Debit Card users rise, but ATMs declining slowly: Report
As per reports, in the first 10 months of the current financial year, the banks have issued as many as seven crore debit cards, taking the total to 93 crore by January end.
With more people connecting to the financial system and getting their account opened under various schemes including Jan Dhan Yojana, the number of Debit card holders are on a rise. As per reports, in the first 10 months of the current financial year, the banks have issued as many as seven crore debit cards, taking the total to 93 crore by January end. However, a Hindu Business Line report says that during the same period, the number of ATMs in the country has declined by 399 to 2,21,848.
If the same trend continues, it will be hard for debit card holders to find an ATM with cash as more withdrawals will force ATMs to go dry more often.
The decrease in the number of ATMs can be due to the recent Reserve Bank of India decision asking the banks and White-label ATM Operators (WLAOs) to put in place strict safety measures including lockable cassettes which will be swapped at the time of cash replenishment.
The report said it may cost banks Rs 3,200-Rs 4,800 crores to introduce the lockable cassettes. Banks are reluctant to bear the cost as they are already suffering from bad loans and an additional expenditure will add to their woes.
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Not only the number of ATMs are on a decline, but the machines are also running out the cash. Last year, a large number of ATMs had been spotted with 'No Cash' signboard in February, April and May. This had led to chaos. While the situation is better in urban areas, it's somewhat similar in the non-urban areas, especially in tier-II and tier-III cities where people still have to visit more than one ATM in search of cash.