India Post
India Post plans to set up 650 payments bank by September 2017. Pictured: An India Post mail truck in Mumbai [Representational Image]en.wikipedia.org

The Department of Posts (DoP) is planning to open 1,000 ATMs by March 2016. It will also bring 25,000 departmental post offices under the core banking system.

There are 25,000 department post offices and 1.3 lakh rural branch offices under the DoP across the country, Press Trust of India reported. "It has already rolled out core banking systems in 12,441 post offices along with 300 ATMs. By March this year, 1,000 ATMs will be rolled out across the country," an official said.

For financial inclusion, the department will also set up a "payment bank" by March 2017.

Regardless of the location from where the customers maintain their accounts, Core Banking Services (CBS) would enable any customer to avail banking services and operate their individual accounts on any post office available on their network.

In terms of rural post offices, the Press Trust of India report further said all the 1.3 lakh post offices would be provided "solar-powered biometric hand-held devices" by March 2017. By 31 March, 2017, supply of the devices to 20,000 odd rural branch post offices would be completed.

India is known to have the largest postal network in the world. The network has registered seven-fold growth since independence, with a focus on expansion, primarily in the rural areas. On an average, a post office serves 22 km of area and a population of 8,221 people, according to the official website of India Post.