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The State Bank of India is looking to launch its mobile wallet solution dubbed ‘SBI Buddy’ within this week, reports ET. The new wallet will be available to non-SBI customers as well. The report also mentions that SBI has tied up with various merchants to let users access the merchants’ store directly via the ‘Buddy’ app.  

Interestingly, SBI seems to have uploaded a document with FAQs regarding this initiative along with a web page and then subsequently pulled it. While the bank page and the original pdf are no longer available on SBI, they can still be found cached on Google’s servers here and here. We got some details from these documents:

List of features: The app will allow users to add money via debit card, net banking or IMPS, then enable them to send the money to any contact on their phone books or on Facebook. Users will be able to track requests of money owed by them and owed to them. Additionally, the app will allow users to pay mobile/DTH bills as well as buy flight, bus and movie tickets. The bank mentions that, for now, it will not charge users for using any of the app’s features. The app will be available for Android phone running v 3.0 and above and will require a working internet connection to function.

Transactional limits: According to SBI, the app will allow users to keep a maximum balance of Rs 10,000 at one time. The bank also limits the total reload amount in a month and the top up amount per transaction to Rs 10,000 per month. The daily limits on merchant transactions are at Rs 15,000 while the monthly limits are at Rs 20,000. The limit for fund transactions stand at Rs 5,000 per transaction or per day and Rs 20,000 per month.

Competition: Banks have increasingly looked to launch their own m-wallets as customer preference shifts away from traditional banking style to banking over the internet and smartphones. Some such initiatives include –

– Last month, Citibank India and MasterCard launched a global digital wallet called Citi MasterPass for Citibank’s customers that would let them shop at over 250,000 ecommerce merchants located in India around the world.

– In February, ICICI Bank introduced a new digital payments product for mobiles, that integrates a digital wallet, a physical prepaid card and a basic savings bank account. The product named Pockets is available for Android devices.

– The same month, HDFC Bank partnered with mobile payments company Chillr and introduced a similar payments solution that would let HDFC Bank customers carry out outgoing transactions, although other bank users could only receive money.

In January, Kotak Mahindra Bank launched a new savings account product aimed at the tech-savvy crowd. The new product known as Jifi Saver could be managed via a customer’s Twitter and Facebook page. The bank had also launched KayPay, a bank agnostic payment product for Facebook users to send money to each other.

Image source: Flickr user Roshan Panjwani