SBI Eyes Top Spot in Mobile Banking, Partners MakeMyTrip

SBI Eyes Top Spot in Mobile Banking, Partners MakeMyTrip
Country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday said it has chalked out a plan to give thrust to its mobile banking channel and exuded confidence that it will soon emerge as a top player in the segment.

"What has happened is that our corporate Internet banking was not available on mobile. Now we will soon launch it. And, as soon as this corporate Internet banking comes on mobile, we will catch up with the number," SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday.

She hoped that the bank will reach at the top slot before the end of this year. At present, with a slew of offerings, private lender HDFC Bank tops in mobile and online banking space. Bhattacharya said the lender ranks at top in mobile banking in terms of number of transactions done but in terms of volumes it is still at third or fourth position.

"The reason is we are only getting the retail customers on to the mobile. The moment the corporate Internet banking starts happening on mobile, these numbers (transaction volumes) are definitely going to go up exponentially. We have a plan as to how we need to take a leadership there and we are confident that soon it will happen," she said.

The bank on Tuesday also signed a memorandum of understanding with, the online travel company, for identifying areas of co-operation to expand the market for online travel services in the country.

"Our alliance with MakeMyTrip will work towards providing value to each of the stakeholder along the entire value chain of travel and tourism business, starting from hotels, travel agents, tour operators besides the end-consumers and our customer-base," Bhattacharya said.

MakeMyTrip chairman and group CEO Deep Kalra said, "The key lever of future growth will be offline-to-online, or rather, offline-to-mobile shift. We believe our association with SBI, the trusted banker for millions of Indians, will help catalyse this shift and bring us closer to our target set of consumers."

The alliance will include partnership with personal banking unit for consumer facing propositions, including EMIs, on purchase of holidays and international travel. There will be partnership for SME on acquiring business and promoting usage of cards.

"We take these MoUs very seriously and we do want to action it," Bhattacharya said. In the past also, SBI has tied up with many e-commerce players such as Amazon and Snapdeal to explore areas of co-operation and to meet the financing needs.

"We will soon be creating an entire digital vertical within the organisation so that there is much more focus on this activity," she added.

Meanwhile, SBI deputy managing director Sunil Srivastava said in the recently concluded three days sale by e-commerce player Flipkart, the lender saw its customers spending at about Rs. 200 crores through debit and credit cards.

"The sales have been phenomenally more than the expectation around Rs. 200 crores sales in the three day sale which was a no event," Srivastava said.

On a separate issue of strategic debt restructuring, Bhattacharya said the lender is in talks with one or two companies.

"In some of the old ones we might re-negotiate and get this put in but it depends. At this point of time we are having one or two conversations but nothing is finalised yet," she said.

Speaking about the Greece debt crisis, Bhattacharya said it will not have an impact on the country.

"I don't think it will have much impact as we have very little exposure. It is just the fact that the market themselves hate uncertainty. That is what is currently impacting the market. There is nothing other than uncertainty that is wrong. So, I think the moment some certainty comes, either yes or no, the market will move ahead," she added.


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