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‘Half of India’s ATMs may close down by March next’

Mumbai: Changes in regulatory landscape are making it unviable to operate ATMs, and may lead to the closure of half of the 2.38 lakh machines in the country by March 2019, the Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMi) warned on Wednesday.
Closure of the ATMs will impact thousands of jobs and also the the financial inclusion efforts of the government, the industry body said in a statement. “Service providers may be forced to close down almost 1.13 lakh ATMs across the country by March 2019.
These numbers include approximately one lakh off-site ATMs and a little over 15,000 white label ATMs,” it said.
The industry has reached a “tipping point”, the body added. A majority of the ATMs which can be shut down will be in the non-urban areas, it said, underlining that this can impact the financial inclusion efforts as beneficiaries use the machines to withdraw government subsidies.
The industry body said that recent regulatory changes, including those on hardware and software upgrades, coupled with mandates on cash management standards and the cassette swap method of loading cash, will make ATM operations unviable, resulting in the closure.
The new cash logistics and cassette swap method will alone result in costs of Rs 3,000 crore for the industry, it estimated. (PTI)

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