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SBI to treble ATMs to 25,000

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

In a massive push for cashless transaction, State Bank of India, the country's largest bank, plans to increase the number of its ATMs by over three times to 25,000 in the next three years.
This means the bank will add over 5,900 ATMs every year. SBI has 7,200 ATMs at present. While some of these ATMs will be owned by the bank, SBI is also exploring other options such as outsourcing.
"We are open to looking at other business models to bring down the cost and fast rollout," SBI Chairman O P Bhatt told reporters here today. The bank has estimated an expenditure of Rs 850 crore.
A senior SBI executive said the scale of the project gave the bank an opportunity to look for low-cost solutions while negotiating with vendors.
At present, there are 22,000 ATMs in the country, with SBI leading the pack with 7,200. ICICI Bank is in the second position with 3,500 ATMs.
Meanwhile, the bank has launched SBI Gold International Debit card in association with Visa International. This card will offer a facility for card to card transfer of funds across the banks.
It would have cash withdrawal facility of Rs 50,000 from ATMs and a daily transaction limit of Rs 2,00,000 at the point of sale (POS). "The bank will encourage use of cards and make cashless banking happen in India," Bhatt said.
SBI is the largest issuer of debit cards in Asia-Pacific with a base of 27 million actively used cards. At present, six lakh new cards are being issued every month. The rate of issuance will be raised to one million per month, Bhatt added.

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First Published: Sun, August 05 2007. 00:00 IST