From past few months, there were few speculations in the market that soon people of India will be able to use any bank ATM free of cost irrespective of their account holder bank. So far, most of the banks in India were charging from zero to 55 rupees for cash withdrawal and zero to 20 rupees for balance enquiry. These rates were mostly governed by inter relations of different banks. Therefore, most of the people in India were avoiding use of interbank ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) of other banks. Today, all these speculations become true when RBI decided to go away with the various ATM charges livid by different banks in phases.
1) RBI has directed all the banks to completely remove any fee charged for balance enquires with immediate effect.
2) RBI has directed banks to reduce all fees charged on cash withdrawal to maximum of Rs 20 by 31 March, 2008.
3) Finally, RBI has directed banks to completely remove all charges of interbank ATM transactions making interbank ATM use free with effect from 1 April, 2008.
Banks with large number of ATMs across India do not liked this proposal and they argued that this rule will stop banks from opening new ATMs. However, RBI argued back that ATMs save lot of bank’s money and time by serving millions of customers even without entering inside banks. Therefore, Banks can easily afford ATMs with this saved money. RBI also argued that it will become easier for the general services and further reduce the loads on banks. Moreover, if any charge is required to be paid then it should be paid by bank of person withdrawing money not by the person. RBI also believes that this move will reduce the transaction cost of banks and it will encourage common people to use latest technology. According to RBI’s report, there are total 31,078 ATMs across India and cost of constructing an ATM has decreased considerably from Rs 30 Lakh to Rs 6 Lakh. Already, this kind of free access to ATMs is available in European countries like UK, France etc. Overall, this step of RBI will have lot of great impact on the growth story of India and also life of common people will become considerably easy when this feature will become functional completely.
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