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‘Wish to eliminate debit cards’, says SBI chairman: report

SBI, state bank of India

The State Bank of India wishes to “eliminate” the ubiquitous debit card from India’s banking system, the bank’s chairman Rajnish Kumar said on August 19, according to a Mint report. The need to carry plastic cards will be “limited” in the next five years, Kumar pointed out, according to the report. Noting that there are about 90 crore debit cards and 3 crore credit cards in the country, Kumar said that digital solutions like SBI’s own Yono (You only need one) would be paramount in achieving a debit card-less banking system. It’s worth noting that in FY19, transactions made by debit cards accounted for 31% of all transactions, this number was even higher at 37% in FY18.

Emphasising on the bank’s Yono platform, Kumar said that SBI has set up 68,000 “Yono cashpoints”, where users can do transactions without using a card, according to the report; adding that the bank will increase these cashpoints to 1 million in the next 18 months. Further, the necessity of a credit card in the pocket will come as a “stand-by” since the Yono platform was capable of providing credit for buying certain merchandise, noted Kumar.

One thing to note here, is that of the 90 crore debit cards in circulation that Kumar mentioned, more than 30 crore debit cards have been issued by the SBI itself, which claims to be the country’s largest debit card issuer. Moreover, transactions worth more than Rs 9 billion were carried per day using SBI’s debit cards in Q1FY20. SBI also registered 13 million ATM transactions per day in the same quarter. SBI had more than 29 crore active debit cards in FY19.

However, the bank’s share of “alternate transactions” stood at 90% in Q1FY20, with digital transactions (net banking, mobile banking, UPI, YONO) accounting for 56% of all transactions. The bank had 63 million internet banking users and 14.8 million mobile banking users in the same quarter.

SBI digital banking metrics for FY19

  • In the financial year 2018-19, the bank’s share of “alternate transactions” stood at 88.1%, with internet and mobile banking accounting for 16% of all transactions.
  • The bank had 55.34 million registered UPI users.
  • 7.3 million users had registered themselves on the Yono platform, carrying out transactions worth more than Rs 7,000 crore.
  • Yono and UPI accounted for about 14% of all transactions. For comparison, these entities accounted for a mere 2.8% of all transactions in FY18.

SBI digital banking metrics for Q1FY20


  • Registered UPI users: 64.84 million
  • More than 10 million UPI transactions per day
  • Over 31.2 million Google Pay users have linked their Bank accounts with their @oksbi handle as of March 2019.


  • Registered users: 9.96 million
  • Value of transactions: Rs 284.48 billion
  • Digital savings accounts: 3.63 million

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