MUMBAI: Preparing itself to start commercial bankingoperations, India post announced the launch of over 1000 ATMs in the near feature. It will also enable core banking solution CBS at its 25000 offices over the next year.
Speaking at a financial inclusion conclave a senior official of India post elaborated on the technology initiatives in reaching the post off account holders. "We have invested around Rs 5000 crore in technology since 2012. Already 676 postal offices are connected through CBS. By March 2016, 25000 offices will be on CBS," said Kalpana Tewari, member (Planning and Technology), department of post.
"We plan to roll out 3000 ATM by FY18, of which 1000 will be in the near future," she said. The department is already running a pilot in Chennai and Delhi. Once it gets stream lined and RBI allows interoperability even other bank account holders willl be able to transact through the ATMs. India Post is already on the RBI's electronics funds transfer platform.
India Post's banking technology system is being built by Infosys, while TCS is setting up the CBS platform. If the postal system in the country is on CBS, it means that a post office savings or deposit account holder will be able to operate his account from any post office in any geographic location in India, the same way one can operate a commercial bank account these days.
India Post already has a tripartite arrangement with the Andhra Pradesh government to disburse MNERGA payments online through the postal network in the states. It is also working on similar such initiatives with other states.
India Post has already indicated its intention to apply for a Payments Bank licence under the RBI's proposed differentiated licences scheme though it did not get any favourable response from the banking regulator in its initial attempt at getting a commercial banking licence. "We are awaiting to see how the final guidelines fit in the benefit of the organisation," Tewari said.