There will be doorstep banking services offered by India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). The bank has confirmed its plans to provide smartphones to its postmen in order to enable door-to-door banking solutions for customers. This will help in tapping 3, 250 customer access points which are located throughout 650 districts in India. There will be special emphasis given to under-banked rural zones in the country. IPPB is already preparing to launch its operations across India in March, 2018. The payments bank will be depending on 155, 000 post offices which are technically equipped for its services and this includes 129, 000 in rural zones.
IPPB will be able to link the savings bank accounts of the current customers of the post offices, enabling them to easily access both accounts along with making transactions through a common interface as well. IPPB has close to 170 million savings bank accounts at present as per estimates and there will be 200, 000 postmen and gramin dak sevaks who will be possessing smartphones by December, 2018 and they will be offering doorstep banking services to rural customers. This number will steadily go up to 350, 000. IPPB will commence operations in March, 2018 with a total of 3, 250 access points and there will be 5 in all the 650 districts. IPPB started operations on a pilot basis back in January last year with the setting up of two branches in Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Ranchi (Jharkhand).
The bank is also planning to hire 3, 000 professionals, half of which will be deputed from state-operated banks and India Post. Postmen are also being trained to offer banking services like smartphone transactions and opening of bank accounts. Postmen will teach rural customers to perform banking activities. Customers will be empowered with regard to accessing basic services like RTGS, IMPS, NEFT and net banking with the IPPB app. They will also be able to pay bills, invest in mutual funds and purchase insurance-linked products through this app.
Gramin dal sevaks and postmen will get financial incentives for self-service and assisted transactions. IPPB will be offering 4.5% as interest rates on deposits up to Rs. 25, 000 and 5% on deposits between Rs. 25-50, 000. The interest rates will be 5.5% on deposits between Rs. 50, 000 and Rs. 1 lakh. According to reports, India Post presently takes payments exceeding Rs. 46, 000 crore or $7.2 billion annually in cash.