India Post: Serving the Common Man

India Post

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
Andhra Pradesh 10,322
Assam 4,012
Bihar 9,037
Chhattisgarh 3,157
Delhi 554
Gujarat 8,926
Dadar & Nagar Haveli 38
Damn & Diu 19
Haryana 2,684
Himachal Pradesh 2,,785
Jammu & Kashmir 1,701
Jharkhand 3109
Karnataka 9663
Kerala 5057
Lakshdweep 10
Madhya Pradesh 8286
Maharashtra 12601
Goa 258
Arunachal Pradesh 301
Meghalaya 491
Mizoram 389
Manipur 702
Nagaland 330
Tripura 710
Odisha 8169
Punjab 3810
Chandigarh 51
Rajasthan 10318
Tamil Nadu 12035
Puducherry 96
Telangana 5835
Uttarakahnad 2721
Uttar Prradesh 17662
West  Bengal 8762
Andaman & Nicobar 100
Sikkim 209
Total 15,4910

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

States/UTs ATMs Installed
Andhra Pradesh 95
Assam 26
Bihar 43
Chhattisgarh 14
Delhi 26
Gujarat 41
Haryana 20
Himachal Pradesh 20
Jammu & Kashmir 9
Jharkhand 19
Karnataka 76
Kerala 42
Madhya Pradesh 52
Maharashtra 75
North Eastern States 13
Odisha 44
Punjab 26
Rajasthan 64
Tamil Nadu 97
Uttar Pradesh 86
Uttarakhand 18
West Bengal 64
Total 970

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/-
MIS INR. 1500/-
TD INR. 200/-
PPF INR. 500/-
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
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