The India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has been recently incorporated as a Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts with 100% GOI equity.
IPPB will offer demand deposits such as savings and current accounts upto a balance of Rs 1 Lac, digitally enabled payments and remittance services of all kinds between entities and individuals and also provide access to third party financial services such as insurance, mutual funds, pension, credit products, forex, and more, in partnership with insurance companies, mutual fund houses, pension providers, banks, international money transfer organisations, etc.
In 2006, it was announced that India Post would open a bank to erase its ₹1,000 crore deficit during the 11th Five Year Plan, emulating Poste italiane. In February 2013, it was announced that India Post had hired Ernst and Young to prepare a report on the proposed bank. Some officials of the Ministry of Finance had opposed the plan saying that India Post did not have the expertise to provide banking services such as handling credit.
In August 2013, the Planning Commission of India said that even though it supported the plan, it was not feasible owing to financial difficulties at the moment. It also felt that converting post offices into bank branches may hamper their original function In October 2013, the Cabinet of India rejected the proposal on the grounds that India Post did not have sufficient expertise in running a bank. In December 2013, India Post announced that it would install ATMs in 1000 of its office across India in the first half of 2014.
On 27 February 2014, India Post opened its first ATM in Chennai. In April 2014, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gave in-principle banking licences to IDFC and Bandhan Financial Services out of 26 applicants, but India Post was not considered for a licence because it had not received the mandatory clearance from the government. However, the RBI said that it would examine the proposal separately in consultation with the government.
In September 2014, a task force was formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which aimed to study ways in which the existing postal network could be leveraged. The task force was headed by T. S. R. Subramanian. On 4 December 2014, the task force submitted its report to Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad. The report said that more services should be provided in the field of banking, insurance and e-commerce.
In late December 2014, it was announced that India Post would issue ATM-cum-debit cards to its Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) account holders. In January 2015, it was announced that the Indian government was considering a legislature, to finalise the setting up of the bank, following which a banking license would be applied for at the Reserve Bank of India. On 28 February 2015, during the presentation of the Budget it was announced that India Post will use its large network to run a payments bank.
India Post has about 1,54,000 post offices, of them 90% are in rural areas. There is one post office for every 7176 people in India. India Post also has 2,96,000 agents in the rural area. About 2.2 crore people, already receive their National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) payments by post offices. After State Bank of India, India Post has the largest deposits valued at ₹6 lakh crore.
T. S. R. Subramanian has said that it could aid in the ongoing Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana financial inclusion plan.
The four key features of IPPB are:
FINANCIAL LITERACY: Wealth creates wealth. Even a little saving can go a long way if channelized correctly. With trustworthy advice and services designed to include everybody, income can be invested correctly, more can be saved, and people can start moving forward, faster. IPPB aims to make India prosperous by ensuring that everyone has equal access to financial information and services, no matter who they are, what they earn and where they live.
STREAMLINING PAYMENTS: Beneficiaries can access income from government’s DBT programs like MNREGA wages, Social Security Pensions and scholarships, directly from their IPPB bank account with near zero friction. They can also pay their utility bills, fees for educational institutions and many more from the same IPPB account. It ensures that wherever they are, they can make the most of financial opportunities available to them.
FINANCIAL INCLUSION: Millions of Indians don’t have access to banking facilities. They cannot avail of government benefits, loans and insurance, and even interest on savings. IPPB will reach the un-banked and the under-banked across all cross sections of society and geographies. Services offered by IPPB will help them take the first step towards prosperity.
EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY: IPPB is powered by the very postmen who deliver our letters. With over 1.54 lac post offices across the country, India Post enjoys the trust of Indians everywhere. The postal delivery system will make IPPB, India’s most accessible banking network. IPPB will also offer services through internet and mobile banking, and prepaid instruments like mobile wallets, debit cards, ATMs, PoS and MPoS terminals etc.IPPB is looking for enthusiastic and committed banking and payments technology professionals with a passion for public service to join what will be the most accessible bank in the world and spearhead its financial inclusion goals
Recruitment for IPPB started, about 3500 personnel will be recruited across the country in the next few months
Almost 5000 entries received from citizens for the logo and tagline contest as IPPB becomes India's first ever financial institution to crowd-source its brand identity
IPPB incorporated as a public limited company under the Department of Posts, Govt. of India on 17 August 2016
First branch of IPPB inaugurated on 30th January, 2017 at Raipur and Ranchi.
The total expenditure involved in this project is Rs 800 Crore. All citizens, especially 40% of the country’s population that is outside the ambit of formal banking in the country will benefit from this project. The project will be rolled out in the entire country in a phased manner.