Why are most of the ATM ‘s and cash dispensing machines not open still in India?

Mumbai/Chennai/New Delhi: All major banks said their automated teller machines (ATMs) will be functional from Friday. However, a majority of the ATMs are either out of service or have run out of cash. In Mumbai and Delhi, most of the ATMs of banks such as State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd and Canara Bank are currently not operational. The shutters of some ATMs are still down, some are out of service and others have run out of cash.

In a circular issued on 8 November, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that it may take a while for the banks to recalibrate their ATMs. “Once the ATMs are functional, you can withdraw from ATMs upto a maximum of Rs2,000 per card per day up to 18 November, 2016. The limit will be raised to Rs4,000 per day per card from 19 November 2016 onwards,” RBI stated.

Bankers and ATM service providers said they are facing two major issues—the quantum of money and logistic issues.

Since the currency is in short supply, the chances of the machines running out of cash are high. “The Rs100 notes are in short supply. I don’t think all ATMs would have enough cash. My bank ATM near my house should be operational by 11:30am today,” said a senior bank official, who didn’t want to be identified.

Each ATM machine has only 3-4 cassettes that can hold cash in it to dispense. Each cassette has to be configured to dispense a particular value. So far, all ATMs were configured for Rs100, Rs500 and Rs1,000 denomination notes. After the government scrapped Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes, the banks are supposed to ensure that their ATMs dispense only Rs50, Rs100 and Rs2,000 notes for now. To reconfigure it to the new Rs2,000 and the old Rs50 denomination note, ATM providers will need more time.

“Every ATM has ‘cassettes’ which can hold a particular denomination. To be able to provide Rs2,000 denomination notes, the cassettes have to be configured, which will take time. Hence, for now you will get only Rs100 notes,” said Ramaswamy Venkatachalam, managing director, India and South Asia, Fidelity Information Services, a company that deploys and manages ATMs. Cassettes are small removable boxes that hold all the cash inside an ATM.

“Though the Rs50 notes are available in the system, they are still not configured in cassettes, so to reconfigure the Rs50 cassettes it will take time, however it will be faster than configuring the Rs2,000 cassettes as the Rs50 configurations are available with us,” he added.

What should you do?

It will take a couple of weeks for the dust to settle before cash withdrawals from ATMs become smooth. Bankers say that ATMs are running out of cash due to high demand and short supply of notes.

Try and use less cash for the next 1-2 weeks until the logistic issue for ATMs gets resolved. also, use your own-bank ATMs to withdraw cash as much as possible because banks have waived the transaction charges till end of December.

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