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SBI to offer banking services on Facebook and Twitter

Leveraging on the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, State Bank of India (SBI) on Friday launched 'SBI Mingle', allowing its customers access various banking services via these social platforms. 

"Using SBI Mingle, the bank's customers can do a host of banking services on their Facebook or Twitter accounts at their own convenience," the bank said in a press release. The new initiative was launched on Friday by SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya on the occasion of 61st State Bank Day. "The bank has witnessed tremendous engagement from its customers on each of its social platforms for queries, information, advice and complaint resolution. Staying attuned to the needs of the Gen Y customer and collaborating it with innovative technology, SBI is in the process of offering a gamut of new digital services to the customers on the go," Bhattacharya said.

SBI, she added, is planning to introduce more services like request for chequebook, stop cheque, register for mobile banking, internet banking, SMS alerts and block ATM/debit cards on these platforms soon. 

Meanwhile, SBI said the corporate branches of its five associate banks will "fold up" into the parent bank as part of network rationalisation after their merger.  "To a large extent, they will fold up into the corporate branches of the parent. As much as 60-70 per cent of the larger value accounts are common and you need only one relationship manager for that," SBI Managing Director B Sriram told reporters at an event here. He termed the corporate branches of the associate banks as "low-hanging fruit", as a more elaborate plan will have to be prepared for the retail branch rationalisation.
SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya reiterated that the merger will take place this fiscal. The SBI Group has five associates -- State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad.

She also said the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank will also be completed this year. There is no particular bias per se between the unlisted and listed associates, and all the mergers will happen together or in quick succession, she said.

Now, shop from Flipkart with SBI EMIs
State Bank of India on Friday tied up with online shopping major Flipkart to offer consumer durables purchase on EMIs to its account holders. Personal loan interest (14 per cent) will apply for the purchase. "This is a global first and a win-win for both of us," Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson of SBI, said while announcing the tie-up here. 

The country's largest lender has selected a million of its 300 million-strong customer base using their banking history as pre-qualified customers who can opt for this facility. The scheme can be availed by those having an SBI debit card. Under the tie-up, a customer can select the EMI (equated monthly instalment) option while shopping on Flipkart and has to choose between three tenures - six months , nine months and one year - to pay for the product. 

The transaction gets completed instantly after deduction of the first EMI. The customer will be charged an interest for the purchase, which will be as per the bank's personal loan policy. The minimum amount for making an EMI-based purchase under the scheme is set at Rs 5,000, said the bank. SBI, which celebrated its 61st foundation day today, also launched a slew of other products and initiatives, including an entry into the wearables space where it unveiled a smartwatch banking on the Android platform. 

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