Nagpur: The PM had said in his speech in which he dropped the bomb shell of demonetizing Rs.1000 and Rs. 500 that people could begin going to ATM machines in two days to withdraw money.
But, for the banks running the ATMs it is not that easy to make the switch.
First of all, we are not aware that operating and re financing of ATMs is a very technical operation that is outsourced by many banks to companies like One-India. In other countries like Philipines there is a bank called ‘Encash’ that specializes in handling ATMs… its services are hired internationally too.
Even banks who operate their own ATMs there are many hurdles. Old Rs 500 & Rs 1000 notes are yet to be fully flushed out from ATMs. Process of reconfiguring the machines still on. So your patience will be tested.
An ATM machine has only 3-4 cassettes that can hold cash in it to dispense. And, the companies that deploy and manage cash at ATM machines have to configure these cassettes to dispense notes of a particular value. Till now, these cassettes were configured to dispense cash for Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. But post demonetisation, these cassettes have to be reconfigured to dispense currency notes of Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 2000 denomination.
The cassettes for new Rs 500 ,. and Rs 2,000 denomination notes are not presently configured in the ATM machines, which makes evacuation of the ATMs for old notes and finishing the back-end work the same day challenging.
The hardships of banks have gone up because Indians have a mentality of withdrawing more than necessary when they foresee a crisis. Thus a person requiring only Rs. 3000/ or so will withdraw Rs. 10,000 so ATMs will start drying up fast. Normalcy will take a long time to return.
Vipin Jain, CEO of Logicash Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a cash management company, said, “Loading cash has its own challenges. There are four cassettes in an ATM machine. And it will take a minimum of 7 to 10 days to get done with this reconfiguration process pan India.”
So, if you require cash fast, better to head out to a bank and get your large denomination notes exchanged or withdraw money from your account.
If you are lucky your bank would have been supplied with Rs. 100/ and smaller notes, which many banks in Nagpur have not been.
Some large Co operative banks like Shriram urban co operative had to send their customers back yesterday since cash was not available.
Poor people from bastis who are really cash strapped are finding that banks will only exchange Rs. 1000 or Rs. 2000 maximum at a time. So they have to keep going back and standing in queues.
One bai reported that if you go after 3 p.m. they are told that cash is over, so even if banks are promising to remain open till late, it is of no use.