Banking

India Post Payments Bank Launch Eyes Financial Inclusion

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) is set to open a branch in every district on Aug. 21 to provide financial services in rural areas. IPPB, a subsidiary of India Post, launched last year with pilot services in Raipur and Ranchi. The financial institution (FI) is now reportedly set to open an additional 648 branches throughout the country this month. In fact, there will be at least one branch in every district.

IPPB CEO Suresh Shetty has also revealed that 3,250 access points will be opened, co-located at post offices, and 11,000 postmen will be stationed both in rural and urban areas to provide doorstep services. The bank will create and link 170 million postal savings bank (PSB) accounts, which will enable IPPB customers to transfer and receive money from any bank account.

The bank received an investment of INR 14.5 billion ($225.2 million). The original plan was to invest INR 8 billion ($124.3 million), but “due to some cost escalation,” the investment in IPPB was almost doubled.

The bank will be used by the government to distribute wages, subsidies, pensions and more. It can also accept deposits of “up to $1.45K (INR 1 lakh) per account from individuals and businesses.”

IPPB is the third entity to receive a payments bank permit after Bharti Airtel and Paytm, which officially launched a niche payments bank last year as part of a drive to double its customer base to 500 million over the next three years and reach the underserved.

Paytm’s bank will offer an interest of 4 percent a year on savings accounts and provide current account facilities to merchants. It will have no minimum balance requirements, and all online transactions will be free. The goal is to reach the tens of millions of customers in the nation, who regularly use mobile phones and cheap data services but do not have access to regular banking services.

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