Banks Shut Down More Than 2,400 ATMs In Ten Months For Cost-Cutting
The nation has not forgotten the frustration to see ‘no cash’ displayed on ATMs at the time of demonetisation. Now, banks are employing reduction in the number of ATMs to save costs. Between May 2017 to February 2018, around 2,000 ATMs were shut down by the banks for “cost-cutting”. The reduction was noticed both on onsite ATMs (located within the branch) and offsite ATMs. As of May 2017, there were 1,10,116 onsite ATMs, which came down to 1,07,630 on February 2018, i.e. reduction of 2,486 ATMs, as per the data revealed by The Reserve Bank of India.
Reduction of ATMs by some of India’s banks:
|Bank||Reduction of onsite ATMs||Reduction of offline ATMs|
|Bank of India||108||100|
|Punjab National Bank||655||457|
However, for SBI, while the number of onsite ATMs decreased by 2,645, the number of offsite ATMs increased by 2,763.
Banks are using various ways to reduce cost. According to Business Standard, banks are taking the following measures for cost-cutting in ATM installation.
- Earlier, installation of ATMs used to cost around Rs 5,00,000. However, now they are installed for around Rs 50,000-60,000.
- The space occupied by ATMs were 100 sq feet, but now they can be installed in just 30-40 sq feet.
- E-surveillance would save the money to appoint 24*7 guard.
- Doing away with facilities like air-conditioning.
- In remote locations, ATMs would be shut down at night.
Earlier, it was reported that banks might soon stop free services like ATM transactions beyond a certain limit, issue of chequebooks and debit cards as lenders came under pressure from taxmen. Tax authorities have reportedly sent notices to banks for providing free services to the customers with minimum balance in their account. Banks have been asked to pay tax for these services for last five years, which includes the pre-GST era. If reports are to be trusted these banks are State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank.