SBI Cards, a joint venture between SBI and GE Money, expects to ramp up its geographical presence to 150 cities by end-March 2008, its Chief Executive, Roopam Asthana, said.
Currently, SBI Cards has a presence in 110 cities. “Our endeavour is to reach 150 locations by March next year. We feel the potential for credit cards is going to be less beyond this number of cities. You will see a slowdown in terms of new cities coming in after we hit the 150-mark,” Asthana said.
SBI Cards had recently entered Siliguri in the North-East and is now looking at Gangtok, he said. Asthana said that non-metro South and West have been very good in terms of business as the ability to understand credit cards as a product is very high in these areas.
SBI’s recent announcement to enter into merchant acquiring business is encouraging, Asthana said. “The less number of terminals for card acceptance has been a big challenge for the credit card industry. It is this infrastructure issue that hampers the growth of credit card business in the country. SBI’s announcement to enter merchant acquiring business will encourage us to go into the markets where terminals are going to be coming up and together we can do more business in those markets.”
Asthana said that SBI Cards was looking for tie-ups with players in organised retailing and the health care industry, where card spends are likely to rise. SBI Cards has no immediate plans to tap the capital market, Asthana said.
However, the company would look at mixture of equity and tier-II capital for raising an estimated Rs 100 crore of additional capital required to fund business growth this fiscal. In the current fiscal, SBI Cards has already done one round of tier-II capital mobilisation amounting to about Rs 85 crore.
As quoted on Sify