State Bank of India in Mumbai has begun allowing its debit cardholders to buy mutual funds online.

An official at the bank said consumers previously could buy State Bank of India mutual fund units online if they had a bank account and an online banking service with one of the 12 banks tied to the fund.

Under the new setup, the state bank's debit cardholders first select a mutual fund from State Bank of India Mutual Fund's Web site and then pay using their debit card by entering their PIN and account number, the official said.

"Regular cardholders can only buy units worth 50,000 rupees [about $1,110], while Gold card holders can buy units worth" double that, he said.

The bank issues about 50 million debit cards across the country.

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