Mumbai: In a bid to discourage cheque payment, SBI Card has decided to impose a charge of Rs 100 on payments below Rs 2,000 made through the cheque drop box.
The fees would not be levied to SBI account holders as cheques are cleared as an intrabank transfer in such cases. However, non-SBI cheques would attract a fee even if deposited across the counter in branches.
SBI Card MD and CEO Vijay Jasuja said, “We are only looking at recovering clearing cost. When we are talking about digitisation and all modes are available, what is the need of paying by cheque?.”
He cited a problem, wherein the company loses out every month in the process. He said, “A large number of cheques were being dropped late into the boxes and subsequently disputes were raised on late payment charges. We have done a deep analysis. It is not possible that every month the bank is making a mistake in cheque collection”.
He further said that 92% of cardholders settle their bills through non-cheque mode and only 8% use cheques for payment. He added, of these 8%, around 6% have bills of over Rs 2,000 and it is only the remaining 2% who are going to get affected by the decision.
While the company is disincentivising cheques, it is providing incentives to those paying online by way of higher reward points.
SBI Cards currently have 14 modes of bill payments and most of these modes need internet over mobile or desktop.
After cash disincentivising, cheque disincentivising would come as a long hit to consumers. Using cheques is a popular choice for paying monthly bills and fees.