We Need To Educate Customers About E-payment Benefits

Kolkata: | Updated: Jul 31 2003, 05:30am hrs
State Bank of India (SBI), the largest Indian bank, recently launched its e-payment service, which will help its customers to pay bills of various utility and service providers. SBI account holders can log on to onlineSBI.com and make payments from their accounts.

SBIs assistant general manager (ATM Project) Debashis Sarkar spoke to eFE, on the banks e-payment venture.

When did SBI launch its e-payment services How will it benefit the SBI customers
We launched our online real-time payment service in the month of July. It is an extension of services available at our onlineSBI.com Internet banking website. At the onlineSBI.com, we have provided three kind of Net banking services Khata, Bapaar and Bistar. All these services are for all our customers and satisfy all kind of transaction requirements. It is a Verisign certified site, where corporates in case of big transaction can use digital signature facility also.

With this e-payment facility, any account holder can log on to the Net banking site and make bill payments from any part of the country.

Can a SBI credit card user make use of the e-payment service
At present, all the account holders of SBI can use our e-payment services. This facility is still not available to credit card users, as we have to yet set up a payment gateway between the SBI credit card account and e-payment service.

We have still not decided whether we will extend our services to credit card users.

Does SBI have any alliance with third party service providers for forging alliances with other utility and service providers
We have an alliance with billdesk of Indiaideas.com in areas of the maintenance of the network and hyperlinking.

We have independently tied up with all the major national utility service providers from LIC, MTNL to Airtel and Hutch. More alliances will be formed in coming months.

Unlike some other banks we have not outsourced our e-payment services to the third party.

What is the amount of revenue to be generated from the e-payment service
At present, we are charging the billers between Rs 3-4 per bill. We share some part of our revenue with our alliance partner. Since, the number of customers using the service is small, it will take a few more years for this market to take off. First we have to educate the customers about the benefits they will derive using this service.

As the largest bank in the country, every time we launch a new service, we try to educate our customers and create the future market. We will take the same route with our e-payment service.