Country’s largest commercial bank State Bank of India (SBI) unveiled a mobile-based payment service to its internet banking and debit-card customers in association with global electronic payments firm Visa.
“The digital service, branded mVisa, enables the bank’s customers to pay for goods by scanning the QR code image of a registered merchant and transferring the amount to the latter’s account without using cash or swiping debit-credit cards,” SBI deputy managing director Manju Agarwal told reporters here.
The cashless and card-less solution requires customers and merchants to have a smartphone for downloading it from the bank’s latest version of SBI Anywhere app that is available in Google Play Store.
The mVisa merchant app is also available in Google Play Store to download and use for receiving payment notification, generation of static or dynamic QR codes and viewing transaction history.
“In case of static QR code, the amount is filled by a customer and for dynamic code, the amount is filled by merchants and authorised by a customer after scanning it,” Agarwal said at a preview of the product-launch here.
The state-run bank plans to roll out the service in other metros and cities across the country from the second half of this fiscal after evaluating its functioning here and fine-tuning the product for effective use on pan-India level.
“Of the 26 million internet banking customers we have across the country, six million of them, using our Anywhere app, can avail the service here or in their cities when launched,” said Agarwal.
The bank plans to woo the remaining 20 million internet banking customers to make use of mVisa for payments to merchants outlets or at a point-of-sales and enlist more merchants to use the service for quick and secure transaction.
“Our mVisa service is a bank agnostic and an interoperable low-cost solution, as any bank mVisa customer can transact on any mVisa merchants and the latter can accept payment from such customers of any bank,” Agarwal said.
Asserting that there were no hidden costs or additional service fee for customers, Agarwal said merchants, however, would be charged 0.75 percent for payments below Rs.2,000 and a flat one percent on all payments above it (Rs.2,000).
Noting that the mobile payment service had a huge potential in the country, Visa country manager T.R. Ramachandran said though a whopping 650 million debit cards and 23 million credit cards were in use, only 1.33 million merchants were using the swiping machines for transactions.
“This mobile payment service eliminates the need for investing in card-reading machines and the risks involved in using them. As a next generation payment solution, mVisa enables secure and digital commerce through a mobile phone,” Ramachandran said.