India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), which primarily caters to the banking services requirement of rural areas, has enrolled 2.48 crore customers and clocked financial transactions to the tune of Rs 30,800 crore in the last one year. In fact, during the lockdown period, the bank added 1.12 crore customers, primarily from Bihar (34.4 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (17.7 lakh) and Tamil Nadu (10.11 lakh).
The bank was launched on September 1, 2018, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as an instrument to provide banking services to rural areas. The postal department has around 154,000 post offices across the country, of which 139,000 are in rural areas. Since its launch, the bank has enrolled 3.5 crore customers and clocked over Rs 35,000 crore worth of financial transactions.
Sharing details of the achievements of IPPB in the last one year, communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the deposits surged by five times to Rs 1,507 crore from Rs 303 crore last year. Also, an increasing number of people are now using the bank to make bill payments. For instance, in the last one year, number of bill payment transactions processed have increased to 1.11 crore worth Rs 210 crore. Similarly, the number and value of AePS (Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System) transactions stood at 2.55 crore and Rs 5,640 crore, respectively, in the year since September 1, 2019.
The minister terms AePS a game-changer during the times of Covid-19 pandemic. “IPPB’s AePS has been a game changer for millions of poor and unbanked as they got access to financial services, and more importantly cash was delivered at their doorstep,” Prasad said.
As per details shared by an official, during the four phases of lockdown and three phases of unlock from March 23 till August 28, Rs 4,802 crore worth of AePS transactions took place. “In terms of number of AePS transactions, Uttar Pradesh recorded 57.8 lakh transactions, Bihar and Gujarat have totaled 18.7 lakh and nearly 16 lakh transactions, respectively. In value terms, the top 3 circles are Uttar Pradesh (1,059 crore), Andhra Pradesh (450 crore) and Telangana (438 crore),” said the official.
On May 19, the number of AePS transactions peaked to 5.42 lakh. In terms of value, the transactions recorded a high of nearly Rs 74 crore on June 8. Overall, the average volume and value of AePS transactions has been around 1.46 lakh per day and Rs 30.5 crore, respectively.
AePS transactions have helped provide doorstep banking services to divyangs, old age pensioners, infirm, sick and elderly. Direct benefit transfer (DBT) benefits have transferred under PMGKY (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana) and beneficiaries have been served by the local post office through AePS on IPPB platform.
Special focus is being given to providing doorstep banking services through AePS in the sealed/containment areas, migrant labour camps and hotspots so that the population affected due to restrictions imposed do not suffer adversely.
Besides the AePS, the bank has made progress by foraying into life insurance during the year. IPPB created a dedicated team focusing on third-party products to boost its fee from distribution while offering product choices to customers. It went live with life insurance products in December 2019 through a tie-up and is distributing Irdai-approved life insurance products (Group Term Life & POS Goal Suraksha) through its network of 650 branches.