The vast legacy network of India Post, once perceived to be unwanted baggage and a huge financial burden, is turning out to be its biggest strength. Top global financial firms Barclays, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Western Union, Visa and domestic giants State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank are among over five dozen companies that have queued up to partner with the payments bank arm of the country’s postal department.
Even the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has shown interest in picking up a stake in the business. There are nearly 1.5 lakh post offices across the country, 1.3 lakh in rural India. A modernisation drive across these branches and rollout of core banking solutions and ATMs has attracted the attention of the big boys of the financial world looking at opportunities in banking, MFs, insurance and money transfer.