More and more Indians are using ATMs (automated teller machines) for cash withdrawals than those who prefer doing the same from bank branches.
ATM withdrawals jumped by 37% in the last one year with the total cash withdrawn surging from R41,360 crore in April 2012 to R56,525 crore in May 2013, according to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
“Banks are aggressively expanding their ATM network across India and now it is convenient for bank customers to visit ATMs than going a bank branch,” said Navroze Dastur, managing director of NCR India — the largest ATM manufacturer in the country.
From 69,000 ATMs in January 2012, the number has risen to 121,000 with the sector now attracting new players.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has now allowed private companies to set up ‘White Label’ ATMs ( the machines are owned by companies and not by banks themselves).
Tata’s Communications Payment Solutions, Muthoot Finance and Srei Infrastructure have already announced their entry into this sector.
Despite internet banking and electronic transfer of funds gaining momentum, experts believe ATM usage will continue to rise over the coming years.
“Penetration of ATMs in semi-urban and rural areas is still very low ,” said Dastur. “The usage of ATMs in India is bound to increase manifold as financial inclusion is a top priority for the government,” he added.