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As part of its plans for setting up a payments bank, the Department of Posts said it will be setting up 1,000 ATMs and install a core banking solution at 25,000 post offices by March 2016, reports the Press Trust of India. The Department of Posts was one of the 41 applicants that received an in-principle nod from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a payments bank in August.

Apart from accepting deposits, a payments bank can offer remittance services through branches, ATMs, Business Correspondents and mobile banking. They can also become business correspondents of other banks. A core banking solution will enable customers to operate their accounts, and avail banking services from any post office on the network, regardless of where they maintain their account.

The report added that the Department of Posts has brought 12,441 post offices under the core banking software and has already installed 300 ATMs.

Universal bank licence

The department of posts had earlier applied for a universal bank licence but was turned down by the RBI. The Indian government had set up a task force last year to explore ways of using the post office network. It had suggested a Strategic Business Unit for banking.

e-commerce portal

The Department of Posts in February had said it would rolling out its e-commerce portal.  The step is part of its massive modernization initiative worth Rs 5,000 crore. It said that it will not be a marketplace model but it shall maintain a moderated and curated list of items. In addition to the physical products, services of different public sector are also being planned to be included into the tradable items of the portal.

Financials

According to an Indiatimes report, Postal department’s revenues by ways of cash-on-delivery consignments from e-commerce players has gone up to Rs 1,000 crore in the first nine months of this fiscal year, up from Rs 500 crore during the entire whole of FY15, and just Rs 100 crore in FY14.