Mumbai: ATM usage is likely to get costlier as banks are planning to hike ATM charges by Rs 6 per transaction. The proposal to hike charges comes after a few state governments asked banks to tighten security at ATMs following the brutal assault of a customer inside an ATM in Bangalore in November.
Karnakata and Tamil Nadu have already set deadlines for banks to deploy security guards around-the-clock outside ATMs. Other states like Maharashtra have directed banks to install CCTV cameras both inside and outside ATM kiosks.
Beefing up security guard presence is likely to add Rs 36,000 per month to the costs of maintaining an ATM and e-surveillance systems will cost an additional Rs 15,000 per kiosk. According to bankers this higher cost will be passed on to the consumers.
At an average, 200 transactions are made per day per every ATM kiosk which breaks the cost down to between Rs 2.50 and 6 per transaction.
This cost will be in addition to the Rs 20 per cash-withdrawal charged on using other bank ATMS more than 5 times a month and the cost of Rs 9 charged for other services like balance enquiry.
Banks are also looking to stop offering unlimited free ATM transactions and capping it at 5 per month, even for transactions at ATMS belonging to the customer's bank.
Since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has the final say in such matters, the hike may not be easy to bring about. However, with state government's putting more pressure on both the RBI and banks to put customer safety first, it is likely that the customers will have to pay for feeling safe.