New Delhi: The State Bank of India is planning to end the ubiquitous usage of debit cards from the banking system. “It is our wish to eliminate the debit cards, and am sure we can eliminate them,” said SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar on Monday while at the annual FIBAC, a banking conclave organised by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

A fifth of the population relies on the debit card service of this largest lender. Inspite of this huge reliance, SBI plans to promote more digital payment solutions and eliminate the plastic cards. The chairman of the bank Rajnish Kumar noted that there are around 90 crore debit cards in the country as against the 3 crore credit cards. He added that in order to achieve a debit card-less country, there are digital solutions like the bank’s own ‘Yono’ platform. With the aid of the Yono platform, customers can withdraw cash at the automated teller machines or pay for purchases at a merchant establishment without having a card at all, noted Rajnish Kumar.

Notably, the SBI has already set up 68,000 ‘Yono cashpoints’ across the country and will soon set up over 1 million within the next 18 months. With the massive scaling up of the Yono service, the need to own a debit card will become reduce, noted the bank chairman. Further, the necessity of a credit card in the pocket will come as a “stand-by” as the Yono platform is capable of providing credit for buying certain merchandise.

Pointing out that virtual coupons are the future, Kumar said that the will be less usage of plastic cards in the next five years. Currently, there is the QR code which is a very inexpensive way of ensuring payments.