SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani shake hands during 'Mumbai Next' Seminar in Mumbai
The proposed joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI) and Reliance Industries (RIL) for a payments bank, aiming to reach remote places through a mobiles' platform, should help get more accounts for the country's largest lender.
The venture needs a partner with good technology and spectrum support. RIL, through its telecom business and fourth-generation (4G) service offering, would address this need, while SBI brings a huge number of accounts, its chief, Arundhati Bhattacharya, told reporters on the sidelines of the 'Mumbai NEXT' event.
"The payments bank venture would itself give us (SBI) an opportunity to get more business," she said. "Mobile and hand-held devices are able to reach customers in even remote areas."
The two have not finalised the cost sharing arrangement. RIL is to be promoter of the payments bank and SBI will hold up to 30 per cent stake. The crucial element in a payments bank operation is an information technology backbone for remittances. Reliance has an all-India 4G network licence and has data processing ability.
The proposed bank intends to cover 250,000 villages and 5,000 towns in three years, ther partners have said. The plan is to start with a Rs 100-crore capital base, to be raised fourfold in three to four years.