The State Bank of India is evaluating the prospects of utilising the point of sale (POS) terminals installed at merchant establishments to accept remittances towards utility bills.

According to the bank’s Chief General Manager (Corporate Strategy and New Businesses) R. Karthikeyan, the proposed facility will particularly be of use to those not comfortable making payments online.

Even while working towards a string of services on the terminals, the bank is also working on deploying its POS terminals at more commercial establishments. “Right now there are 30,000 POS machines of SBI and we want to take this to one lakh by March-end,” he said. The focus would be on taking the POS terminals across the country and into semi-urban and rural areas as well.

The merchant acquiring business, he said, was important as it could emerge as a gateway bringing more customers into the SBI fold. Nearly 40 per cent (about 12 crore) of the ATM/debit cards issued in the country are of SBI. “We are a new entrant as far as POS terminals are concerned… but the value of our brand is strong and help us expand the network fast,” he said. Towards encouraging the use of its POS terminals, the bank had introduced incentives and loyalty programmes for the merchant establishments, he said.

Though at a nascent stage, the possibilities of using them for a range of services, including for remitting property tax and professional tax, were immense, sources said.