Dry ATMs, an issue of colossal concern

Vikas Sharma. Dated: 1/10/2019 11:04:19 AM

Govt instructs RBI to fix the problem

Vikas Sharma
Jammu, Jan 9
While the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government is trying its best, encouraging the people to move ‘cashless’, awakening the people about the merits of ‘Cashless’ but it seems that automated teller machines, or ATMs, have been taking the lead ever since the demonetisation drive began.
As the result, people’s frustration is building up because ATMs are either getting emptied faster than they are refilled, or they are just not working.
As per the details available, three out of five ATMs in any area across city seem to be obsolete. Most of the ones that are functioning are dispensing Rs 2,000 notes, which introduce the users to another problem: how to get them broken into smaller denominations.
This has been seen that as the weekend approaches, banks have told security guards to turn away customers patiently and to tell them wait till Monday for cash refills.
Sensing the gravity of situation, the government has asked the Reserve Bank to address the problem of perpetually dysfunctional ATMs so as to avoid any situation of forced cash crunch. The banks have been asked to install adequate number of ATMs.
As per a data of RBI, there were 2,21,492 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the country as at September-end 2018. These include 1,43,844 ATMs of public sector banks, 59,645 ATMs of private banks and 18,003 of foreign banks, payments banks, small finance banks and White Label ATMs (WLAs), which are owned and operated by non-bank entities.
It has also been noted that RBI’s remonetisation drive has not augmented, resolved the cash supply to ATMs in rural and semi-urban areas, forcing shutdown of many ATMs.
“ATMs have become an important channel for withdrawing money even after the close of banking hours. But when there is no availability of cash due to mal-functioned ATMs, it becomes very difficult for us to get cash from any other source and we have to run from one ATM to another in order to get our desired cash,” said Surjeet Singh, a retired government official.


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