Digitalisation, A Threat To ATMs? 358 Machines Scrapped Since June

| October 28 , 2017 , 18:16 IST

Lately, the government of India has been urging the economy to go cashless and resort to digital payments for faster and safer transactions. The fact that Indians are not yet accustomed to digital mode is supposedly missed by the several banks are they are already suttering the ATMs.

As per the latest statistics, the number of Automated Teller Machines in India has declined by 358 between June and August 2017 which led to the drop of 0.16 percent in their overall capacity. Notably, over the past four years, the banking sector has witnessed the rise in ATM installation by 16.4 percent.

Incidentally, the number did drop to 3.6 percent last year but the decline in ATM was never the case until now. Following Demonetisation, banks started witnessing a significant dip in the usage of ATMs whereas the operational costs has went up due to which they decided to reduce the number of machines.

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Reportedly, State Bank of India reduced its ATM count to 59,200 from 59,291 in August whereas Punjab National Bank went from 10,502 to 10,083 and HDFC Bank from 12,230 to 12,225. The decision came into force after the banks assessed the rental cost for a 7x5-sqft kiosk at airports and prime locations which goes upto Rs 40,000 a month.

In metropolitans like Chennai and Bengaluru, the rentals go from Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 while the security personnel appointed to safeguard these machines also charge a signified amount. The electricity bill for keeping the temperature 15-18 degrees centigrade through the day takes up a lot of money as well.

Earlier this year, ATM machines have faced trouble due to a WannaCry Ransomware which forced the banks to shut down these machines for updating their software. RBI had strictly instructed the banks to refrain from operating the ATMs before getting their software updated.