Saturday, February 8, 2014

India Post Set to Make Banking Easy

Dear Comrades,

Have you ever thought about using your ATM card to withdraw money deposited in your post office savings account from any other post office in the country? Well, India Post is on a mission to make this possible very soon.

The department is working to get all the 1,50,000 post offices in the country networked under the project titled ‘India Post-2012’. The project which costs `5,000 crore will be implemented in five different phases. All the 25,000 post offices in the state will also be integrated with the ambitious scheme.

In the first phase of the project, six head post offices, one each at Neyyattinkara, Kottarakkara, Punalur and Kalpetta and two in Kozhikode will be networked. The official inauguration of the project is scheduled to take place in March. Once it is inaugurated, all the account holders in the post offices will be able to transact money and carry out other banking operations at any of the networked post offices.
In the second phase, 112 post offices, which will include head post offices and sub-post offices, will be networked by the end of this year. “We have 51 head post offices and 1,456 sub post offices in Kerala. All these will be
networked in the beginning and the remaining regional post offices will also be networked very shortly,” said Sumati Ravichandran, Post Master General (Business Development), Kerala Postal Circle.
She added that it’s the initial stage in the process of shifting towards banking and once completed, the 150-year-old India Post will transform into banks for the people.
In what appears to be an added advantage for the account holders at post offices, ATM facilities will also be made available at all the networked post offices at the earliest. On a pilot basis, an ATM has started operations at the Head Post Office at T Nagar in Chennai.
To further augment the scheme, India Post is planning to set up more post offices very soon. Santhi S Nair, Chief Post Master General, Kerala Circle, expressed optimism about getting ATM facility in Kerala post offices too at the earliest.
“We will have the ATM facility very soon. But we don’t have the licence to interconnect the ATMs of post offices with other banks. Once we get the licence, we will be able to provide even better services to the people,” she said. She added that the request in this regard was already submitted before the RBI.
Customers are the happiest lot at the announcement of the scheme, as they would be able to substitute post offices for their banking needs.
“I have a savings account at the Chinnakkada post office. But so far, I could not transact money in my account through other post offices. Once the post offices are interconnected, it will be useful to many customers who visit post offices regularly to deposit or withdraw money,” said Arun M, a customer.
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