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Friday, April 16, 2010


INDIA Post is creating a virtual post office that will sell stamps and enable money transfer online, the latest attempt by the centuries-old government organization to stay relevant in the internet age.

The virtual post office that is expected to be operational by the year-end will provide universal access to various postal services at the click of the mouse. Payment for the services can be made either through credit cards or internet banking through recognized banks. The project is a huge step by the world’s largest network of post offices towards making postal service delivery customer friendly. It is targeted at the internet-savvy educated urban audience consumer. India Post runs 155,333 post offices across the country.

“We want to take essential postal services to the doorstep of every citizen of the country.” Said an official with the ministry of communications and IT that runs India Post, “The idea is to create a portal where citizens can login to purchase postal stamps and also send in money orders,” he said, requesting anonymity.

The modalities for the project are being worked out. The department will scout for financial institutions which will join as partners to make the payment process simple and user-friendly.

“The proposal sounds very practical and most feasible. India has made a quantum league in technology. Lot of rigorous manual processes can be substituted by electronic processes. Activities like endorsement of stamps and transferring money can be done over the internet, “said Yes Bank MD & CEO Rana Kapoor.

India Post, which traces its origins to post offices in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata setup by the British East India Company, will turns 246 years old this year.

A large number of Indians still send money orders despite several options of money transfer, mainly because of the department’s reach and access to interior villages.

One of the issues that the department will have to tackle is to make the stamps electronically secured. The department is studying various aspects of this project on the usage of the stamps and putting them to use.
India Post is expanding its array of services to attract customer’s attention. In the past, various new-age services have been extended by the department including railway ticketing, foreign remittance and even collecting mobile telephone bills. It is also planning to introduce pre-paid cards that will support cashless transactions at retail outlets across the country.

- Economics Times, dated – 16.04.2010

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