Most banks have for long viewed accounts for the poor as a liability. But no longer, if the transactions in the basic bank accounts opened under the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMDJY) are any indication.

The transaction volumes have been significant, as indicated by the RuPay debit cards linked to the accounts.

“The daily transactions have crossed 20 lakh as indicated by the card usage with the average transaction size being ₹2,000,” AP Hota, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of National Payments Corporation of India Ltd, told BusinessLine .

Government data show that the total number of accounts opened under PMDJY stood at 18.96 crore as on October 21, with a total balance of ₹25,899 crore.

The NPCL chief said there was no backlog of RuPay cards to be issued, though some customers are yet to use them. The benefits under the scheme will only be applicable to account-holders after they start using the cards.

“We expect the daily transaction volume to touch three million once all the cards become operational,” Hota said, adding that with the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme crediting money, transactions are happening in these accounts.

Huge task

“It was a gigantic task bringing out so many cards. There was pressure initially but we have ensured that there are no hassles,” Hota said.

Rolling out of DBT through bank accounts is expected to gain pace as 45 per cent of the Jan Dhan accounts are seeded with Aadhaar.

The operational accounts with balance constitute 62 per cent of the total. The top banks in this regard are State Bank of India, United Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bank of Baroda and UCO Bank.

“The average balance is about ₹700 in over 27 lakh accounts with us. This has come as low-cost deposits and helps banks as well,” V Vishwanathan, Chief General Manager, State Bank of Hyderabad, said.

The PMDJY, the biggest financial-inclusion drive in the world, was launched on August 15, 2014, with a target to provide universal access to banking facilities.