State Bank of India’s arm is planning to come out with credit cards for anyone who has a Rs 25,000 fixed deposit in any bank. The card will not have any charges and will be available without any proof of income or a credit history. The bank’s subsidiary, SBI Cards, also plans to issue credit cards to students of top 100 educational institutions in India without any income proof.
SBI Cards, the joint venture between SBI and GE Capital, is in the process of getting new private equity partners with GE deciding to exit. Following GE’s decision to exit, SBI has become more aggressive on the card business. According to Jasuja, promotion of debit cards by the government would actually push up awareness of credit cards. “It is a bit like automobiles where buyers start with base level cars and move to mid-segment. Similarly, if there are more debit card users, they will be drawn to the advantages of credit card,” said Jasuja. He said that with interoperable QR acceptance, aggregators are expected to enroll shopkeepers, enabling wider acceptance of cards. The other advantage in getting first-time users into credit cards is that the bank will be able to get a credit history, making it possible to extend personal loans in future.