Banking

Citi, Barclays, ICICI to partner with India Post: RS Prasad

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india postThe new era of payment systems has brought up new tie-ups, mergers, partnerships of banks to showcase their payment solutions and gateways on a large platform. Multinational financial sharks as well as domestic giants, including Citigroup, Barclays and ICICI Bank, have sought to partner with the national post delivery company, India Post, Union Minister of Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said.

“Already 40 big financial services groups from the country and abroad have evinced interest in a tie-up with the postal department,” the minister said, while addressing postal employees.

American banking giant Citigroup, British lender Barclays and the country’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank are among those who have sent tie-up proposals, said Prasad.

The department is aiming to get the bank operational by March 2017. Some of the requests are for selling insurance, while some seek to provide government-to-citizen and company-to-citizen services, he said.

The postal department features in a list of 11 entities who were given the go-ahead by the Reserve Bank in August last year,  to set up payments banks, aimed at promoting financial inclusion through deepening the formal financial system by focusing on transactional banking.

According to Prasad, against a dip of 2 per cent in 2013-14, the revenue of the department grew 37 per cent in FY15 and has jumped 120 per cent till December 2015.

Noting that the e-commerce market is around Rs 98,000 crore and is estimated to grow exponentially, Prasad asked the employees to make India Post the largest e-commerce logistics company in the world.

Over 65 per cent of the e-commerce orders are from smaller towns, which can serve as an advantage due to its wide network, he said.

To develop the network optimally, the department is getting all the post offices on the core banking platform and is also giving hand-held devices to postmen that can be used during deliveries and selling insurance by March 2017, the minister added.

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