Money & Banking

Ensure smooth digital payments, adequate supply of cash: FinMin to RBI, banks, NPCI

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on March 24, 2020

The Finance Ministry has written to the Reserve Bank of India, National Payments Corporation of India, banks and cash logistics players, asking them to ensure that electronic and digital payments continue in a seamless manner and that bank branches and ATMs have adequate cash.

“Consequent to the government’s strong messaging on social distancing and lockdown, it is expected that people’s need for and reliance on electronic and digital modes of payments and ATMs for cash withdrawals will be greater in the coming days,” said the Department of Financial Services in the Finance Ministry letter. It has, accordingly, asked the RBI, NPCI and Indian Banks’ Association to ensure that electronic and digital modes and channels of payment continue in a seamless and uninterrupted way. It has also asked the IBA to ensure adequate availability of cash at ATMs. Further, since banking is an essential service, the Finance Ministry has also requested State governments and police to ensure that the staff of RBI, NPCI, banks and cash logistic companies commute without hindrance.

Bank branches and ATMs continue to function across the country, although banks have curtailed branch timings and functions toessential services such as cash deposits and withdrawals, clearing of cheques, remittances, and government transactions. The IBA has already issued an advisory to this effect.

Demand for cash

Cash logistics players said that the demand for cash continues and ATMs across the country have been witnessing steady withdrawals since last week, though consumer spend may have fallen as most shops and malls are closed.

‘Precautions being taken’

“We have been well prepared to deal with cash withdrawals and our personnel have been working daily to ensure that ATMs are well stocked with cash.

“They have been taking adequate precautions and hand sanitisers are installed in vans,” said Anush Raghavan, Senior Vice-President at CMS Info Systems, adding that ATMs are also being wiped clean to prevent the spread of virus.

Published on March 24, 2020

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