About 24, 000 post offices will be interconnected in the next two years to help postal savings account holders to make deposits and withdraw money from any of the branches and to enable them to use ATM facility provided by the Department of Posts (DoP). There are about 1.55 lakh post offices throughout the country.
On the matter, an official of the Ministry of Communications and IT said that DoP will launch a three months long pilot project in 122 branches in about six months. The project will include a technology similar to the core banking technology used in banking sector. Once in place, the technology will then be extended to all DoPs in a period of 22 months. He further added that the project can be introduced only after certain technology advancement projects are put in place.
On how the inter connection of the post offices will benefit the account holders, the official said, that this will enable the post office savings account holders to deposit and withdraw cash from any branch. They will also get ATM facility, though not in the initial phase. For opening ATMs in these branches, DoP has appointed National Payments Corporation of India.
According to government data, there are about 26 crore small savings accounts in post offices in which there are deposits worth Rs. 1.9 lakh crore.Out of this amount, Rs. 750 crore are lying in post office accounts as unclaimed deposits.