India Post provides a variety of banking and remittance services to the public, such as government-sponsored small savings schemes, at designated post offices. The financial products offered by India Post - which has a network of over 1.5 lakh post offices across the country - range from the savings bank account, or Post Office Savings Account, to the fixed deposits account (Post Office Time Deposit Savings Scheme). Meanwhile, India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) - also under the ambit of Department of Posts - offers a separate portfolio of bank accounts, and other financial services such as money transfer, direct benefit transfer services and bill/utility payments.
Here's a lowdown of various banking services one can access at designated post offices under India Post as well as India Post Payments Bank:
Small savings schemes at designated post offices under India Post
One can access nine types of government-sponsored small savings schemes at designated post offices. India Post pays interest rates to the tune of 4-8.7 per cent per annum on investment in these savings schemes, according to its website (indiapost.gov.in).
|Small savings scheme||Interest rate|
|Post Office Savings Account||4%|
|National Savings Recurring Deposit Account||7.3%|
|National Savings Time Deposit Account||7-7.8%|
|National Savings Monthly Income Account||7.3%|
|Senior Citizens Savings Scheme||8.7%|
|Public Provident Fund||8%|
|National Savings Certificates||8%|
|Kisan Vikas Patra||7.7%|
|(Source: India Post website)|
Besides, India Post office also provides National Pension System (NPS) (all citizens model) accounts. NPS is a voluntary pension scheme managed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). (Also read: How post office NPS account works)
Investment limits and lock-in periods applicable to small savings schemes in designated post offices
|Savings scheme||Maturity period||Investment limit|
|Post Office Savings Account||-||Minimum Rs. 20 for opening account|
|National Savings Recurring Deposit Account||5 years||Minimum Rs. 10 per month, no maximum limit|
|National Savings Time Deposit Account||1/2/3/5 years||Minimum Rs. 200, no maximum limit|
|National Savings Monthly Income Account||5 years||Rs. 1,500 - Rs. 4.5 lakh in single account/Rs. 9 lakh in joint account|
|Senior Citizens Savings Scheme||5 years||Rs. 1,000 - Rs. 15 lakh|
|Public Provident Fund||15 years||Rs. 500 - Rs. 1.5 lakh per financial year|
|National Savings Certificates||5 years||Minimum Rs. 100, no maximum limit|
|Kisan Vikas Patra||2.5 years||Minimum Rs. 1,000, no maximum limit|
|Sukanya Samriddhi||-||Rs. 1,000 - Rs. 1.5 lakh per financial year|
|(Source: India Post website)|
The savings schemes of Time Deposit, Recurring Deposit, Monthly Income, Senior Citizens, PPF, NSC and Kisan Vikas Patra come with a lock-in period - also known as maturity period - of one year to 15 years, according to the India Post website.
Banking services provided by India Post Payments Bank
Savings account or current account - at post office and India Post Payments Bank
India Post Payments Bank
India Post Payments Bank offers three types of savings bank accounts: regular, digital and basic. Among other features, all three types of IPPB savings bank accounts do not require the account holder to maintain any particular balance, meaning the account can be operated with zero balance.
Here are details about the four types of bank accounts currently offered by the payments bank under India Post (India Post Payments Bank):
|Type of account||Interest rate||Minimum amount for opening account||Maximum balance allowed|
|Post Office Savings Account||4% per annum||Rs 20||-|
|IPPB Regular Savings Account||4% per annum||Nil||Rs 1 lakh (end of day balance)|
|IPPB Basic Savings Account||4% per annum||Nil||Rs 1 lakh (end of day balance)|
|IPPB Current Account||NA||Nil||Rs 1 lakh (end of day balance)|
|(Source: India Post, India Post Payments Bank websites)|
IPPB, however, requires its current account holders to maintain a monthly average balance - the average of daily balances in a month - of Rs. 1,000, according to the payments bank's website (ippbonline.com).
Post office A Post Office Savings Account can be opened against a minimum deposit of Rs 20. For a savings account without subscription to the post office's cheque book facility, a minimum balance of Rs 50 to ensure operability. For subscription to the cheque book facility, the savings account is to be opened with a minimum deposit of Rs 500, and for this purpose, minimum balance of Rs 500 is required to be maintained, according to the post office website. India Post also provides internet banking services for its savings bank accounts. Deposit in a post office savings account fetches interest at the rate of 4 per cent per annum, according to the India Post website.(Also read: Five types of bank accounts one can operate in a post office)
One can also access a variety of financial products at designated India Post branches:
Post office certificate-based investment schemes
One can set up a variety of bank accounts at the post office. Out of the nine small savings schemes, Kisan Vikas Patra and National Savings Certificate (NSC) are certificate-based investment schemes.
NPS account in a post office
National Pension System (NPS) enables the subscriber to set his or her own choice for fund allocation to different asset classes, such as government securities, equity market instruments, corporate debt and alternative investment funds.
Post office account income tax benefits
(Also read: Investment choices available under NPS explained)Investment in three of these small savings schemes - KVP, NSC and NPS - is eligible for a deduction in taxable individual income up to Rs. 1.5 lakh in a financial year under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. These post office schemes are: National Savings Time Deposit (five years), Public Provident Fund (15-year) and Senior Citizen Savings Scheme. Investment in NPS (all citizen model) is eligible for an additional tax benefit up to Rs.50,000 in a financial year, according to the post office website.