Business rules for white label ATMs were eased by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The operators of these ATMs can now source cash directly from the RBI offices and currency chests than depend on sponsor bank for their procurement. In a statement on Thursday, the central bank also said that these operators can also source cash from any scheduled bank that includes the rural and cooperative banks.
In its notification, RBI said, "On a review of operations of WLAs and representations received from stakeholders, as also to enhance the viability of WLAs, it has been decided to allow the WLA Operators to a. buy wholesale cash, above a threshold of 1 lakh pieces (and in multiples thereof) of any denomination, directly from the Reserve Bank (Issue Offices) and Currency Chests against full payment. b. source cash from any scheduled bank, including Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks."
What are White Label ATMs?
White label ATMs are those that are owned and operated by non-banking entities. Earlier, the RBI only permitted banks to operate ATMs. However, for financial inclusion purposes and expand the reach of the service, non-banking companies were invited. Tata Communications Payment Solutions Limited (TCPSL) was the first company to be authorized to open White Label ATMs and it launched its service on 27 June 2013 under the brand name 'Indicash.'
In addition to the cash procurement, the "White Label ATM Operators" (WLAO) are now also allowed to offer bill payment and Interoperable Cash Deposit services (subject to technical feasibility and certification by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)) and display advertisements pertaining to non-financial products / services anywhere within the WLA premises, including the WLA screen, except the main signboard. However, it has to be ensured that the advertisements running on the screen disappear once the customer commences a transaction.