It is reported that the State Bank of India (SBI) has got Rs. 310.44 crores from ATM transactions in 2015-16, 47% more than last year. The case with other banks will not be different. The Banks are putting restrictions on the ATM free transactions and charging much higher than required for additional transactions. In view of the high revenue, the banks should give more free transactions to the customers.
Department of Posts proposes to intimate the customers about the delivery status of money orders, parcels etc. from September 2015 onward. It is also decided that the Postmen/Postwomen will be tracked with GPS handheld devices by October 2015.
DoP has also decided to open 1,000 ATMs across the country. In this connection, it is to be noted that Department of Posts have received licence as Payment Bank.
These are good decisions which will benefit the customers.
Department of Posts have decided to introduce ATM or Debit Cards for its Post Office Account holders. But, this facility will be available only to those who have accounts in the Post offices where there are Core Banking Solutions (CBS). Some fee also will be charged for the issue of the ATM Card.
The Central Government has amended the Post Office Savings Bank General Rules for this purpose.
The Banks are trying to reduce their expenditure at the cost of the customers. In order to reduce the staff in the Banks, they introduced ATMs and gave free transactions. Now the customers are adjusted to the ATMs to a great extent, then the Banks are trying to make the ATM transactions with conditions and cost. First there was no limit to the transactions, but then it was stated that there is a limit of five free transactions in Metro Cities and three in other places. Now the latest is that even in metros the limit may be reduced to three combining with the nearby non-metro cities.
If this goes on and is allowed, tomorrow each and every ATM transactions will be charged. The situation will come when the customer has to pay for withdrawing his own money from the bank even once.
It is to be noted that these are the same banks which has got lakhs of crores of rupees as NPA (Non Performing Assests), means bad loans given to the corporates and big business and which has not been repaid and will be written off later. The transactions of these crorepatis are mainly through cheque and online and not through ATMs;; hence they are not affected. It is being once again proved that all the benefits are for the rich and burdens are on the the poor and the middle class.
The present move of the Banks Management should be opposed and defeated.
India Posts has started ATM for their SB Accountees. 2 ATMs have been opened in Delhi on 1st March. 2800 ATMs will be opened by 2015 all over India.
It is a good decision. But immediately Department of Posts will have to pay a good amount to other Banks, since the P.O. Account holders will be using the ATMs of other banks as the ATMs of P.O. are very less for some time.
The Communications minister Kapil Sibal has stated that India Posts will start ATMs from 5 February onwards. 1000 ATMs will be opened in this year and 2,000 next year. It is also stated that 1.35 Micro ATMs also will be started.
India Posts has applied for Banking Licence and is expected to get the same.
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.
FAIR MIX NEEDED
“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)