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SBI Secures Future with a Secure Card

Jun 9, 2000

State Bank of India (SBI) is all set to take the card industry by storm. One of the late entrant in the card market, the nationalized bank, which has over 8,800 branches throughout the country, has managed to grab over 8 per cent of the market share from the bigwigs like Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank. In a bid to tap the lower middle class segment, the bank is currently sharpening its marketing skills for the launch of `secure card', aimed at its fixed deposit clients. The bank will be launching this new product at five of its branches at Delhi (the country's capital) within a fortnight. With the launch of the `secure card', SBI will become the first bank to tap the lower middle class segment. According to SBI officials, the potential is immense and the bank's branch network and its client base will give the bank an edge over others.

Secure card is an innovative product and is expected to redefine the card business in the country. SBI plan to tap over 20 per cent of its deposit holders through the card within the first year of the launch of the product. It will be launched in all the major cities followed by the metros. A global credit card with in association with Visa is also on the anvil. By the end of the fiscal 2000, the bank is expected to take the secure card to over 36 centers throughout the country.

The card will allow the bank deposit holders liquid cash and also offer ATM facility to them. The card will be promoted across the nation as the `currency of modern India'. The secure card is expected to help consumers to currency notes and rely on plastic money.

The bank's credit card business has grown by 8 per cent over the last two years. SBI's card issue so far is to the tune of 0.28 million which is expected to cross the 1 million mark by the fiscal 2002. SBI entered the card market in the fiscal 1998.

The bank is also planning to launch the debit card shortly. The bank has opened over 60 personal banking branches in select centers tailor made to suit the customer’s need. The bank is planning to open another 12-15 branches by the end of the current fiscal.

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