What to Expect
RBI governor hints at ATM without bank account
RBI has given in-principle approval to setting up of a new payment system that will facilitate fund transfers from bank account-holders to those without accounts through ATMs. Under this system, the sender can have the money withdrawn from his account through an ATM transaction. The intermediary processes the payment, and sends a code to the recipient on his mobile which allows him to withdraw the money from any nearby bank ATM. This is called the ‘cardless cash’ withdrawal facility. Customers can transfer money from their own account to anyone in India with a mobile number. This facility can be initiated by logging into the internet banking of that bank.
ATM transactions for the blind
RBI has directed all the new ATMs to be installed by commercial banks to provide audible instructions and Braille keypads. They will be ‘talking’ ATMs to aid visually impaired/challenged customers (blind and people suffering from low vision). The RBI has directed the banks to have a clear roadmap for converting all existing ATMs into talking ATMs with Braille keypads. Banks could attach ATMs with headphones and use Braille stickers on keypads to extend this facility immediately.
ATMs for the physically challenged/differently abled
RBI has issued a directive to make ATMs more accessible to physically challenged/wheelchair-bound customers by providing ramps at the entrances. Banks have been asked to provide this facility wherever feasible for the existing and invariably for future ATMs so that the height of the ATMs does not create an impediment in their use.
Bulk cash deposits through ATMs
One of the banks has planned to open ATMs capable of accepting bulk notes and recycling cash, in place of the existing system of accepting deposits (wherein the cash deposits are subject to physical verification of the cash by bank employees). The ATMs are capable of authenticating currency notes, crediting them instantly to the account, recycling currency notes, and using the deposited cash for withdrawals.
Availability of insurance cover for ATM cardholder
Some of the banks have a tailor-made insurance policy that provides insurance cover (free for a limited period) for personal accident for an ATM cardholder who has an account in that bank.
Insurance cover for fraudulent ATM transactions
Some of the general insurance companies offer insurance cover on fraudulent ATM transactions as a result of the ATM card being lost/stolen from one’s possession, subject to the category of the ATM card.
In a 2013 report on ‘ Indian Banking’, professional services company KPMG emphasized that technology-enabled solutions can go a long way in developing low-cost and efficient delivery channels for rural India. There are several technologies which have already come up in the market – low-cost ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, mobile-based technologies, etc. Mobile- based technologies are likely to lead the way as mobile consolidates its position as an ubiquitous connectivity device. The key to success lies in early adoption by the customers and banks need to work extensively towards customer education and awareness.
Rural India constitutes 69 per cent of the total population and drives about half the GDP of the country. The proportion of the rural households earning an income of INR 90,000 and above has increased to 37 per cent in 2011 as compared to ~18 per cent in 2001. In the backdrop of this growth in rural India, however, there is still a huge demand–supply gap for banking services. Rural India accounted for only 9 per cent of the total deposits and ~10 per cent of the total credit of the banking sector in 2011, with a large number of rural households having no access to formal sources of credit.