Money & Banking

Banks told make ATMs ‘future-proof’

K RAM KUMAR K RAGHAVENDRA RAO Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2018

Abhaya Prasad Hota, MD CEO, NPCI

As cash transactions decline, machines must be made to do more: NPCI chief

With mobile banking gaining traction and consumers showing increasing propensity to shop online, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) wants banks to ensure that their ATMs become ‘future-proof’.

What this means is that banks had better be ready with new types of usage for ATM machines as cash withdrawals could decline over the next few years.

NPCI, the umbrella institution for all retail payments, now wants its member banks to expand the scope of ATM services to include funds transfer, bill registration, statement request, and mobile number registration on an interoperable basis.

According to Abhaya Prasad Hota, MD and CEO of NPCI, “Gradually, when more and more of non-cash transactions take place, usage of ATMs could decline. For it to remain future-proof, we must pipe different types of transactions through it.” NPCI operates the National Financial Switch (NFS) for routing ATM transactions through inter-connectivity between the bank’s switches, enabling citizens to utilise any ATM of a connected bank.

According to RBI data, there were 1,83,887 ATMs in the country as of May-end 2015. One transaction that NPCI wants to take to a new level is the card-to-card funds transfer (using ATM channel for funds transfer) in an interoperable manner. Currently, some banks are already offering such services but only for their own customers. Pointing out that a large number of people have not registered their mobile numbers with their banks, Hota emphasised that they need to be registered.

“The conventional channel is for the customer to write an application on a paper. So, it has to go to the branch where it has to be manually entered and signature verified. Considering that the customer already has a card and a pin, he can go to the ATM and authenticate himself, and be able to register his mobile number,” explained Hota.

If a customer has lost his mobile and wants to de-register, he should also be in a position to do so at the ATM, added the NPCI chief.

Published on July 14, 2015

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