New Delhi: It is welcome news that customers of one bank will soon be able to deposit cash at another bank branch or automated teller machines (ATMs) as the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has sent a proposal in this regard to all the major banks of the country. NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India.
The NPCI has asked top lenders to make cash deposit an interoperable feature at their branches and ATMs as it believes using the National Financial Switch (NFS) to facilitate the service would cut the cost of currency handling for the banking system and reduce costs involved in cash filling in ATMs as well, according to the Economic Times which cited four sources aware of the development.
After the implementation of interoperability, it would allow customers to deposit cash at any ATM enabled with deposit facilities, also known as cash-deposit machines, or cash recyclers; irrespective of which bank the ATM belongs to, the financial daily report mentioned. In simple terms, this plan once fully executed will, for instance, allow a bank customer of State Bank of India (SBI) to make cash deposits at ATMs enabled with deposit facilities at Punjab National Bank (PNB) branches or offsite locations.
About 14 banks, including Union Bank, Canara Bank and Andhra Bank already give the service at present. NPCI envisages that around 30,000 ATMs may be aligned with the Interoperable Cash Deposit network without any major hardware upgrades. Fraud-hit Punjab and Maharastra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, where last year the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) put restrictions on customer accounts due to financial wrongdoings, is also among the banks which give customers interoperable deposit services.
The interchange processing charge below a deposit of Rs 10,000 is fixed at Rs 25 and Rs 50 for deposits above Rs 10,000. But, banks have flagged concerns about counterfeit currency deposits through ATMs, mentioning that general adoption would be seen after a “thorough reconciliation framework”.
Kaushik Roy, vice-president and country leader, South Asia, at payments technology company ACI Worldwide, told ET: “Interoperability between banks is what made UPI so popular. While the percentage of the ‘cash-in’ transactions are minuscule as compared to ‘cash-out’ facilities, an interoperable system can lead to enhanced convenience for the customer.”
He went on to add that no huge upgrades would be required for deposit-accepting machines as verification follows the same procedure as cash withdrawals.