The facility will be available to all savings account holders of core banking solutions (CBS)- enabled post offices.
According to the minutes of the first meeting of the Standard Group of Secretaries on e-commerce, the government is working on removing roadblocks being faced in the e-commerce space.
Revenue deficit of the Department of Post (DoP) widened to Rs 8,670 crore in the April-December period of this fiscal, but various initiatives - including passport facility and other government services through post - are expected to rake in more revenue.
The Department of Post (DoP), along with 10 other entities, received in-principle approval from RBI to launch payments banks in August last year. The 'in-principle' approval is valid for a period of 18 months.
A DoP official told PTI that Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked the department to take the proposal to RBI on priority basis as it will help in popularising banking in rural areas.
The government will soon give handheld devices to all rural post offices, he added. The payments bank licence will enable the Department of Post (DoP) to offer banking services to the masses through its vast network of 1,54,000 post offices, of which 1,30,000 are in rural areas.
The Reserve Bank yesterday gave 'in-principle' nod to 11 entities, including Department of Post, Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla Nuvo, Vodafone and Airtel, to set up payments banks and proposed such licences 'on tap' in future.
Payment banking licence will allow companies to collect deposits (initially up to Rs 1 lakh per individual), internet banking, facilitate money transfers, and sell insurance and mutual funds. They can issue ATM/debit cards, but not credit cards.
The DoP has plans to set up Post Bank of India under payments bank licence. The Reserve Bank of India has already issued licensing norms for niche banks - payments banks and small banks.
As part of providing more diversified services to the public, the Department of Posts has entered into a pact with watch manufacturer HMT for retailing its watches through its post offices here.