New Delhi: Payments bank of Department of Posts is likely to become operational by March 2017, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
"Very soon by March next year we are going to bring in payments bank of the Postal department. And how things are changing, we have just got in-principle approval and we are going to the Cabinet soon," Prasad said.
The minister added that 60 international consortiums are keen to partner India Post for third partner delivery for insurance and banking, among others.
Speaking at the Digital India Summit organised by Times Network here, Prasad said India Post has the largest network of core banking solution branches in India.
"When I became minister (2014), just 230 India Post branches had core banking solutions and as of yesterday 20,494 post offices have come under core banking solutions out of 25,000 and we can complete it by April," he said.
"Today I am very proud to announce that core banking linkage of post offices is bigger than State Bank of India. SBI has 16,333 core banking solution branches," he added. On ATMs, he said the number has risen from four to 850 and by mid-April it will go to 1,000.
India Posts received in-principle approval from Reserve Bank of India on September 7, for setting up of payments bank within 18 months.
The department has also received clearance for funds from the Public Investment Board (PIB) for the payment banks. India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) is likely to facilitate payments of the central and state governments as well as municipal dues and fees of various universities and educational bodies.
The list of other probable service includes "person to person remittances both domestic and cross border." The bank may also distribute third party financial products such as insurance, mutual funds and pension products, give access to formal credit products by acting as banking correspondents of banks and facilitate utility bill payments for electricity, water, telephone, gas etc.