India Post Payment Bank (IPPB)’s long-awaited foray into payment banking space is going to over in 2 weeks from now. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is all set to inaugurate India Post Payments Bank on 21st August 2018.
Founded in 1854, the department of posts, serving as the Post Offices or India Post, today is a government managed & operated postal communication & management system. India Post is the largest in the world in terms of the postal distribution network.
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has been established under the Department of Posts. India Post Payments Bank is an India Government enterprise with 100% equity holding of the Government of India.
India Post Payment Bank was established on 17th August 2016. It started its pilot testing & small-scale operations on 30th January 2017. During the pilot testing, only 2 branches of India Post Offices were chosen for banking operations. One branch of India Post Payment Bank was at Raipur, the state capital of Chhattisgarh whereas the second branch of IPPB was at Ranchi the state capital of Jharkhand.
The Pilot testing of India Post Payment Banking Operations is said to be successful and now India Post is formally going to launch payment banking on 21st August (Tuesday).
India Post has the network of more than 1.5 lacs post offices spread across India. India Post Office network is deep-rooted to the extent that it connects almost all villages & kasbas, forget the towns & cities.
For years, India Post offices have been already offering some financial products such as Postal Savings Accounts, Monthly Investment Scheme (MIS, popularly also known as Post Office RD – recurring deposit), Fixed Deposits, Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) etc. India Post has approx. 17 crore Postal Savings Accounts which they have sought permissions to pull into payment banking system going forward.
India Post Payment Bank (IPPB) has already taken necessary approvals from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to offer online banking transactions such as NEFT, RTGS, IMPS etc. It has also built an online bill payment system on the platform of NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) which will allow users to pay various sorts of utility bills on the go.
Looking at the new generation of clients and people’s penchant for mobile based applications, India Post Payment Bank is also launching its Mobile App. Well, the service doesn’t stop here. More than 10000 Post Men serving in these 650+ locations are going to offer many banking services right at the doorstep of the consumers as well.
On 21st August, when India Post Payment Banking becomes fully operational, it is said to be going live with 650+ branches across India. Knowing that there are 650+ districts in the country as well, India Post has strategically put the branches footprint in such a manner that they come up with at least 1 branch in each of the districts of India, meaning a wide national presence on day one.
Looking at the fact that India Post has a lineage of unparalleled trust, a huge nationwide existing network of branches, quite fair amount of brush up of dealing in financial products and now the payment banking system going a full-fledged live in 650 locations, It would be easy to bet that if things go on the right way, in coming few years, India Post may be soon upgraded to be a full-service Bank.
With over 20000 Branches in India, State Bank of India (post-merger of the subsidiaries) today is claimed to be the largest bank in the world in terms of the branch network. Imagine what India Post Bank (if it happens) can do with a network of more than 7 times of what SBI has today! With the manpower of nearly 4.5 lacs people out of which 1.5 lacs (approx. 30%) can be assumed to be working as postmen, will the story of doorstep banking be re-written by India Post in future.
Well, it would be difficult and unjust to predict anything but one thing is for sure that if India Post matures from a Payment Banking system to a full-fledged India Post Bank in future, it will take the banking & financial services penetration to the deepest possible level. It may bring more competition in the banking space but the eventual winner would be the clients getting easier reach to banking & far better services.
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