The State Bank of India (SBI) is launching what is being described as the world's first floating ATM. A motorboat fitted with an automated teller machine operated by the latest code division multiple access technology is set to ply the fabled waterways of the southern state of Kerala. It will stop at jetties to service tourists in houseboats, beach resorts and islands in 1,900km of inland waterways - a complex network of lagoons, canals and lakes. 'We are taking banking to clients, mostly tourists thronging the waterways,' said B. Rajagopal, SBI's chief manager in Kerala. 'We are introducing the world's first stand-alone floating ATM. 'At present, an ATM operates on board the Queen Mary II, the world's largest passenger liner - but that is a part of the sprawling branch of the bank on board. The ship's ATM has a captive clientele. 'Our endeavour is to service many more customers by turning up wherever they are holidaying.' Touring in luxury 20-metre houseboats is Kerala's biggest tourist attraction. Almost 10 million tourists visited Kerala last year, boosting an industry that provides jobs to 700,000 people. The number of visitors in 2002 was seven million. SBI, India's largest and oldest commercial bank in terms of profits, assets, deposits, branches and employees, has 1,138 ATMs across the country, including small towns where multinational banks have no presence.