State Bank of India (SBI) has introduced a pilot scheme on credit cards for farmers, which extends facilities like lower interest rate besides the normal 40 days’ credit available for credit card users, said chairman Rajnish Kumar.
“We have launched this facility on a pilot basis in three States – Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. So far, 100 applications have been received. We will go national, based on the response and our own experience,” he told reporters after unveiling two apps, which would enable farmers to enjoy the benefits of online shopping for their farm inputs and produce.
Conceived by a Mumbai-based start-up, POORTI Agri Services, the Farmcart and Dealer Bandhu apps are being partnered by SBI which provides the payment gateway. POORTI is led by N. Balasubramanian, ex-chairman of SIDBI, R.G. Rajan, ex-chairman of RCF and NFL, and some senior professionals from banking and other sectors.
Answering queries on the scheme , Mr. Kumar said while the present Kisan Credit Card scheme acted like a debit card for farmers, the new one would enable them to purchase farm-related items besides some consumer goods.
He said that a major difference between the regular credit cards and the newer one was the interest rates, which would be lower.