SBI to Launch WhatsApp Banking Services Soon, Says Chairman Dinesh Khara; Know More

SBI WhatsApp Banking: India’s largest public sector lender, State Bank of India or SBI is soon going to launch banking services on WhatsApp for its customers. The plan was announced on Friday, July 1, by SBI chairman Dinesh Khara in a virtual press conference, where he also launched a few retail initiatives. The top officer during the press conference also said that the SBI is set to launch API (application programming interface) banking to aggregators and corporate clients.

The API Banking system, once launched, will help in communication between bank and client servers. This will in turn make data transfer smooth between the two systems, and provide with a seamless and secure experience for the customer.

With the launch of the WhatsApp Banking System, customers of SBI will soon be able to use the messaging platform to carry out certain banking transactions. However, Khara did not provide the details of what services will be offered once the SBI WhatsApp banking system is activated.

Currently, the State Bank of India offers WhatsApp-based services to its credit card holders through the platform under the name of SBI Card WhatsApp connect. Through this, SBI credit card customers can check their account summary, reward points, outstanding balance, make card payments and more. To sign up for the system, cardholders have to send a WhatsApp message, ‘OPTIN’ to 9004022022. They can also give a missed call at 08080945040 from the registered mobile number or use the mobile app to sign up for the service.

Lenders including HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Axis, and IDFC First and other banks provide WhatsApp banking services at present.

SBI on the day also said its gold loan portfolio has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore-mark for the first time. The lender, which has a 24 per cent market share in gold loans, is bullish on growth in the segment as the asset class provides investors a safe investment option amid rising inflation.

“Last week, we crossed Rs 1 lakh crore portfolio in gold loans for the first time. In the first quarter of the current year, we have seen much better growth as compared to what we have achieved in the past. I expect that in the current year we should be in a position to grow well in this particular segment,” Khara told reporters on Friday. He said in case of inflationary conditions, gold, as an asset class, becomes more favourite.

Talking about the bank’s retail loan portfolio, which witnessed a growth of 15 per cent in fiscal 2022, Khara said retail continues to be an important engine. “The way it (retail loans) has grown in the past, we expect that we should be in a position to ride on the growth potential which is available in the retail segment,” he said.