Rs 3,500 crore per month to Rs 5,500-crore plus per month.

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