Soon, You Won’t be Able to Bank on ATMs Late Night

WATCH THE CLOCK Govt pro­poses that ATMs shouldn’t be re­plen­ished with cash af­ter 8 pm in cities, 5 pm in ru­ral ar­eas

The Economic Times - - Companies - Aman.Sharma@ times­

New Delhi: ATMs could soon dis­ap­point if you need cash at the dead of the night.

The gov­ern­ment is propos­ing that ATM’s should not be re­plen­ished with cash af­ter 8 pm in cities and pri­vate cash trans­porta­tion agen­cies must col­lect cash from banks in the first half of the day for re­plen­ish­ing ATMs. Also, spe­cially de­signed cash vans, fit­ted with CCTV and GPS, must not carry more than .₹ 5 crore per trip. Two armed guards and driver in each van must be trained to “dis­en­gage with the situation and drive ve­hi­cle to safety” in case of an at­tack — these men at time of get­ting the job must pro­duce two guar­an­tors, one of them a gov­ern­ment ser­vant. These are part of a new guide­lines and risk mit­i­ga­tion pro­ce­dures the gov­ern­ment is propos­ing for se­cured cash move­ment by lead­ing pri­vate play­ers in the in­dus­try.

Nearly, 8,000 pri­vately-owned cash vans ferry around .₹ 15,000 crore daily be­tween banks, cur­rency chests and ATSs — they also hold nearly .₹ 5,000 crore overnight in their pri­vate cash vaults on be­half of the banks. These have been a spurt in at­tacks, hi­jack­ing and loot­ing of cash vans which are seen as soft targets. The gov­ern­ment has pro­posed that for re­plen­ish­ment in ATMs, cash trans­porta­tion agen­cies must col­lect cash from the bank in the first half of the day and no cash load­ing of the ATMs or cash move­ment should be done af­ter 8 pm in ur­ban cen­tres across In­dia. The dead­line for ru­ral ar­eas would be 5 pm, and 3 pm in Naxal- af­fected dis­tricts.

Per trip, a cash van can­not carry more than .₹ 5 crore, the new SOPs (stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures) have pro­posed. Spe­cially de­signed and se­cure cash vans must be com­pul­so­rily de­ployed for car­ry­ing cash over .₹ 5 lakh per trip, the Cen­tre says. Such vans must have two in­de­pen­dent com­part­ments, with the one for stor­ing cash to be sep­a­rated and locked from pas­sen­ger com­part­ment and the cash com­part­ment be­ing spe­cially re­in­forced with steel and only one door which can be opened in­ter- nally through a man­ual or elec­tronic lock. The cash boxed must also be se­cured to the van floor with sep­a­rate chains and pad­locks with their keys en­trusted to sep­a­rate cus­to­di­ans.

An­tecedents of pri­vate guards and driv­ers hired by pri­vate se­cu­rity agen­cies must be ver­i­fied by police and each such in­di­vid­ual be asked to pro­duce two guar­an­tors of “good stand­ing”, in­clud­ing one serv­ing or re­tired gov­ern­ment ser­vant, at the time of get­ting the job. They must be trained com­pre­hen­sively over 160 hours be­fore be­ing put on the job — specif­i­cally to spot threats and risks like be­ing tailed by ve­hi­cle­borne crim­i­nals, in­sider’s threat and how to use weapons to de­ter and re­sist crim­i­nals while dis­en­gag­ing with the situation and driv­ing ve­hi­cle to safety.

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