No “Conditions Apply” in India Post Payments Bank Says IPPB CEO
Our USP is door-to-door banking with help of postman: IndiaPost Payments Bank CEO
Payments Bank, which is set to launch operations soon, will follow a
bottoms-up approach, targeting people who either have feature phones
or no mobiles at all.
his first interview after taking over as the CEO of IndiaPost
Payments Bank, Ashok Pal Singh tells ET's Surabhi Agarwal that the
idea of the bank will be to simplify and universalise payments.
rolled out a few pilots; what is the timeline for the launch?
started in Ranchi and Raipur, and our concept is to have a district
office in each district. The idea is that the branch office in a
district will map all the post offices, urban and rural, in that
idea is to test this model out through the pilot. We are hoping that
by September we will start operations in at least 650 districts of
is going to be your target audience?
core of our audience is the 500 million who use feature phones and we
are currently testing how familiar they are even with the basic
banking products -are they comfortable with it or do these need to be
do you plan to differentiate your offerings?
that many others are doing but we want to pilot here is paperless
account opening. Something that others are not doing but might emerge
as our USP is door-to-door banking with the help of the postman.
simplified payment solutions for the masses is what we will be
targeting, both for these feature phone users and around 350 million
who are below that -who are without any phone at all. The payments
bank will depend on third party fee-based services because the way in
which the regulator has put it, you can't make money on anything
do you look at the intense competition in the space from players such
as Paytm and Airtel Payment Bank?
are looking at a bottoms-up approach because our so-called
competitors will start skimming the market. Let them do it. We will
attempt to broaden and deepen the market from below.
may not be as great a commercial proposition as skimming the market,
but we believe that once we broaden and deepen it, there is a larger
objective which is also being served and ultimately everyone will
benefit including the so-called competitors.
are not positioning ourselves as competitors because we are funded
out of public money, and typically government should not be competing
with its corporates, because they are ours. it's still a win-win for
of your competitors are offering interest rates as high as 7.5%. How
do you plan to match it?
have nothing to say on how they are doing it. But in any case, they
have private money at their disposal. All my funding is from the
government which is public money. Which is Rs 400 crore equity, Rs
400 crore grants. I have no means to do that and these are going to
be short-term in any case.
who says that you get that fancy rate of interest immediately puts an
asterisk saying conditions apply. We also want to put an asterisk
which says no conditions apply. Because if we have to live off the
brand of the post office, it has to be about integrity and trust.