While the Bank Managements are trying to increase the ATMs in a large way, the unions have their reservations. I am giving below a report in this connection:

Bank trade unions want banks to go slow on ATM network expansion and encourage customers to return to bank branches for transactions and use the ATM sparingly. This, according to them, is good for the customers, employees and banks’ bottomlines.

“The current furious expansion of the ATM network is not good for the banking industry’s health,” says M.V. Murali, convenor of the United Forum of Bank Unions, which is a collective of nine major all-India bank trade unions. “ATMs enormously increase the cost of operation of banks, particularly in view of the demand for mandatory 24-hour security at ATMs following the attack on a woman at a Bangalore ATM a few months ago.”

Murali’s comments come in the wake of Indian Banks’ Association suggesting banks charge customer for using ATMs beyond a certain number of free transactions. Murali said the banks were indiscriminately opening ATMs even where people were mostly illiterate. Outsourcing of ATM services, through the ‘white-label ATMs’, was a wrong step as it would lead to exploiting illiterate customers and breed corruption and malpractices. He said managements were dumping quotas on bank branches to increase mobile and Internet banking accounts.


“Banking has lost the human touch,” Murali added. Customers no longer felt a sense of belonging to their banks and the employees were also losing touch with their customers as interactions were shrinking. (Courtesy: Business Line)