SBI customer alert: In the span of next two months, India’s largest public lender State Bank of India (SBI) will end four services – First, customers using Classic and Maestro debit cards of the bank will not be able to make ATM withdrawal over Rs 20,000 from October 31. Second, the bank is shutting down its mobile wallet SBI Buddy from November 1. Third, customers, who have failed to register their mobile numbers with the bank, will not be able to avail internet banking facility from December 1. Fourth, magnetic stripe-based debit cards will stop working from December 31.
The cash withdrawal restriction has been made by SBI in order to protect customers from fraudulent cash withdrawals from ATMs and also to spur more digital transactions. “We analysed all the ATM transactions and we found that most of them are less than Rs 20,000 a day. In case of frauds reported to us, we found that in all such cases withdrawals of Rs 40,000 (the maximum) have happened. So this is basically to protect the customers and secondly, we want that more such (digital) transactions should happen,” PTI had quoted SBI managing director PK Gupta as saying earlier.
Impact: The cash restriction will affect a large number of customers. However, SBI customers wanting to withdraw more than Rs 20,000/day from ATM can switch to other cards offered by the bank.
The decision to shut down SBI Buddy has been communicated to customers. The official communication by the bank says that the decision to shut down SBI Buddy has been taken and accounts with nil balance are already being shut down. The app had over 12 million users by the end of last year. It is not yet clear as to what will happen to Buddy accounts with balance.
Impact: The decision shut down Buddy will likely have no impact. SBI has already given an option of another mobile wallet – YONO – to customers. SBI is promoting YONO as a one-stop destination for banking while carrying on with social life.
SBI has notified customers to register their mobile numbers before December 1, 2018 with the bank to continue availing the internet banking facility. The official website of the bank says, “Attention INB users, please register your mobile number with us immediately, if not already done, through Branch, failing which the Internet Banking facility may be blocked with effect from 01.12.2018”
Impact: Most of the customers have already registered their mobile numbers. However, those who have not done so will not get to access internet banking, which is much more convenient than regular banking.
Debit card replacement
In accordance with an RBI order, State Bank of India (SBI) has asked customers to replace ATM-cum-debit cards with magnetic stripe with the one with EMV chip before December 31. The Reserve Bank of India had asked banks to issue only chip-based and PIN-enabled debit and credit cards with an aim to protect customers from frauds. EMV chip card protects against counterfeit (skimming) card fraud.
Impact: SBI customers will not be affected much by this decision. A large number of the bank’s customers are already using EMV chip-based card. The bank is providing free replacement.