In a bid to increase banking facilities to the un-banked areas, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has permitted banks to start mobile branches and mobile ATMs in rural and semi-urban centres with population less than 50,000.
“It has since been decided to further liberalise the Branch Authorisation Policy and grant general permission to domestic scheduled commercial banks to operationalise mobile branches in Tier III to Tier VI centres (with population up to 49,999 as per Census 2001) and in rural, semi-urban and urban centres in the North Eastern States and Sikkim,” the RBI said in a notification released on Friday.
The scheme of mobile branch envisages the extension of banking facilities through a well protected van with arrangements for two or three officials of the bank sitting in it with books, safe containing cash.
In order to serve the customers better, the mobile unit will visit centres on specific time. “The mobile branch should be stationed in each location for a reasonable time on specified days and specified hours, so that its services could be utilised properly by customers,” said the notification, adding the business transacted at the mobile branch shall be recorded in the books of the base branch or data centre.
The RBI has also granted permission to banks to start mobile ATMs at centres identified by them, without prior permission from the central bank.