Sunday, January 29, 2012

Many facets of ATMs in India

In early seventies, Banks in India had a scheme of manual "Tellers".  These were special counters manned by senior employees, who were delegated powers to pay cheques (self) or withdrawals up to a designated amount from the savings or current accounts of customers.  These Tellers were paid a specified special allowance for the risk and responsibility undertaken in their services unlike clerks or cashiers over the counter.  Tellers were expected to be familiar with all the important customers of the branch and their signatures too besides of course having an idea of the balances maintained in the accounts.

ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) or also referred to as Any Time Money facility by some.  Thanks to evolution of technology, today we have on-site and off-site ATMs numbering over 75,000 all over India and equal in number of total branches of all banks.  These ATMs are located in a variety of off-site centres like Highways, near Petrol Bunks, Hotels, Hospitals, Tourist Centres, Forest routes, Waterways, Hill Stations, etc.  Interestingly, they are some times manned by Security Personnel and sometimes not.  Help line facility and Drop Boxes are available at a majority of ATMs.  We also have Bio-metric ATMs for illiterates.

Only recently, I have read in newspapers that ATMs were attempted to be misused by the candidates fighting elections in some States by carrying cash unauthorisedly so that no suspicion is raised.  I have also read that empty soft-drink bottles can be dropped in ATMs for getting refund of the amount!  Of course, I witnessed such a facility in a University cafetaria in Germany last year.  Unfortunately, I read another news item that by using a simple technology (crooked) of a putting a match stick in the slit, one fraudster has been resorting to draw amounts from ATMs, after the customer leaves the counter in disgust.

And today, in Hindu Business Line, I am reading another innovation for ATMs being run by solar power!


Prof Chowdari Prasad said...

Here is a link from wikipedia for more on ATMs:

Prof Chowdari Prasad said...