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August 20, 2019

SBI plans to eliminate debit card from banking system

State-owned lender State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to eliminate conventional debit card transactions by promoting digital payment solutions.

The plan was announced by SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar in a banking conclave, reported news agency PTI.

He highlighted that conducting usual transactions through digital platforms such as SBI’s Yono will help to achieve card-less economy.

The Yono platform allows customers to withdraw cash at the ATMs and pay for purchases without using the card.

Kumar also said that SBI has already set up 68,000 ‘Yono cashpoints’ in the country. In the next 18 months, it aims to increase such cashpoints to more than one million.

Also, the increased usage of QR code payments limited the use of debit and credit cards.

Currently, there are more than 900 million debit cards and 30 million credit cards in India, he added.

This new comes few weeks after reports emerged that SBI is planning to divest a part of its stake in its credit card joint venture (JV) through IPO.

Currently, the bank holds a 74% stake in the SBI Cards Payment and Services (SBI Cards). The remaining stake is with American private equity firm The Carlyle Group.

The sale, if advances, may see the state-owned lender raising around INR50bn-INR60bn ($724m-$868m).

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