Monday 3 September 2018

Financial Inclusion 2.0: All 1.55 lakh post offices will offer banking services through India Post Payments Bank.

From the Red Fort, PM Modi announced the plans about postal banks across all villages of 715 districts of India in 2014. The much delayed India Post Payments Bank was launched on 1st September in Talkotara Stadium, Delhi in the august presence of PM Modi and Mr Suresh Sethi, MD and CEO, India Post Payments Bank. The function was witnessed at over 3000 locations across the country, which were connected to the main event in Delhi. "Jo Khata Nahi uska bhi toh Khata Hota Hain" said jokingly as PM Modi also become the first bank account holder of India Post Payment Bank.

IPPB has been envisioned as an accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man, to help speedily achieve the financial inclusion objectives of the Union Government. It will leverage the vast network of the Department of Posts, which covers every corner of the country with more than 300,000 Postmen and Grameen Dak Sewaks. IPPB will hence significantly augment the reach of the banking sector in India.

The launch of IPPB marks another significant milestone in the Union Government’s endeavour to take the benefits of a rapidly developing India to the remotest corners of our country. On the day of the launch, IPPB will have 650 Branches and 3250 Access Points spread across the country. Simultaneous launch events will be held at these branches and access points. All the 1.55 lakh Post Offices in the country will be linked to the IPPB system by December 2018.

IPPB will offer a range of products such as savings and current accounts, money transfer, direct benefit transfers, bill and utility payments, and enterprise and merchant payments. These products, and related services will be offered across multiple channels (counter services, micro-ATM, mobile banking app, SMS and IVR), using the bank’s state-of-the-art technology platform.

Postmen across India has long been a respected and accepted person in the villages. He said the trust on the postman remains, despite the advent of modern technology. The Government’s approach is to reform existing frameworks and structures, and hence, transform them in accordance with the changing times. There are over 1.5 lakh post offices and over three lakh postmen or “grameen dak sevaks” who are connected to the people of the country. Now they shall be empowered with smartphones and digital devices to provide financial services. - PM Modi.

The Jan Dhan Yojana has opened 32 crores accounts across the country. But in rural areas, people have to travel more than 20km to reach the bank. Since Postal Departments have a wider reach, financial experts are of an opinion that India Post Payment Bank is indeed Financial Inclusion 2.0.

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