In a major exercise to boost its profitability, the Department of Posts (DoP) plans to introduce core banking solution besides setting up India Post ATMs and debit cards for its customers.
"We have set target of bringing in core banking solution by 2012. It will ensure smooth online transactions. We are giving some e-payment services, but they are fragmented," a top offical from Department of Post said.
He added that the work for setting up 1,000 India Post ATMs was in advanced stage and DoP had already held parleys with vendors on this front. "We will also issue debit cards to our existing savings account-holders," the source added.
The DoP is tying up with banks so that customers can use their India Post debit card at any ATM machine pan-India. With a network reach of over 1.44 lakh post offices, DoP hopes to transform itself into a post bank.
"Yes, this is very much possible. We are offering three-fourth of a bank's services and have the widest reach. The infrastructure is almost ready. In fact, we have given this proposal to the Ministry of Finance and are waiting for its comments," he added.
The lack of modern banking facilities in rural areas and dependence of villagers on informal sector for their credit requirements prompted government to establish a post bank. "The aim of establishing a post bank is to provide banking services to the rural poor who still do not have modern banking facilities and still have to depend on informal sector for their credit requirements," he said.
The Planning Commission had allocated Rs 5 crore during the 11th Plan period towards this purpose under the head of 'studies and miscellaneous expenditure relating to setting up of Post Bank of India'. The DoP with its huge network already provides various financial services, including a post office savings bank, postal life insurance, pension payments and money transfer services.Source: moneycontrol.com. July 4, 2011