Banks get time till March 2023 to implement new system to replenish cash in ATMs

On Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India granted a further extension to March 2023 to banks to implement their directive on the use of only lockable cartridges to top up cash in their ATMs.

At present, most ATMs are refilled by refilling cash or loading cash into the ATMs on site.

To abolish the current system, the Central Bank of India (RBI) had asked the banks to ensure that lockable cartridges were replaced at the time of cash in the ATMs.

In April 2018, the supervisory authority had asked the banks to consider using lockable cassettes in their ATMs, which must be replaced at the time of refilling cash. It would be implemented in stages and include at least one third of ATMs operated by the banks each year, so that all ATMs achieve a cassette change by 31 March 2021.

But in July last year, RBI had extended the deadline to March 31, 2022.

Representations have been received from various banks and the Indian Banks’ Association expressing difficulty in keeping the timeline. Consequently, RBI has decided to extend the timeline for implementing cassette replacement in all ATMs until March 31, 2023.

RBI in its circular said that banks must establish a board-approved internal timeline to adhere to the extended deadline and submit quarterly status reports. The banks’ boards must monitor progress to ensure compliance.

The recommendation to switch to lockable cassettes in ATMs was based on a report from the Committee on Currency Movements established by the central bank.

At the end of February 2022, there were 1,20,597 ATMs at the banks’ premises and 1,00,909 ATMs in the country.

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