You could soon utilise the services provided by India Post payments banks, with the government stating that around 650 branches will be functional by May. Manoj Sinha, the Union Minister of State for Communications, stated this at a recently held press conference.
The Reserve Bank of India had given permission to India Post to operate payments banks in January 2017, post which India Post opened two such branches in Ranchi and Raipur on a pilot basis.
The minister stated that India Post would complete the processes mentioned by the RBI in a week, with system integration already done.
There are currently six payments banks functioning in India, namely Paytm Payments Bank, Airtel Payments Bank, Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank, Fino Payments Bank, Jio Payments Bank and India Post Payments Bank.
A total of 11 applicants had received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India to operate payments bank. The latest entity to operate a payments bank was Reliance, which launched the Jio Payments Bank earlier this month.
The primary purpose of payments banks is to bridge the gap currently faced by the banking industry. These banks provide services like accepting deposits, fund transfers, issue of debit cards, net banking, etc., with the only major difference being their inability to lend to people.
The functioning of India Post’s payments banks will help millions of people access banking services, thanks to the over 1.5 lakh post offices spread across the country which will become access points for customers.
India Post is also looking towards technology to improve its services, with the government providing smartphones to postmen to enhance their efficiency.
The minister also stated the usefulness of post offices with regards to passport applications. The 180 plus passport seva kendras which function through post offices have helped in processing around 7 lakh applications.