India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has rolled out Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) services on September 9. With AePS services, individuals can withdraw cash and check account balance of their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. To enable this, they have to “authenticate” a transaction with their fingerprint and Aadhaar authentication. Ministry of Communications, in a statement, said that this makes IPPB the largest platform in the country for providing interoperable banking services.
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who announced the rollout, said that IPPB should target to have 5 crore customers on its platform by next year. He also said that the government’s direct benefit transfer (DBT) schemes should be available on the IPPB platform as well. “With IPPB’s AePS Services, we now have the ability to provide interoperable doorstep banking services to customers of any bank including the 34 crore Jan Dhan account holders,” he said.
IPPB started as a payments bank, now its a small finance bank
IPPB had formally commenced operations in September 2018 as a payments bank. Less than a year after launch, IPPB converted into a small finance bank to enable small loans to individuals and SMEs. It had become a scheduled bank, which allowed it to borrow money from the RBI.
Also in July, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Rajya Sabha that the sanctioned manpower of IPPB is 3,458. At the time of launch, IPPB had 650 branches and 3,250 access points across the country after a year-long pilot. A week before its launch, the Union Cabinet had increased its budget by 80% or Rs 635 crore to Rs 1,435 crore. Of this, Rs 400 crore was allocated for technology-related costs and Rs 235 crore was kept aside for human resources.