RBI permits non-bank entities to set-up ATM

RBIIn a major RBI move to spread ATM network, non-banking entities with a minimum networth of Rupees 100 crore have been allowed to set up, own and operate money dispensing machines on behalf of banks.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a notification said the automatic teller machines (ATMs) operated by non-banking entities will be known as ‘White Label ATMs’ (WLAs).

Each of these new ATM operator will have a bank sponsoring them, RBI said.

All services offered by regular ATMs will be available at white Label dispensers as well with existing debit or credit cards issued by banks. Customers of all banks can use the new ATM network.

So far only banks are allowed to set up and operate money dispensing machines in the country which has nearly 90,000 ATMs.

Non-bank entities intending to set up WLAs under these guidelines may approach RBI for seeking specific authorisation within four months from the date of issuance of these guidelines, RBI said.

Such non-bank entities should have a minimum networth of Rs 100 crore as per the latest financial year’s audited balance sheet, it said, adding the networth of at least Rs 100 crore has to be maintained at all times.

Although there has been nearly 23-25 per cent annual growth in the number of ATMs, their deployment has been predominantly in tier I and II cities.

In spite of the banks’ pioneering efforts in this direction, much needs to be done, it said, adding, there is a need to expand the reach of ATMs in Tier III to VI cities.

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