Y P S Mohan, Chief General Manager (Business Development and Marketing Directorate), Department of Posts, told The Indian Express that the service caters to amounts above Rs 1,000 but less than Rs 50,000. The person who wishes to place a money order needs to fill a form at the post office for a 16-digit passcode in a sealed envelope.
“The recipient of the money order, if sent the passcode through email, phone or any other means by the sender, can collect the money at the delivery post office within the next 10 minutes,” Mohan said.
Other than the instant service, there is also the electronic money order which saves both transmission time and departmental costs.
After a person places a money order by making the payment and filling a form, the post office makes a computerised entry which is immediately transferred to the delivery post office via the Internet, sending an instant message to the postmaster. The postmaster prints the message which is then handed to the postman for delivery the old-fashioned way.
“The idea is to become relevant in the 21st century, to adopt technology than treat it like a handicap,” Mohan said. But not all postmasters are on the same page as the men trying to speed up delivery of money orders.
“There is a central server where we can check how many money orders have not been printed. Initially, the number was as high as 40 per cent. It has now come down to 5 per cent. Mostly, there are Internet connectivity issues and technical problems. Repairing computer systems takes time in far-flung towns which leads to delays. We have also opened computer training centres in most districts to train staff,” Mohan said.
India Post has 25,000 departmental post offices across the country — 20,000 of these are delivery post offices. With BSNL connectivity reaching remote areas, 17,000 of the post offices already have Internet connectivity. All post offices are expected to be connected by 2013.
But there are also over 1 lakh village post offices without Internet connectivity. These are attached to and are dependent on the nearest departmental post offices for delivery of letters.