State Bank of India (SBI) might up its stake in its credit card joint venture (JV) — SBI Cards and Payment Services or SBICPSL, as well as find a brand new strategic partner to replace existing partner GE Capital during the present quarter. Also, India’s largest lender will ‘zero in’ on a novel partner to replace GE Capital in GE Capital Business Processes Management Services or GECBPMSL, which takes care of the technology and processing needs of the SBI Card. SBI holds 60% stake in SBICPSL and 40% in GECBPMSL with the balance being held by GE Capital in both ventures.
Managing Director of SBI - Dinesh Khara, said that the process of finding novel strategic partners in the 2 ventures would be completed by end of March. However, he didn’t elaborate on who the novel partners would be. There are reports that global financial services firms and private equity funds are keen on picking up GE Capital’s stake in SBICPSL and GECBPMSL. Meanwhile, SBI share price opened at Rs 257.20 on the NSE today.
SBI Card – 2nd Largest Number of Credit Cards in Circulation in India:
Vijay Jasuja, CEO, SBI Card, said to the media that his company’s market share in the credit cards space was slightly above 15 per cent. SBI Card had the 2nd largest number of credit cards in circulation in the country amounting to 47.5 lac credit cards. In the month of December alone, SBI Card issued 1.05 lac brand new cards. Normally, 35-40 per cent is the attrition. Thus, net addition was 65,000 in December.
In the last few months, Jasuja said that they were adding upwards of one lac cards every month. One year ago, the addition was in the range of 60,000-65,000 every month. Two years back it stood in the range of 40,000-45,000. In the last 2 months, consistently they had crossed one lac cards, said Jasuja.
The effect of Demonetisation:
SBI Chief Arundhati Bhattacharya observed that demonetisation had given a leg-up to digital transactions. They believe, if they continued with this kind of effort of putting more and more transactions on the electronic platform and digitizing more and more of them, then it should bode quiet well for the economy.
In fact, as Kishore Biyani, Group CEO, Future Group said that before demonetisation, 65% of their transactions were carried out via cards, which after demonetisation rose to 85%. So, in the span of 50 days, a rise in card transactions was witnessed, which was huge.
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