The snail mail’s long-awaited techno revolution is just about to begin, right here in Bangalore. The Department of Posts will launch its first automated teller machine (ATM) for the Karnataka Circle at the General Post Office (GPO) here in two months.
Seventy-five more ATMs will spring up across the State soon, nine of them in the City,
triggering a year-long modernisation drive.
The ATMs will first cater to postal savings bank account holders. Armed with ATM cards, these consumers are bound to heave a sigh of relief. For decades, they had to wait in long queues before crowded counters and return empty-handed if they overshot the postal timings.
“It will be like any other bank ATM. While savings account holders can withdraw cash, eventually even matured term deposit accounts can be encashed,” Hilda Abraham, Chief Postmaster General, Karnataka Circle, told Deccan Herald.
Nine more ATMs will be set up at the postal head offices at HAL, RT Nagar, Banashankari, Rajajinagar, Jayanagar 4th Block, Basavanagudi, Jalahalli and the postal sub head offices at Ramanagara and Channapatna. “Shortly, we plan to extend the service to most head post offices across the State,” said Abraham.
The ATMs are part of a national project to install 1,000 such machines across the country. The pilot project involves six postal circles including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Assam.
Last year, the Postal Department had selected IT major Infosys to implement core banking and insurance solutions in post offices nationwide. Installing ATMs is part of this Infosys venture, which will run parallel to the electronic content management system (ECMS) it is implementing for the Department.
The system would manage lakhs of documents. “Documents related to savings bank accounts, recurring deposits, term deposits, NSC and cash certificates, postal and rural insurance will be managed,” she said.
Under ECMS, a disaster recovery unit will be based in Mysore, as a back-up to all the data stored in Mumbai. “Once the system is in place, all financial transaction records at all the post offices will automatically be tallied with the Mumbai data centre. It will be faster and more accurate,” Abraham said.