Even as its application to start a commercial bank is pending, India Post has drawn a massive plan to install as many as 3,000 ATMs and 135,000 micro-ATMs at post-offices across the country by September 2015.
“We will be starting with three ATMs to be installed in New Delhi, Chennai and Bngalore on February 5 and then ramp it up gradually,” postal department secretary, Padmini Gopinath, told the media. She said 1,000 ATMs with the India Post branding will be put in within the first year; these will be ramped up to 3,000 in the next 18 months. India Post will join the National Financial Switch which will benefit India Post account-holders to transact at the banks’ ATMs and vice versa, she added. India Post has been working with software major Infosys on this project, she added.
The Department of Posts is fighting to convert itself into a full fledged bank, asserting that its reach can help achieve the goal of financial inclusion.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to withdraw all currency notes issued prior to 2005, including Rs500 and Rs1,000 denominations, from 31st March. From 1 July 2014, persons seeking exchange of more than 10 pieces of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes will have to furnish proof of identity and residence to the bank. As the new currency notes have added security features, they would help in curbing the menace of fake currency.
Principal Financial Well Being Index 2013 has been launched by the asset management company Principal. The Index is based on a survey of Indian households and covers issues related to household spending; saving and investment attitude and trends; financial priorities and attitude towards finances; availing services of financial advisors; perceptions and attitude towards retirement planning; and employee benefits and satisfaction levels. The survey attempts to highlight the Indian household’s perception of its own financial health and economy, in general. The Principal Financial Well Being Index will be based on an annual study charting the progress / movements on these topics year-on-year. The first study has been conducted with Principal’s research partner—Nielsen & Company—during the last quarter of 2013.
The study was conducted in 11 cities—Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Lucknow & Jaipur and a total of 1,664 Indian households were interviewed. The respondent profile includes: age 25 to 60 years, SEC (socio-economic classification A & B), annual household income of Rs5 lakh, salaried or self-employed professionals and employed full-time/ part-time with either a small, medium, or large-sized company. Quantitative research was conducted using a structured questionnaire.