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Monday, 1 December 2014

The initiative of India Post to connect Post Offices through Core Banking Solution will shake the banking industry shortly.  Even though Post offices are doing Small saving activities as an agent of Ministry of Finance, they have the potential in terms of deposit backings, wide network across the country and strong employee support to shake the industry.

Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) which is called as Poor’s Bank has the major share of Deposits in India compared to any other banks.  Since India Post is a government Institution working without profit motive, getting the exact figures of deposits and number of account was difficult compared to full-fledged banks with corporate entity.  So till now the actual figure were unknown to everyone.

Now the scenario has been changed when Post Offices started getting migrated to Core Banking Solution.  When a Post Office gets migrated, the exact figures of number of accounts and total deposit amount will be generated.  Through this figures everyone can see the strength of Post Office Saving Bank in India.

India Post successfully migrated its first office to Core Banking in December 2013. Like any others big public sector and private sector banks, India Post is using Finacle, the leading Core Banking Solution from Infosys for their banking renovation.  Now India Post is near to reach its first milestone of 1000 CBS Post Offices in India and expecting this by December 2014. Till 27.11.2014 total of 961 Post offices have been migrated to CBS platform.

India Post is planning to include 25000 plus Post Offices in Core Banking network with in few years.  By this mission all the departmental Post Offices will come under this CBS category Post Offices.  Now itself all these offices are computerised and they are doing banking transactions using Sanchay Post software. Even if we take number as 25000, the figure is not at all a small one when compared to other big nationalised banks.


As per the Annual Report 2013-14 State Bank of India has only 16069 branches including 15869 domestic branches and 190 foreign branches. If we include the branches of Associate banks too, a count of about 5700 more branches will be added to this list.  Even after adding the associate banks to this list SBI have only 21769 branches across the world.  The second largest public sector bank is Punjab National Bank.  They are following far behind with only 6206 branches (6201 domestic branches and 5 foreign branches)

If we take the amount of deposit as criteria, India Post will again be the number one in the industry.  Only 961 Post Offices have been migrated to Core Banking till 27.11.2014, but the value of deposits in these migrated offices crossed Rs. 87204 Crores.  Total of 5.51 Crores account have been migrated to this new platform.   This is from only nearly 4% of total Post Offices to be migrated to Core Banking.  If we take the proportionate figure, deposits will surely cross 20 Lakh Cores rupees after migration of all computerised Post Offices.  State Bank of India have only deposit of rupees 13.94 Lakh Crores as per annual report 2013-14.  Number of branches and total deposit value of major nationalised banks are shown below for comparative analysis.

SL NO
Name of Banks
No. of CBS branches
(as on 31.03.2014)
Total Deposit
( in Crores)
1
India Post (POSB)
*25000
*22,68,574
2
State Bank of India
16069
13,94,409
3
Punjab National Bank
6206
4,51,397
4
Bank of Baroda
5062
5,68,894
5
Canara Bank
4755
4,20,723
6
Bank of India
4671
4,78,695
7
Central Bank of India
4336
2,40,069
8
Syndicate Bank
3251
2,12,343
                       
                     * Expected numbers after migration

Commercial banks are attracting customers by giving value added services like ATM, Debit/Credit cards, Internet Banking, mobile banking, etc. Now most of the people are depending banks for such needs. In order to compete with commercial banks or for attracting new customers or giving more value to their account holders, India Post started various value added services like Internet Banking, ATM, etc. Now the ATM facility is introduced in limited areas but the Department of Post is planning to install 2800 ATMs by the end of 2015.

By the end of 2015 CBS network of India Post may be connected to other banking networks and thereby a Post Office customer can make use of all the facilities (except loans) now a commercial bank customer can enjoy.  If the value added services of India Post is a success, surely it will lose the customers of commercial banks. And in such circumstances people in the rural areas will not approach Banks, normally located in urban or semi-urban areas for transacting in SB accounts.  Now Savings Bank account in Post Office are not attractive only because of lack of availability of value added services like ATM, Debit cards, net banking,etc.  Now Department of Post is taking all efforts to fill this gap occurred in the past. 

Finally expecting that today’s technological renovation of India Post will surely shake Indian Banking industry in near future in various ways.  Let us wait and see.

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