Sunday, June 20, 2021

Uphill task

Bank staff is working hard to restore normalcy in financial sector. The extra hour service offered by banks is benefitting depositors. On the other hand, people are struggling to get fresh stock of small denomination notes.  In this context ATM comes handy to dispense cash.  For replenishing these ATMs the banks need sufficient cash and they need to depend on RBI to get the quota of notes and the bank’s currency chests could make cash available for people. At times the Bank branches may need cash for two times in a day to cater to the needs. The uphill task to physically recalibrate each and every atm in the country to enable them to dispense the new Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 denomination currency notes have started. Customers may have to contend with a longer wait to withdraw cash as banks shut many of the ATMs to complete the recalibration work. The task force for reactivation of ATMs headed by Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor and instructed banks on how to go about the ATM recalibration process. According to officials, present at the meeting, banks have been asked to recalibrate 12,500 atms every day.

The Automated Teller Machines maintenance companies have been asked to follow a specific route that has been decided by the task force so that they can cover different banks’ ATMs that are in close vicinity. ATMs have been dispensing only Rs.100 notes since the ban on the old series of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 was imposed, and were running out of cash in 2-3 hours. The recalibration will happen in two phases one, at the central switch of a particular bank and two, at the ATM which has to be done physically. ATM maintenance companies have to insert cassettes which are configured according to the thickness of the new series of notes. Bank staff is overburdened already and they may find it difficult to meet both the ends. They have to disburse cash manually as per client’s requirement at the branch level and fill up atms with cash of both 500 and 100 rupee notes denomination with new designed notes. It appears to be an uphill task as of now and the position needs to improve by next fortnight and the money musings should not be carried out to next month so that people can concentrate on other work also.

Nickhil Mani

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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