Contactless cards are the next step in the credit card revolution: SBI Card chief

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March 04, 2015 8:35 AM

SBI Card is a joint venture between State Bank of India and GE Capital to offer Indian consumers extensive access to a wide range of payment products and services.

SBI Cards and Payment Services Private Limited (SBI Card) is a joint venture between State Bank of India and GE Capital to offer Indian consumers extensive access to a wide range of value-added payment products and services. The partners have set up two joint venture companies to develop a credit card business in India with focus on the marketing and distribution of SBI Card and GE Capital Business Processes Management Services Pvt. Ltd., which handles the technology and processing needs of SBI Card. Vijay Jasuja, CEO, SBI Card, explains the changes in the credit card industry and how the company is working to technologically advance itself in order to move at par with the consumer pulse in an an interaction with FE Online’s Purabi Bora. Excerpts:

Q1.  The Credit Card sector today is rigorously working to technologically advance itself in order to move at par with the consumer pulse. What is your company doing at its end?

At SBI Card, we work towards developing products and platforms that will make customer experience rewarding. Technology and technology led initiatives are an integral part of our strategy that helps us provide seamless service experience and cater to the changing needs of our customers. To illustrate my point, we have recently launched the 2.0 version of the SBI Card Mobile App. This app is currently available for both iOS and Android operating systems. The SBI Card mobile App 2.0 is modern, contemporary and interactive and offers a number of enhanced functionalities for easy accessibility and usage.  It is very user friendly and offers several features to its users at one touch.

Other than being more mobile friendly, we have worked towards leveraging technology in a fashion that allows our customers to choose from multiple options to reach out to us.  We are the only credit card issuer that is offering 14 different payment options to customers. Initiatives such as ‘Simply SMS’ our pull sms service, allows customers to simply send a sms to SBI Card and access relevant account information on the go.

We are committed to investing in similar technology led platforms that allow us to constantly work towards making life simple for our customers.

Q2.  Do you think that innovations like mobile apps etc can catalyze purchases made from credit card and can add to the performance of the company?

India has technologically advanced itself manifold in the past few years and so has its masses. Our country is one of the fastest growing markets for smartphones. With the growing smartphone population, we believe that being able to provide information on the go will be a key differentiator for any business. SBI Card Mobile App has been developed with an aim to further strengthen our brand promise to ‘Make Life Simple’ for our cardholders; and offer consistent service experience and information on the go.

The 2.0 version of the Mobile App will ensure that our cardholders not only have easy access to relevant information about their account, but  can also view information on all the exciting offers, rewards catalogue and payment history.We believe if the information related to the credit card account is readily available on the go, it will allow our customers to effectively manage their card expenses.

Easy access to latest offers through a single click will not only add value but will also act as a catalysing force for customers while making purchases.

Q3. What is SBI Card’s market share in terms of customer base?

As per RBI data, SBI Card’s market share stands at 15% in December 2014 in terms of customer base.

Q4.  What are the different payment option services that SBI Card offers?

SBI Card is the only credit card issuer in India to offer 14 different modes of payment to SBI Cardholders. Customers can direct their remittances through, National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) and Over The Counter (OTC) (at SBI Branches). Some of the other payment options include-Locate and Pay, ‘Paynet’ – Pay Online, Visa Credit Card Pay, Electronic Clearing Services, etc.

Q5. SBI Card recently announced that it is coming out with Contactless cards. What is its potential in India?

Contactless cards are the next step in the credit card revolution. The biggest plus point of these cards is that they hold the promise of faster payment processes, with a wider consumer reach. These cards work on secure protocol and are very useful at retail and mass transit locations where easy and fast checkout is the requirement for both the customers and the merchants. Right now, for any card which has to be used, a customer has to put in the pin number, however, with NFC technology cardholders only need to wave their cards in front of the readers at the merchant outlets, from up to four inches distance.

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