There is a good news for around 200 million post office saving bank (POSB) account holders.
The Department of Posts (DOP) has launched a project to provide account holders with ATM facility. Under the project, all post offices throughout the country will be connected through an IT network.
Besides, account holders will also be able to avail Internet banking facilities.
“We will connect the network of 1.55 lakh post offices that includes 1.2 lakh in rural areas,” said Kavery Banerjee, member, technology, postal services board. “Our central data centre is ready and vendors are developing customised banking service solutions.”
POSB operates small savings schemes on behalf of the ministry of finance and has over 260 million account holders, out of which about 200 million are saving and recurring deposit account holders. Total outstanding balance under all accounts in the POSB stood at around Rs. 3,96,664 crore as on March 2012.
At present, an account holder has to go to a post office during office hours to withdraw money. Moreover, there is no facility of electronic transfer of money to a third-party account.
“Once customers are provided with the ATM facility, they will be able to withdraw money from any ATM, including that provided by banks,” said Banerjee.
Customers will, however, have to wait for more than a year to avail the ATM facility. POSB will start implementing core banking solution in limited number of post offices by the end of this year. Next year, it will be implemented in large number of post offices once the system is perfect.
For rural post offices, the department will provide handheld devices that will enable one to perform all banking operations.