Thursday, March 7, 2019

SBI to install over 150 Electronic Toll Collection centres: Report

STATE Bank of India (SBI) is planning to amp up the installation of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) centres through its digital payments venture with Hitachi's payment service arm. This is in view of increasing competition in the digital payment and toll collection space. The lender will add over 150 more centres to its current 40 centres in the country. With an increase in transaction volumes in ETC lanes, the country's largest lender wants to step up the competition in the digital space. So far only two private lenders - ICICI Bank and...
Axis Bank have been active in this area.
SBI Payments Services, a joint venture between SBI and Hitachi Payment Services, will manage the project for the lender.
"We looked at how this joint venture can work on transit-related solutions and how we can go for larger roll out of ETCs," said Loney Antony, managing director of Hitachi Payment Services that recently bought a stake of 26 percent in the venture.
"We have already implemented it for them in about 40 toll centres, which have seen an increase in transactions. Now we want to expand to more toll roads," he added.
On March 5, top officials of SBI and Hitachi met key merchants to showcase the capabilities of the digital payments platform created by their venture SBI Payment Services.
The country currently has 323 active toll plazas, where commuters can pay toll electronically using FASTag, according to National Highways Authority of India.
FASTag is a device that is affixed to the windscreen of the vehicle to enable the electonic payment of road tolls directly from the commuter's linked bank account. As of February 2019, the number of FASTag units issued stood at over 4.3 million with transactions worth Rs 527.44 crore, compared to 0.2 million units and Rs 345.94 crore respectively a year ago, according to data from National Payments Corporation of India.
The venture is also expected to add to SBI's existing 6,00,000 Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals and over 16,00,000 merchant payment acceptance touch points in the country.
On October 29, 2018, SBI and Hitachi had entered into an agreement to set up a card acceptance and digital payment platform in partnership. "We will also utilise business analytics to develop strategies to penetrate into hitherto untouched Indian towns and cities through merchant-centric digital payments solutions," Rajnish Kumar, chairman, SBI, had said.
For Hitachi, the deal signifies the widening of its footprint in India. It currently provides ATM Services, cash recycling machines, POS processing services to lenders in the country.Apart from mass transit solutions, SBI's digital platform will facilitate card acceptance, quick response (QR) code acceptance, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and e-commerce business for merchants. The venture also plans to deploy Artificial Intelligence-based analytics to study customer spend patterns.
SBI has over 50,000 ATMs across the country. 

No comments:

Post a Comment