ATMs can come together | Business Line

Retire the policy | Business Line

The Hindu Business Line, January 1, 2015


ATMs can come together

This refers to the news item, ‘Post offices to issue ATM-cum-debit cards for savings account holders’ (December 31). Making services more broad-based and customer-friendly is welcome. However, the proposal to prescribe a fee for issue of ATM or debit card to the Post Office savings bank account holder may end up making the scheme a non-starter.
By encouraging use of ATM cards, there will be savings in man-hours. The costing methodology for arriving at profits/losses in ATM maintenance should factor in (a) the low interest paid on savings bank accounts from which ATM withdrawals are made, and (b) the savings in costs when transactions are managed through machines. Even if initially it results in losses on account of high expenditure for installation of machines and so on, this should be met from the normal budget of the organisation and recovery through fees should not be an option.
Another aspect the RBI and banks should look into is the need for several ATMs in the same locality or sometimes in the same shopping area. As the present infrastructure and technology do not leave much scope for ‘competition’ among service providers, pooling of resources and having ATMs based on need could be thought of. Where there are ATMs within a short distance of each other, bringing them together under one shelter will save costs on rentals and security.
MG Warrier


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