It is the India Post's attempt to distract the people from "informal channels" of transaction such as hawala. Come March and its International Financial Service will be in place to target the $20 billion incoming remittances to India.
Millions of Indians working abroad will have a reason to cheer. They will be able to send home their hard-earned money through a faster and cheaper channel. To begin with, the service, to be run through Universal Postal Union, will start in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.
Although India Post's prime target is the small income group, mostly in the Middle East, it would go full stream to tap bigger transactions, India Post Secretary IMG Khan told the Hindustan Times.
"The service will be a big relief to the small income group as they will be able to remit money at economic rates. And certainly, we see it as an opportunity to wean the people away from illegal channels of transaction," he added.
Nice, affordable and quick, is how Khan described the IFS. The phenomenal reach of India Post and safety are the key factors the department is going to hard sell to woo the customers.
For those working away from their homes within the country, the surprise gift will be the paper-less Money Orders. The money will reach even to the farthest destination in two days through the e-MOs, Khan said.
Initially, the instant MO service will be available at 60 district headquarters by January end to be subsequently converted into a national network.
Even the ordinary MO service is slated to undergo major change once India Post's National Data Centre is in place in three months time.
Chances of misappropriation or loss of your MO will become negligible once specially designed software is introduced.
" Everything transaction will be in the data base which will make it quicker and easier to track down a missing MO transaction," Khan explained.
To secure its share in the multi-crore-courier service industry, India Post has set in motion its Mail Business Centres.
First of these centres was opened in Delhi last week. Presently, the multi-national companies and some local players dominate the courier industry in India.
The MBCs will provide one stop solution to the mailing needs of the corporate sector and Government organisations, Khan said. " We are going to treat mail service as our business arm," he added.