IPPB chief executive Suresh Sethi.
IPPB chief executive Suresh Sethi.

IPPB signing up merchants for QR-based payments ecosystem

Unorganized retail including small merchants and kirana stores will be IPPB's focus, says CEO Suresh Sethi

New Delhi: India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) is signing up merchants countrywide to enable quick-response (QR) code transactions for its customers, ahead of the bank’s formal launch this weekend.

Unorganized retail including small merchants and kirana stores will be IPPB’s focus, said Suresh Sethi, managing director and chief executive officer of IPPB said in an interview. “We will be putting simple QR code at these outlets where any IPPB customer can go to and pay by scanning that code and likewise, the merchant can do a one-time password (OTP) based transaction and take money from the customer," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the payments bank on Saturday.

The bank will offer QR cards to customers as an additional service, along with mobile banking, phone banking and SMS banking. The QR card will have the customer’s account number embedded and the customer does not have to remember their account number to access their accounts, added Sethi.

Customers can also carry out all their banking transactions using the QR card which will be authenticated through biometric verification by the bank’s agents.

“We are issuing customers a QR card so that their account access is very simplified. Our focus is going to be on ease of banking," said Sethi.

IPPB has been incorporated as a public sector company under the Department of Posts with 100% government equity and is governed by the Reserve Bank of India.

On Wednesday, the government decided to raise the outlay for bank by about 80% to 1,435 crore from 800 crore. The increase is meant to cover costs relating to technology and manpower, said a government statement.

IPPB, which seeks to increase access to banking services in rural areas, will have 650 branches across the country, or one in every district.

A payments bank is a differentiated bank providing a limited range of products, such as acceptance of demand deposits and remittance of funds. It can accept deposits up to 1 lakh per customer. However, these banks cannot issue loans and credit cards. Other payments banks that have started operations are Airtel Payments Bank Ltd, Paytm Payments Bank Ltd and Fino Payments Bank Ltd.

IPPB will also open 3,250 customer access points in 650 districts along with doorstep banking facility, communications minister Manoj Sinha said earlier this month.

With an aim to bridge the last-mile gap in banking services, IPPB will deploy around 300,000 postmen and gramin dak sewaks carrying mobile phones and biometric devices to offer doorstep banking to customers, predominantly in rural areas. By December, all 155,000 post offices in the country are likely to be linked to the IPPB system. This will also step up the number of rural bank branches in India significantly.

IPPB will offer a range of products such as savings and current accounts, money transfer, direct benefit transfer, bill and utility payments and enterprise and merchant payments. Customers will be able to access these products and related services across various channels—counter services, micro-ATM, mobile banking app, text messages and phone calls.

Close