SBI to offer banking services on Facebook, Twitter

The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), launched three digital initiatives and indicated that it may have to prune its branch network once its associates are merged.

SBI made its debut on social media banking by launching its platform called “Mingle” through which its customers can transact using Facebook and Twitter. The customers have to register for this service through a simple one-time registration process using either their account number or their ATM/debit card details. For a start, customers can view their account statements and their balance on Twitter. On Facebook, customers can also do fund transfers.

Another initiative is a tie-up with Flipkart through which the bank will extend loans to select customers for purchases above Rs.5,000. SBI said that at present around one million customers are eligible for such a loan. Once customers shop on Flipkart, they can opt for equated monthly instalments (EMI) at the check-out and for this the customers would not need a credit card, only an SBI account.

SBI Digital Villages will transform the selected villages into safe, healthy and vibrant digital centres. A total of 21 villages, which have moved on to the digital platform, will be covered under the initiative.

SBI will bring into its fold more than 6,000 branches once its five associates merge. This would be at a time when the bank is seeing a large part of its transaction traffic moving to digital channels.