State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to launch 3 million more SBI Tiny cards with biometric identification within a year. The move is significant as it will help the bank keep pace with the financial inclusion process in the country.
A Krishna Kumar, deputy managing director (IT) of the bank, said on the sidelines of Infocom in Kolkata, "Given the reach of the facility, we expect the number to double within a year.”
So far, SBI has issued 3 million Tiny cards since its launch in 2006.
Kumar is of the opinion that the government is keen on National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) accounts and customers would need a facility to withdraw money.
Among other benefits, the cards are currently being used as a means of payment of government benefits directly to the poor persons, such as pension payments and wages under the rural employment guarantee programme, he added.
SBI is also looking at adding facilities like fund transfers through the Tiny cards. The cards also provide services like micro savings, micro credits, micro insurance and utility payments.
The Tiny Card with biometric identification is SBI’s answer to the challenge of financial inclusion of 1,00,000 villages in the country.
SBI had recently announced plans to cover 1,00,000 villages through the extensive network of business facilitators and business correspondents.