Post offices have taken a step further to become similar to banks and the government has let select eligible branches to issue ATM cards to their account holders. Also, such post offices will be providing passbooks and account statements like how the private sector banks do.
On Tuesday, the Indian government issued a gazette notification altering the Post Office Savings Bank General Rules, 1981. The new rules will be enforced immediately and these facilities will be available to those branches that are working on core banking solution software, specifically the branches that a part of the electronic network.
Currently, post offices across the country are providing banking services such as savings account, fixed deposits, recurring deposits and several other small saving schemes that are run by the government such as the popular Public Provident Funds.
The funds that are raised by the post offices through these services largely go to finance central and state governments. India Post has over 1.55 lakh branches and almost 90 percent of them are located in the rural regions. Many industry experts foresee this as a good opportunity for the financial inclusion. It is said that the post office savings bank could issue an automated teller machine or a debit card to the account holders on request. These facilities can be used to withdraw funds from any branches with core banking aspects.
The customers can deposit to these accounts through electronic mode and RBI has decided against the issue of a banking license to the India Post. However, it sanctioned the same license to IDFC and Bandhan Financial Services and claimed that it will decide on the same after consulting the government. Definitely, these rules that are notified by the government ofIndiawill push the post offices pretty closer to banks.