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SBI plans to merge YONO, Buddy apps; targets 250 m users in two years

SBI, state bank of India

State Bank of India (SBI) plans to merge the YONO (You Only Need One) application with its mobile wallet, Buddy, as it will eliminate duplication of features and processes, the lender’s chairman Rajnish Kumar said. While acknowledging that both the applications currently operate independently from each other, Kumar said that the Bank will benefit if all their features are packed in a single offing.

Through Yono, customers can open an SBI account digitally, transfer funds, avail of pre-approved personal loan without any paperwork and get overdraft facility against fixed deposits.

Kumar revealed that the country’s largest lender has set a target to increase the user base of YONO to 250 million in two years from the current 2.5 million. “We have big plans to push Yono and our target is very ambitious for the next two years..,” he was quoted saying at the sidelines of an event. To put things into context, during the bank’s earnings presentation for the year ending 31st March 2018 (FY18), it said that the YONO app had 1.49 million registered users.

While the Bank has given no further clarification on the matter, we can take from Kumar’s statement that ‘Buddy’ will be absorbed into YONO. SBI launched Buddy, in collaboration with Accenture and Mastercard in August 2015, while YONO was launched in November 2017.

SBI’s recent moves

This week, the bank announced the launch of its Multi Option Payment Acceptance Device, ‘MOPAD’, which will allow customers to make payments through cards, Bharat QR, UPI and SBI Buddy (e-wallet) on a single Point–of–Sale (PoS) terminal. The bank is the largest PoS provider in the country with 6.23 lakh terminals deployed.

Last week, Reliance Jio entered into a MoU with SBI to expand their digital partnership and provide a platform offering digital banking, commerce, and financial services to customers. It has to be noted that Jio and SBI are joint partners in the Jio Payments Bank, with Reliance holding a 70% stake and the public sector lender owning the remaining 30%

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