Five years since the spectre of cashless ATMs haunted the country during demonetisation, the Reserve Bank of India has now announced that it would levy fines on banks and ATM operators if they were found to have run out of cash, from October 1, 2021.
“A review of downtime of ATMs due to cash-outs was undertaken and it was observed that ATM operations affected by cash-outs lead to non-availability of cash and cause avoidable inconvenience to the members of the public,” the RBI said in a statement.
“Therefore, been decided that the banks/ White Label ATM Operators (WLAOs) shall strengthen their systems/ mechanisms to monitor availability of cash in ATMs and ensure timely replenishment to avoid cash-outs. Any non-compliance in this regard shall be viewed seriously and shall attract monetary penalty,” it added.
As per the “Scheme of Penalty for non-replenishment of ATMs”, a fine of Rs 10,000 per ATM would be levied in the event of a cash-out situation for more than ten hours in a month.
“In the case of white label ATMs, the penalty would be charged to the bank which is meeting the cash requirement of that particular white label ATM. The bank, may, at its discretion, recover the penalty from the white label ATM operator”, RBI said.
The central bank said banks would have to submit a system-generated statement on downtime of ATMs due to non-replenishment of cash to the RBI’s “Issue Department”.
White Label ATMs are those operated by non-banks.