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SBI will launch a mobile wallet for feature phones called Batua

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State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, will be soon launching a mobile wallet for feature phones, according to a report by the Press Trust of India. The application will be called Batua and the bank hopes that it will be able to roll out the wallet out in the next 3-4 months, the publication added quoting SBI managing director Rajnish Kumar.

Batua’ can be used to make utility payments, transfer funds and buy air tickets, among others things, and it will be available in 13 languages, Kumar added. An Economic Times report also said that Batua will have to be downloaded from SBI’s website and then load the app on feature phones.

SBI already has a mobile wallet called Buddy which it launched in August. SBI Buddy is also available to non-bank customers. The app allows 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 would be able to track requests of money owed by them and owed to them.

The Economic Times report also added that SBI is developing another version of Batua for basic phones which have no internet access and does not require downloading any app.

Recent developments

– Earlier this month, it was reported that SBI customers weren’t able to load money onto Paytm wallet through netbanking which highlighted interconnect issues in the payments ecosystem.

– In June, SBI launched an Internet platform that allows customers to book foreign exchange transactions online. The platform called SBI e-forex allows customers to get foreign exchange rates without visiting the branch,  customize and set their own limits for deal size, and daily transaction limits.

– In May, SBI debuted its contactless NFC-based debit and credit cards. SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya also said that the bank is looking at converting 100,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals in eight cities in the country. Bhattacharya also added that the bank would be converting all cards of existing customers to contactless cards, and all cards issued after September 1 would be NFC enabled.

Other bank wallets

– Last month, ICICI Bank‘s digital payments product Pockets said it would allow users to make cashless payments from their smartphones at physical stores, e-commerce websites and deliveries at home.

– There’s also Lime by Axis Bank, a new mobile app which integrates a mobile wallet, shopping, payments and banking.

– HDFC Bank introduced a mobile application called PayZapp which brings together hundreds of e-commerce platforms on it and allows consumers to pay via a wallet.

– State run telecom operator BSNL partnered with Pyro, a telecom, financial and analytics company, along with Andhra Bank and Visa to announce SpeedPay, a semi closed open prepaid instrument.

– RBL Bank tied up with TranServ, a digital payments company, and iKaaz, a Bangalore-based NFC payments firm, partnered with DCB Bank to launch co-branded wallets too.

– In July, Citibank India and MasterCard launched a global digital wallet called Citi MasterPass for the lender’s Indian card customers where they would be able to shop at more than 250,000 e-commerce merchants located in India and around the world.

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