Automatic teller machines, or ATMs, that can tell fake from real are here.
Manufacturers such as NCR Corporation and Diebold Systems are helping banks roll out new machines that not only deposit and dispense cash but can also detect counterfeit notes.
State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have already started installing these ATMs, also known as cash recycling machines. At present, these are being used as cash-deposit machines in which a customer can drop loose cash.
“Cash recycling machine is a full-function ATM which can detect counterfeit notes,” said Ashok Shankar, solutions deployment manager, NCR Corporation India. As of now, they were only accepting cash but later — when the banks and customers get accustomed to them — other features such as cash dispensing and utility bill payment would be switched on, he said.
NCR has already handed over 600 machines to SBI. ICICI Bank has the machines at its 26 electronic branches while Axis Bank has installed around 500 of these at various locations.
“Another feature of these machines is that the money is credited to depositors’ account instantly,” said Julius Samson, senior vice-president, Axis Bank.
Complaints of ATMs dispensing counterfeit notes are not uncommon. According to the Reserve Bank of India, close to 5.21 lakh fake notes were detected in India in 2011-12, much higher than 4.36 lakh in 2010-11.
“Cash recycling machines are already in use in developed countries... Their usage is bound to increase in India,” said Karthik Ganapathi, managing director (South Asia), Diebold Systems.