RBI to penalise banks if ATMs are empty

Mumbai: In order to ensure that sufficient cash is available to the public through automated teller machines (ATMs), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday said it would penalise banks and white label ATM operators if their ATMs were found to be without replenishment of cash for more than 10 hours in a month.

According to the scheme of penalty formulated by the central bank, effective October 1, 2021, banks and white label ATM operators will have to pay a flat penalty of Rs 10,000 per ATM in the event of a cash-out situation for more than 10 hours in a month. In the case of white label ATMs, the penalty would be charged to the bank which is meeting the cash requirement of the ATM.

The bank may, at its discretion, recover the penalty from the white label ATM operator, the RBI said.

Explaining the rationale, the RBI said its review of downtime of ATMs found that cash-outs led to avoidable inconvenience to the public. “It has, therefore, been decided that the banks/ White Label ATM Operators shall strengthen their systems/ mechanisms to monitor availability of cash in ATMs and ensure timely replenishment to avoid cash-outs. Any non-compliance in this regard shall be viewed seriously,” it said.

Banks have been asked to submit a system generated statement on downtime of ATMs due to non- replenishment of cash to the Issue Department of RBI. In the case of white label ATM operators, the banks meeting their cash requirement will have to submit a separate statement on cash-out. These statements will have to be submitted every month.


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