A mobile money transfer service, launched recently by the department of posts, promises to reduce the time taken to transfer money orders within the country.

Now, people can send and receive money in a matter of a few minutes, thanks to the new ‘Mobile Money Transfer Service’ scheme available at 207 post offices in the city and suburbs.

As part of the mobile-based service, post offices are already offering electronically-transmitted money orders and instant money orders.

When a customer deposits money at a post office, a transaction ID is generated and sent as a text message to both the sender and recipient.

“We then provide a unique code to the sender who has to inform the recipient. The receiver can visit the nearest post office and show the text message and the unique code, to get the money. This process takes only a few minutes,” an official said.

The transaction amount is limited to Rs. 10,000 and customers are charged between Rs. 45 and Rs. 112 for transferring Rs. 1,000 to Rs.10,000.

The postal department has tied up with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited for the service.

M. Rajan, who booked a money order through the service at the Vadapalani post office, said: “I transferred Rs. 2,000 to a relative in Chromepet. I was able to finish the process of booking, getting the unique code and telling my relative the code in 15 minutes.”

Officials at the postal department said, every month, on an average, nearly 10 lakh money orders, worth about Rs. 100 crore, are booked in the Chennai region. Of these, transactions relating to various government pension schemes account for Rs. 9 lakh.

Postmaster general, Chennai city region, Mervin Alexander said, “We want to tap customers who want to transfer small amounts, especially in rural areas, and draw customers who largely use banks for money transfers. Postal staff members have been provided with a handheld device to carry out the transactions.”

Tamil Nadu accounts for nearly 35 per cent of the money order transactions carried out across the country. For the six months ending September, for instance, about Rs. 6,000 crore worth of transactions were carried out in the country. Of these, transactions worth nearly Rs. 1,876 crore were done in the State, Mr. Alexander said.

Officials said in the older system of electronic money transfer, orders are delivered to the receivers the day after the booking is done.

Unlike in the case of web-based instant money orders, there are no receipts involved in this new service, officials said.

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