In an era when rapid banking transformation is being carried out with the support of technology, opening a bank account with Rs 20 and maintaining it with just Rs 50 as minimum balance, without inviting penalties, seemed unfathomable. But thanks to the India Post (Ministry of Communications) which has made this unthinkable turn into a reality, writes Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).
India Post: The New Bank in the Making
In an endeavour to meet the general public’s expectations, the postal department migrated about 23,091 post offices to Core Banking Services(CBS) last December and 968 ATMs are operational.
Further, the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications, has set up “India Post Payments Bank” as a Public Limited Company with 100 per cent Government of India equity. After the grant of licence from the RBI, the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has launched two branches in Raipur and Ranchi on January 30, 2017 with limited banking services.
State/UT-wise Number of Post Offices functional in the country (as on 31.03.2016)
|States/UTs||Total Number of Post Offices|
|Dadar & Nagar Haveli||38|
|Damn & Diu||19|
|Jammu & Kashmir||1,701|
|Andaman & Nicobar||100|
As ATMs have become a pivotal part of the banking system, the India Post customers having the debit card can do transactions on other bank ATMs and similarly other bank customers can transact on post bank ATMs.
For initiating the IT Modernisation Project the Government has decided to provide ATM facility for Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) customers. As of now, 970 ATMs have been installed at major post offices across the country.
The Number of ATMs Installed
|Jammu & Kashmir||9|
|North Eastern States||13|
Payments Bank: Banking the Unbanked
A Payments Bank is a “differentiated bank” set-up under the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to further financial inclusion for the unbanked population by providing:
- Current and savings accounts and
- Payments or remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low-income households, small businesses, unorganised sector entities and other users. (Source: Lok Sabha)
Payments bank is similar to a universal bank, except in a few key areas, as stated below:
- Payments Bank can accept demand deposits only i.e. savings and current accounts and will initially be restricted to holding a maximum balance of Rs. 100,000 per individual customer.
- Payments, Bank cannot accept NRI deposits
- Payments Bank are not allowed to undertake lending activities directly and cannot grant loans Payments Bank cannot set up subsidiaries to undertake non banking financial services activities.
Minimum Bank Balances
|Minimum balances for various bank accounts|
|SB(Cheque account)||INR. 500/-|
|SB(non Cheque account)||INR. 50/-|
|Senior Citizen||INR. 1,000/-|
Post Office Saving Schemes
- Post Office Savings Account
- 5-Year Post Office Recurring Deposit Account (RD)
- Post Office Time Deposit Account (TD)
- Post Office Monthly Income Scheme Account (MIS)
- Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)
- 15-year Public Provident Fund Account (PPF )
- National Savings Certificates (NSC)
- Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP )
- Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts