While announcing the program as Anytime-Anywhere Post Office Savings, Sitharaman said, “In 2022, 100% of 1.5 lakh post offices will come to the core banking system enabling financial inclusion and access to accounts via online banking, mobile banking, ATMs and also provide online funds transfer between postal accounts and bank accounts.
Meghmallar Das (38), a resident of Behala, a telecommunications engineer, was happy. “My whole family has savings accounts as well as fixed deposits and NSCs with the post office just because they offer a higher interest rate than any bank. But in the absence of core netbanking , I always had to rush to the post office and depend on my agent even for simple transactions. I am happy to now be able to manage the account like I manage my bank accounts with netbanking and UPI payment,” he said. he declares.
Until now, postal accounts were not connected to the banking ecosystem. The change proposed in the budget would facilitate the management of funds, which includes the transfer of funds from post office savings accounts to bank accounts and vice versa.
“This will be a big leap forward in the area of financial inclusion. In recent years, there have been many digital improvements in the postal system. All post offices are now connected to each other and one can operate an account from anywhere in the country. Now the system will be much stronger,” said Anil Kumar, Postmaster General in Bengal.
Bengal has some 11,000 post offices in 23 districts, 200 of which are in Kolkata.
Nemai Banerjee (77), a former state government employee who also has several investments and accounts including a retirement account with a post office in Jadavpur, had a mixed reaction. “Because of the pandemic, it is inconvenient to go to post offices and queue for simple transactions. The postal system has made progress in the recent past with ATMs and anywhere in bank branches, but facilities like online banking will definitely make things much easier. However, managing these online accounts can be a bit confusing for older people like us,” he said.
A senior post office official in Tollygunge also said: “While such changes take time to implement, pensioners may find it difficult to adapt to digitalisation.”