Is the debit card nearing the end of its journey? If India's largest lender, State Bank of India, has its way, then debit cards could soon become a thing of the past. The bank believes that removing debit cards would pave way for more digital payment solutions. SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said during the annual Fibac in Mumbai on Monday, "...it is our wish to eliminate the debit cards, and am sure we can eliminate them."
However, SBI customers heavily rely on debit cards for their transactions. Kumar also said that there are 90 crore debit cards in the country, while there are only 3 crore credit cards. He said that a platform like SBI's Yono is the key to doing away with debit cards. Kumar highlighted that with platforms like Yono, one can withdraw cash at ATMs or make transactions without a debit card.
The Chairman further added that the bank has already set up 68,000 'Yono cashpoints' and is in the process of scaling it up massively to over 1 million in the next 18 months, which will make the necessity to have a card even less.
Additionally, the Yono platform can also give credit for buying certain merchandise, making the credit card in the pocket also as a "stand-by", Kumar said.
In the next five years, there will be a limited need to have any plastic cards in your pocket, Kumar said, pointing out that virtual coupons is the future. He said at present, the QR code is also a very inexpensive way of ensuring payments.