According to communications minister Manoj Sinha, the recently launched India Post Payments Bank will have all its 650 branches set up in different locations across the country by the end of next month. In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Sinha reported that the organisation will have a pan-India reach by April through its branches.
He also noted that these branches will act as controlling centers for the 1.55 lakh post offices located in different places across the country. These post offices will act as last-mile access points for customers living in different locations across the country. Preparations are currently underway for the establishment of these 650 branches in different parts of the country.
India Post is currently in the process of performing construction works for its various branches. Sinha reported that construction works including civil works, electrical works, furniture set up, technology set up, etc. are currently underway in most of the branches that will be opened soon.
Various payments banks are already operating in the market including Airtel Payments Bank, Paytm Payments Bank, Idea Payments Bank, etc. India Post Payments Bank expects to acquire about 8 crore customers within the next five years.
The main focus of payments banks is to provide banking services to different sections of unorganized businesses and low-income households in the country. A payments bank functions similar to a regular bank and allows various services like cash transfer, mobile payment, deposit, etc. However, most of the activities in a payments bank are digitally enabled. These banks even provide ATM cards to their customers to ensure seamless transactions.
India Post Payments Bank received clearance from the Reserve Bank on January 20, 2017. It started operations on January 30, 2017, by setting up two branches in Raipur and Ranchi. It has all the features of a digitally enabled payments bank and allows a balance of Rs.1 lakh. It also plans to launch other services like current accounts, insurance, mutual funds, forex, credit products, etc. in the near future.