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India Post to procure 270000 biometric scanners to bring bank services to household doorsteps

The government-owned India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) is planning to procure approximately 160,000 smartphones and 270,000 biometric scanners to bring banking services to household doorsteps along with the mail, The Hindu Business Line reports. The bank’s motto translates roughly as “Your bank, your doorstep.”

The Indian government had set a March 31 deadline to link Aadhaar numbers, and by extension biometrics, to bank accounts, but the Supreme Court indefinitely extended the deadline while it decides on the legality of the Aadhaar system as a whole as well as numerous parts.

A rollout of 650 branches across the country began in April, and the IPPB says that after launching with 3,250 access points, the program will be expanded to leverage the nearly 155,000 post offices and 300,000 postal employees to serve every area and village in the country.

“There would be complete integration of IPPB branches with the 1.55 lakh (155,000) post offices so that each post office functions as both a Postal Department outlet and an access point for the payments bank, subject to technical and commercial feasibility,” Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha said earlier this year as pilot branches were opened in Raipur and Ranchi.

Indian IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in June that Aadhaar already backs 880 million bank accounts. Meanwhile the deadline to shut down the “Pay to Aadhaar” system is set for August 31, as the national identification credential’s usage evolves.

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