India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has set up “a network of access points” in 1.3 lakh post offices, out of which 1.13 lakh are in rural India, Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Parliament on November 20. He said this has increased the rural banking infrastructure “by almost 2.5 times”. 1.8 lakh postmen and Gramin Dak Sevaks have smartphones and biometric devices to provide doorstep banking service. Prasad was replying to the questions raised by MPs Janardan Mishra and Rodmal Nagar.
IPPB delivers financial services to rural areas by leveraging its network of post office branches that were linked with the IPPB system, but now will be converted into a small finance bank. In another reply to MP Pinaki Misra on November 20, Prasad had said that the government has set up a task force to study the logistics and feasibility of the conversion of IPPB into small finance banks. The government had decided to convert IPPB into small finance bank in July 2019, and had said that IPPB will partner with common service centers to provide services like banking, remittance, insurance, Direct Benefit Transfer, bill and tax payments at the post offices.