SBI to open 1,000 ATMs in 2010: OP Bhatt

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New Delhi, Feb 24: The State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to open about 1,000 new ATMs in the current year under its technological initiatives.

Speaking at CII's 'BANKing TECH Summit 2010', SBI Chairman O P Bhatt said, "We are emphasizing on mobile banking along with some major technology projects like data warehousing in 2010."

He further said, "Tenders will be issued for the payment system gateway solutions to increase the use of technology."

Bhatt also noted that the SBI currently has 70,000 branches, 20,000 ATMs catering 286 million customers. Out of 65,000 villages in India, only 30,000 are covered by the commercial bank branches.

"Hence, more banks, branches and services will be needed which necessitates greater penetration of IT," Bhatt said.

Mobile banking would improve and encourage banking in rural areas, said S R Rao, Additional Secretary – Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology.

"There is a huge scope for banking in rural areas as they still remain untapped and it can be possible through mobile banking," Rao said.

"In 2009, there were 136 million mobile subscribers in rural areas which are estimated to increase to 280 million by 2012 and 320 million by 2015. By next year the mobile subscriptions will cover India's entire rural population," he added.

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