Money & Banking

SBI to expand ATM network by 6,000; plans to make them future-proof

K Ram Kumar Mumbai | Updated on February 09, 2020

File photo   -  REUTERS

Playing it safe after its experience during the 2016 demonetisation, and in the backdrop of the rising number of digital transactions, State Bank of India (SBI) is seeking to incorporate enhanced features in the 6,000-plus ATMs it is planning to install, so as to future-proof these machines.

India’s largest bank wants to ensure that its new ATMs, which will be installed under the total outsourced model, are equipped with adjustable cassettes that can hold and dispense currency notes even if the dimensions of the notes are changed.

SBI is looking to add the adjustable cassette feature (without any additional component requirement) as banks had to incur a huge expenditure to retrofit ATMs with new cassettes after notes of ₹500 and ₹1,000 denomination were withdrawn in the November-December 2016 demonetisation period and replaced with new ₹500 and ₹2,000 currency notes.

As per the bank’s specifications for procuring new ATMs, these machines should have the capability to recognise the year of issue of the currency and be configured in such a way that currency printed in or up to a certain year can be accepted (or rejected) or may not be dispensed.

Eye on future requirements

The ATMs, which will enable card-based, cardless, bio-metric and near-field communication-based transactions, will have the capability to integrate barcode and quick response (QR) code scanner for future requirements of scanning codes from mobile phones by simply attaching a reader.

Besides enabling the usual transactions, such as cash withdrawal, balance enquiry, mini-statement, PIN change, and cheque book request, the bank wants its ATMs to provide value-added services such as loan account enquiry, fixed deposit, funds transfer, institutional fee payment, utility/bill payment/taxes/Trust donation, etc, channel manager visit registration, and cash withdrawal with SBI credit card and pre-paid cards.

To minimise disputes between customers and the bank, the new ATMs will have a camera at the cash slot to capture the movement of cash from the presenter belt and final withdrawal by the customer. The camera will be capable of taking images and videos of the cash movement. The images and videos will be time-stamped with Terminal ID, masked account and card number. As of November-end 2019, SBI had about 58,500 ATMs.

Published on February 09, 2020

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