How to Activate and Use SBI Mobile Banking [India Only]
The world is increasingly going online. A lot of people are spending money online. And at the same time, smartphones are replacing laptops as our preferred gadget on the move. So it makes sense to be able to do some form of banking from your cell phone. Many banks have introduced Mobile banking services. Initially it was restricted to balance enquiry and cheque enquiry via SMS. But now it has expanded to funds transfer and bill payments too.
However, in India these services haven’t gained much acceptance yet. As a result, a lot of confusion follows for those who want to use mobile banking. So here is a guide to activating and using Mobile banking for the largest bank of India i.e. State Bank of India.
SBI has designed a system where you can register for mobile banking without any intervention from your branch. It is a completely automated procedure.
First download the SBI mobile banking java application named State Bank Freedom from here. This application can be installed on any java enabled phone, you don’t necessarily need a smartphone for this. Once you have installed the app on your phone, launch it. It will ask for username, press the options button and select register. It will send an SMS which will cost you Rs. 3 (may vary depending on network).
Update: To register just send MBSREG to 9223440000 OR 567676. You will receive an SMS with your username and default password in it. Now install the SBI Freedom app.
Launch the app and enter the username. It will ask you to change the password. The password has to be six characters long and can contain only numbers. Change the password. It will again send an SMS which will cost another Rs. 3.
Now you will need to register your mobile number for mobile banking in an ATM, because it still doesn’t know which account you are going to use the app with (it never asked for your account number, remember). Go to an SBI ATM. Insert your Debit card and select the Mobile Banking option. Then select register. It will ask for your phone number. Enter your phone number and confirm. That’s it, you are now ready to use Mobile banking.
However, seeing that an SMS costs Rs.3, not many would be willing to use this service through SMS. To use it through GPRS, do the following:
- Launch the app and enter your User ID
- Go to settings>channel
- Select GPRS, enter your pin and confirm
This SMS will be the last one! So it will cost you a total of Rs. 9 to activate the service to be used via GPRS
After you have registered for mobile banking, the question arises, what you can use it for. Here are the few things you can do with it:
Funds transfer – You can transfer funds to any account in India. It can be and SBI account or any other bank’s account through RTGS or NEFT
- Balance and mini statement enquiry – You can make a balance enquiry at any time. You can also request a mini statement of last 5 transactions. The information is shows on screen and also sent via SMS
- Check Demat account – if you have a Demat account with SBI, you can check your balances etc.
- Make a cheque book request
- Pay bills – You can pay phone bills, DTH bills, electricity bills etc. Here is a state wise list of supported billers.
Mobile Topup – Almost all service providers are supported. That’s what makes this the most useful function of State Bank Freedom. Recharge your mobile anytime, anywhere. Just select the mobile topup option, enter the name of the service provider, your mobile number, amount you want to recharge with and select the account to be debited. Most of the time, the balance is received within a minute. It must be noted that you can recharge any mobile phone, not just your phone.
- M-Commerce – You can pay the premium for SBI Life Insurance
A transaction uses just 1KB data, so even if you are not using any data pack, this won’t cost you much.
After every transaction, you’ll receive a confirmation with a reference ID. Write this ID if you need. If you have a smartphone, you can take a screenshot.
Multiple Phones and Number Change
If you want to change your mobile number, there is an option for this under settings. Enter the new mobile number and get a confirmation from the branch to enable. You could also deregister at the ATM and register a new number from there itself following the process explained above. This way you will be able to avoid branch intervention.
If you want to use SBI Mobile banking from multiple cell phones, there is a sync option under settings. Go to options>get sync key. You will receive a key. Enter this key in your other phone and it should work (couldn’t try this).
All communications from your mobile phone to the server are encrypted with 128-bit AES encryption algorithm. However, the SMS messages are not encrypted. This is one more reason to use GPRS as the channel.
Of course, this is not all that security means. There has to be security on the user front too. So, it is not possible to use mobile banking from any other phone than the one you registered with. The username is tied to the phone. Also, one phone will accept only one user ID. So it is practically impossible for anyone to access your account unless you lose your mobile. Then of course, there’s your MPIN. It is advisable not to store the MPIN on your phone and delete the SMS containing your User ID. You are notified of almost all transactions immediately via SMS.
Bonus Tip: If you lose your mobile phone, go to an SBI ATM and deregister from mobile banking immediately.
For further information and FAQs, visit SBI website. The FAQ links towards the bottom of the page are actually PDF files but for some reason they appear as HTML files. Save the file, change the extension to PDF and then open them.
If you have any question, leave a comment below and I will try to answer it. If you liked this post, tell your friends about it.
P.S.: If your device is not listed, try any other device from the same company and/or platform with a matching screen resolution. Find out the platform and screen resolution from www.GSMArena.com