State Bank of India (SBI) today tied up with IRCTC, a public sector undertaking of Railways, and Aditya Birla Group to enable their customers to make payments using the Government lender’s mobile wallet Buddy. The bank also launched its mobile wallet as a payment option at over 2,500 institutions through its Multiple Option Payment System (MOPS). “Our vision is that we must take India towards a more digital and a less cash society. Such tie-ups will increase ease of payment. The whole matter of convenience is brought to the customers’ finger tips,” SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya told reporters here.
The tie-up with Madhura Fashion and Lifestyle, Aditya Birla Group’s apparel retail company, will help customers to buy brands like Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England across the company’s 1,200 plus stores in the country through Buddy. Bhattacharya said the bank will very soon launch Buddy for feature phones as well.
“We are working and very shortly we will launch Buddy on phones that are not smartphones but which are Java- enabled. We will undertake development for a feature phone with a wallet and that will come in the next few months,” she said. Currently, there are 34 lakh customers of SBI’s Buddy.
Soon the lender will connect Buddy to its 67,000 business correspondents and to its cash deposit machines to make easier for customers to load money into the mobile wallet. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) handles catering, tourism and Internet ticketing activities and the tie-up with help customers availing these services to make payment through the SBI’s mobile wallet.