India’s biggest banking network, State Bank of India have received permissions from the RBI to launch contactless debit cards which would enable customers to carry out transactions without entering a pin number.
The SBI has requested the limit to be set at INR 2000 to make transactions such as buying a Metro or bus ticket, where the user can simply show the card and get in. Once this regulation is approved all of SBI cards will be NFC enabled for contactless transactions.
The bank is currently testing its NFC enabled cards in the Mumbai and Chennai metro stations.
SBI has also launched a multi-currency foreign travel card which would be available in dollar, pound, euro and the Singaporean dollar. A customer will have to pay one-time fee of Rs 100 to get the card and the minimum amount that can be loaded is USD 200.
The country that the user is settled in would be the base currency for this card and when there is no balance available in the account, the card switches to other buckets which hold the available balance.
SBI has currently authorised 100 branches across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore to sell the card. The bank would later add other currencies such as Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Japanese Yen and Saudi Riyal to this multi-currency card. The bank also proposes to make these cards contact-less in a month or so.
SBI has been innovative in easing transactions for its customers. The bank had earlier launched its largest mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) deployment in India through Bangalore based firm Ezetap.