The largest lender of the country, State Bank of India has decided to widen its credit card base further. The bank has taken this decision after it had reduced its credit card business by as much as 16% and also gone for a turnaround in business.
The bank would be taking the upper middle class customer base as its target audience and come with Platinum cards for them which bears a wide range of benefits. Also the bank sees barriers to entry as less in this card category.
This decision of the bank to target higher end customers is thought to turn out to be beneficial as the card spends in this segment are high coupled with lesser chances of default.
The JV between SBI and GE Capital- SBI Cards business was expected to turn around by March 2011 but it managed to earn profits in Q2 of this fiscal.
"The whole industry had seen a 33% drop in the number of cards from 27-28 million to 18 million. Against this, the number for SBI Cards has come down from 3.1 million at its peak level in 2008 to around 2.6 million now," said State Bank of India chairman OP Bhatt.
"There is no mad rush for land grab or market share," said SBI Cards CEO Abhay Kumar Singh.
"Acquiring customers through SBI branches helps us know the customer far more than we can otherwise. That gives SBI Cards a better understanding of the customer preferences as well as helps us plan the product mix and customer value proposition," said GE Capital president and CEO Anish Shah.