Much to delight of ATM card users, the Reserve Bank of India on Monday removed all charges on using the cash vending machines, except for withdrawing money for which a maximum fee of Rs 20 has been prescribed.
Even the fee for cash withdrawal will be eventually abolished from April 1, 2009.
The banks, however, will have the freedom to fix charges for withdrawal of cash from ATMs through credit cards and from ATMs located abroad.
The ATM services have become free as the Reserve Bank of India, while issuing guidelines on charges for use of ATMs, has asked the banks to abolish with immediate effect all charges on services such as balance enquiry.
It implies that an ATM card holder would be able to withdraw cash from ATM maintained by any bank in the country free of cost with effect from April 1, 2009.
The guidelines, which are being issued in pursuance of the approach paper on ATM charges brought out by RBI in December 2007, seek to abolish fee on cash withdrawal from ATMs from April 1, 2009.
During the intervening period, the banks have been allowed to charge a maximum ATM cash withdrawal fee of Rs 20, irrespective of the amount of withdrawal.
"The charge of Rs 20...Will be all inclusive and no other charges will be levied to the customers under any other head irrespective of the amount of withdrawal," the apex bank said in a communication to all banks.
The banks, however, will have the freedom to fix charges for withdrawal of cash from ATMs through credit cards and ATMs located abroad," it said.
The guidelines are being issued to encourage customers to use ATM cards and ensure greater transparency in banking operations.