YES BANK, the fifth largest private bank in India, announced Wednesday (May 24) the launch of SIMsePay, a feature that lets any account holder conduct money transfers, pay utility bills and other mobile banking services without the need for a mobile phone or Internet access.
According to a press release covered by Finextra, YES Bank said its new feature is based on so-called sim-sleeve technology and is enabled by Taisys Technologies, a company that holds the patent on the technology and has implemented it in other countries, including China and Kenya.
The company said it is launching a pilot with Mizoram Cooperative Apex Bank and plans to launch it across the country. The pilot launch takes place amid a push by the government of India to reduce the country’s reliance on cash and move to a digital payments economy. It’s also part of YES BANK’s efforts for a broad-based digital payments infrastructure in India and complements the bank’s digital offering, it said in the release.
“Most mobile banking services like wallets, chat bots and other apps can be used only on smartphones, which are internet-enabled. As per industry estimates, of the over 900 million mobile phones in India, only around 220 million phones are smartphones (less than half of these are interne- enabled),” YES BANK said in the release.
It went on to note that SIMsePAY will cater to the big swath of the Indian population who remain unbanked or underbanked because of a lack of mobile internet access and access to smartphones. The company said it is aiming to have a base of 500,000 SIMsePAY users through this year.
“YES BANK is proud to pioneer this unique solution, which will empower all bank account holders and enhance efficient digital financial inclusion in the most efficient manner. YES BANK is committed to fully support the government’s demonetization and digital payments initiatives. Through the launch of SIMsePAY along with Co-operative Bank tie-ups across the country, we will effectively aid our country’s ongoing transition to a ‘less-cash’ society, and eventually a ‘cashless India,’” said Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK in the press release.