MUMBAI: State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, plans to use the power of its distribution network to power its mobile application SBI Buddy. The bank on Friday launched the integration of IRCTC’s train ticket booking within the app. SBI is also working on integrating its mobile application with cash deposit machines (CDMs), business correspondents (BCs) and automated teller machines (ATMs).
SBI’s has around 3.4 million customers for its mobile application. The wallet, which is available in 13 languages, can be used by anyone and not just customers of SBI. “We don’t have the money to blow on cashbacks, but what we do have is the advantage of trust,” said Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman, State Bank of India. Going forward, an SBI Buddy user can load money using any of the bank’s CDMs or network of 67,000 BCs. The cash in the wallet can be used for host of transactions including buying train tickets within the app.
Bhattacharya said that with a 34% market share of all mobile banking transactions, the bank is already a market leader and Buddy will provide further incentives for cashless transactions. While online payments have already been enabled in the app, the bank on Friday extended usage of the app to ‘in location’ or within stores. For starters, Madura F&L’s Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England outlets across the country will accept wallet payments. In the next phase, 3.45 lakh shops which have SBI’s credit card swipe machines will accept payments from SBI Buddy.
Good initiative from SBI. It can be great if option to lock and unlock the ATM/Debit card at ATM Kiosk, Bank and Net banking sites will be available to customers. Such facility is available with some… Read Morerameswar pattanayak
“We are looking at integrating Buddy with the bank’s ATMs and CDMs by September,” said Manju Agarwal, deputy MD, corporate strategy and new business. She said that this will be enabled for wallet customers who have done KYC with the bank. But the KYC process itself would be simplified by using the Aadhaar database. SBI has over 41,000 ATMs across the country.
“With an increasing base of customers and multiple merchant use cases, SBI has set its vision for Buddy to become the payment instrument of choice for its customers, merchants, educational institutions and government departments,” Bhattacharya said.
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