SBI plans credit card to farmers

State Bank of India is exploring the possibility of issuing credit cards to farmers.

The bank along with SBI Card, a joint venture company between SBI and GE Capital, is currently issuing farmer’s credit cards on a pilot basis in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

According to Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI, farmers currently have access only to Kisan Credit Card (KCC) which is more like a debit or RuPay card linked to loan account.

The pilot, if successful, will be rolled out across other states and will give farmers access to interest free credit for a period of 40-45 days.

“We are currently doing a pilot along with SBI Card in three states; if it is successful we will roll it out across the country,” he told newspersons on the sidelines of the launch of a mobile shopping app for farmers called FarmCart here on Tuesday.

The mobile app, which is available in vernacular language for the benefit of farmers, has been designed by a Mumbai-based start-up Poorti Agri Services.

According to Kumar, nearly 75-80 per cent of the spend on these cards would have to be mandatorily for buying agricultural inputs. The interest rate or penalty for delay in payment post the interest free credit period would be lower as compared to other credit cards issued to a consumer. Kumar however refused to divulge the limit and rate of interest to be charged. “Those are yet to be worked out,” he said.