RBI nods introduction of more services on ATMs


ATM ServicesThe Reserve Bank of India has allowed banks to extend all their banking products and services through their automated teller machines, according to central bank sources.

The RBI took the decision after its review of a proposal by some leading private banks to make available pre-approved loans and credit cards on their home screen.

For banks, the difference between a branch and ATM outlet has considerably come down. Inaugurating State Bank of India’s new generation InTouch branch, chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said “You are going to see an evolution of branches since more and more functions can be done on the digital platform. Where customers are getting younger and digitally savvy we will have branches that are largely InTouch (self service) branches,” she said. In other places the bank would use the staff for handholding and advice.

Until now banks could only extent services that were ‘approved’ by the RBI. These included deposits and withdrawals, PIN change, cheque book requisition, statement of account, balance enquiry, fund transfer, bill payments and railway tickets.

According to ATM makers, the innovations that are in the pipeline involve videoconferencing with bankers, passbook and statement printers integrated with the machine and allowing smart phones to interact with the ATMs.

While banks have been using ATMs for leads for financial products such as loans, insurance and credit cards in the past there was no transaction being concluded at the machine.

But now, with straight through processing, banks are in a position to extent a loan proposal and dispense the cash at the same machine. Such automated sales can be extended for other products as well.

Of the 1.9 lakh ATMs that banks have installed, of these nearly half are alongside the branch and the other half are remote or offside ATMs. Many banks have upgraded few of their ATM kiosks into e-banking centres by including cash deposit machines and a kiosk that enables internet banking. SBI’s InTouch kiosk for instance include besides ATM and cash deposit machine an passbook printer.

SBI has the largest ATM network of 47857 machines followed by ICICI Bank (13088), Axis Bank (12440) and HDFC Bank (11795).

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