Mumbai: The third largest credit card issuer SBI Cards on Friday said it will be focussing on tier 2 and 3 centres for growth in the near future and clients in these segments will grow to occupy 20 percent of the total over the next three years.

"The growth in tier 2 and 3 centres will outpace growth in tier 1 cities ... even though it occupies a very small share right now, we are targeting it to increase to 20 percent of total number of cards in three years," Chief Executive Kadambi Narahari told reporters here.

He said the card company, a joint venture between State Bank of India and GE of the US, already has a presence in 50 cities and will be leveraging on SBI's network to grow.

Narahari said the increase in the number of point of sale terminals, combined with the increase in incomes and a desire to use such products will help it achieve the growth.

Set up in January 1998, SBI Cards is the third largest card issuer with a customer base of 2.2 million and a market share of nearly 13 percent in a 17-million cards market.

The company, which for the past two fiscals has been posting profit, is also focussing on growing the average spend per card and hopes to clock a growth above the industry average of 25-30 percent, he said.

In the country, average spend per card is one of the lowest with just USD 755, while this is a high USD 3352 in Australia and USD2084 in Thailand.

SBI Cards, which already has a premium offering, will be launching a 'signature' card in the ultra-rich premium segment targeted at the high networth individuals next week,
Narhari said.

Its larger rivals HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank already have offerings in niche segment, which are by invitation only.

Narhari, however, refused to share additional details about the product.

SBI Cards, which currently has 2.2 millioncards in force with receivables of Rs 2,300 crore by the end of FY12, is taregting to add 1 million more cards by FY15, Narhari said, refusing to divulge historical data on customer additions or sharing near-term projections.

(Agencies)

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