The application, based on a 16-digit code identification system, is currently being used in 450 post offices. It will now be expanded to cover 800 post offices by mid-2008.
The money transfer software framework, with a secure transaction application, is a useful tool for the common man. Shashidhar, principal consultant, Ramco Systems, said that each iMO centre/post office would require a nominal hardware investment of Rs 35,000, besides the online transfer software and internet dial-up connectivity.
Using the web-based money transfer service, available only for Indian residents, customers can transfer amounts ranging from Rs 1,000-50,000 through designated iMO post offices across the country. While there is no plan to extend the scheme to non-resident Indians, Indiapost is likely to raise the upper limit of Rs 50,000 for corporate account holders.
Transaction volumes on the iMO network in the year-and-a-half period since it was first introduced have crossed Rs 18 crore. "We have worked towards ensuring that iMO provides speed, mobility, safety and reliability for money transfer. If Indiapost is able to ensure National Information Centre (NIC) connectivity for the service, then the scale-up costs in new post offices will be minimal," Shashidhar said.
Ramco's six-member team at Chennai has developed the money transfer application in partnership with Microsoft.
An iMO booking requires a customer to fill up a TRP-1 (to remit payment) form and submit it along with money at an iMO post office counter.
The iMO counter clerk, after booking the iMO, will then hand over a printed and sealed receipt containing a computer-generated confidential 16-digit iMO number. The customer will send the iMO number to the recipient over a phone or any other means.
The recipient can present the number at any designated iMO post office after filling and submitting a TMP-1 (to make payment) form along with a copy of his identity proof.
He can receive payment in cash if the amount is below Rs 20,000, and by cheque if it's above. The application also has provision for debiting the amount in the recipient's post office bank account.