Postmen return, this time as tech-enabled bankers providing money at doorstep in Haryana’s Hisar division
The long-forgotten Indian postman is back in the picture amid the Covid-19 lockdown, but this time playing a more critical role. Equipped with a smartphone and Aadhaar biometric system, he is delivering money at people’s doorstep.
In Hisar division, which includes Sirsa, Fatehabad and Hisar districts, the postmen have so far delivered Rs 1.94 crore to people under the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), which was started by the government of India to facilitate seamless money transactions through unique identity number authentication.
“As time changed and the emailing trend took over, postmen were completely forgotten. But after the Covid-19 lockdown was announced, they again started playing an important role in the society, this time by distributing money to those in need, but unable to go outside of the house,” said Anil Kumar Rose, superintendent of post offices, Hisar division.
According to the data of Hisar zone, total 7,088 transactions have been carried out in these districts. Of this, 2,726 transactions have been made in Hisar district wherein the postmen have provided Rs 81 lakh to the residents till so far. In Sirsa, Rs 66 lakh were given to the people in 2,532 transactions, while postmen delivered Rs 47 lakh in 1,830 transactions in Fatehabad.
Rose said, “The government of India had started India Post Payment Bank (IPPB) on September 1, 2018. Just after one year, AEPS was also launched. The main benefit of AEPS is that any customer, whose Aadhaar number is linked with his bank account, can withdraw his money from any post office using this facility.”
He added that with the help of biometric devices, the postmen were facilitating money transactions and other financial services at the customer’s doorstep. The limit of withdrawal is different for each bank. “This facility is being used by over 7,000 people in the Hisar zone by staying safe in their homes and not having to visit ATMs or banks for cash withdrawals.
He also said that though there are very nominal charges to withdraw money using this system, due to the lockdown the facility has been made totally free for everyone.
There are two head post offices in the division, one in Sirsa and another in Hisar, 66 sub-post offices and 445 branches in these districts. Rose said that the postmen were also delivering money to widowed and old-age pensioners and farmers.