India Post Bank is likely to tap World War-era tech to garner business
Unlike full-fledged banks, payments banks can accept deposits up to Rs 1lakh and have to mandatorily park 75% of funds in government bonds.They are not allowed to offer loans either.
With its network of over 1.5 post offices, IPPB is seen to be a major competitor for banks, especially in rural areas and small towns. The bank, floated by India Post, is running behind schedule as it is yet to tie up with a technology vendor for its banking services. But it is still targeting 2 crore customers in the first year with business of around Rs 450 crore.By the fifth year, the bank hopes to have eight crore customers with a business of Rs 2,500 crore.
A key focus area for IPPB is one billion bills that are paid every month, with the average ticket size being Rs 300. This is where Giro -an electronic fund transfer tool used in Europe and Japan -will come in handy . Apart from helping customers settle bills, a worker in a city can add his wife or mother as a beneficiary and transfer funds into their accounts by issuing instructions to a call centre. The wife or the mother will then use Aadhaar based authentication to withdraw funds either at a post office or ask a postman to deliver cash at home, for which a small fee may be levied.
IPPB is also in talks with the rural development ministry for accessing details of NREGA beneficiaries and pensioners getting funds under the National Social Assistance Programme.Again, idea is to make the payments Aadhaar-based to minimise leakages.