State Bank of India’s (SBI)’s mobile wallet, SBI Buddy, now has a cumulative 10.52 million registered users. In the quarter ended March 2017 (Q4FY17) the bank added 1.9 million registered users. The number of transactions in Q4 stood at 8.75 million and the average number of transactions in a day increased to 0.097 million. For the full financial year, the number of transactions stood at 20.76 million and the average number of transactions in a day stood at 0.057 million.
SBI Buddy wallet ran into controversy earlier this month. SBI MD Rajnish Kumar has told multiple media outlets that the bank is allowing cash withdrawals from the wallet via ATM from June (onwards) with a charge of Rs 25 plus Rs 3.5 service tax. SBI had to issue a clarification recently after a widespread outcry when it posted a circular which said that ATM withdrawals will be charged Rs 25. It later said that only cash withdrawals from the Buddy wallet will be charged.
However, the wallet should not allow cash withdrawals as it is a semi-closed wallet.
Mobile banking: Cumulatively, SBI’s mobile banking app has 19.8 million and the bank added around 3.05 million users in Q4. In the financial year, the mobile banking app saw around 220.24 million transactions and 60.09 million transactions. The average number of transactions a day stood at 668 in Q4.
POS machines: Note that SBI has been aggressively pushing POS machine adoption in the country. In May 2016, it overtook HDFC Bank as largest issuer of POS terminals. The bank now has around 5.09 lakh POS terminals and the number of merchants stood at 4.16 lakh. In Q4, SBI added 1.18 lakh POS terminals and added 9.6 lakh merchants. For the full financials year, the value of transactions stood at Rs 58,965 crore and in Q4 the value of transactions stood at Rs 22,894 crore.
Note the number of POS terminals in India is dismal. For the month of March, there were 2.53 million POS terminals deployed by commercial banks while there are more than 800 million debit cards and 29.84 million credit cards in circulation. A 2015 Ernst and Young report said there were only 693 machines per million of India’s population, compared to similar emerging countries such as Brazil, which has 32,995 terminals per million people and China and Russia, each of which has around 4000 terminals per million people.kh.
However, debit card spends on POS machines and e-commerce sites for the financial year stood at Rs 96,629 crore. In Q4 debit card spends were at Rs 36,853 crore.