In a notice addressed to the Chairman, Managing Director and CEO of all Banks, RBI has proposed to levy a penalty in case their bank ATMs run out of cash for more than 10 hours in a month. The schema is said to come into effect from October 1, 2021.
"As you are aware Reserve Bank of India has a mandate to issue banknotes and the banks are fulfilling this mandate by dispensing banknotes to the public through their wide network of branches and ATMs. In this connection, 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", said RBI.
It has, 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 as stipulated in the "Scheme of Penalty for non-replenishment of ATMs" in the Annex. The Scheme shall be effective from October 01, 2021, adds the apex banker.
The penalty imposition on banks for the fall-out in such a situation is a kind of relief to bank customers who were highly upset with the cash-out situation at the most difficult times of the pandemic. This is as banks' may now avoid cash-out situations at ATMs and be more careful with the constant replenishment requirement to avoid a penalty.