SBI Card to soon introduce cardless payments
Soon, SBI Card customers will be able to make payments by simply tapping their smartphones on swipe machines. Such cardless transactions will use the Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology, which enables dematerialization of cards. SBI Card users already use smartphones as alternatives for cards on the Samsung Pay platform. Virtualization of cards will be based on the near-field communication (NFC) feature.
In three years, the customer base of SBI Cards, an SBI-GE joint venture, has doubled to over 50 lakh. The fastest growth is being seen in issuance with 15% market share of the cards in force and card spends. Demonetization has boosted usage: before November'16, the card volume growth rate was 60,000/month, which increased to 1L post-demonetization, and is at 2L now.
SBI Cards presently offers different types of cards: Premium, Classic, Travel & Shopping, Exclusive, Corporate, Kisan and Loan. 15-20% of cards are provided through tie-ups with other brands like Big Bazaar and Tata.
The HCE-based contactless payment is just one step to expand its userbase. "Among our recent innovations we have enabled our card for Bharat QR code by incorporating the feature in our app," said CEO Vijay Jasuja. Last December, it announced credit cards for students of the top 100-200 institutes in the country. The goal is to double its base in two years.