There are long queues whenever you go to the bank branch nowadays. It’s even worse at ATMs. There are, of course, some ATMs that have claimed to be under repair in the past week. Are you running out of cash? Don’t worry! The Government has come out with Micro-ATMs to help with the cash crunch. Here’s a mini guide on them.
What is a Micro-ATM?
These are not your gigantic ATM machines. These are more like the Point of Sale (PoS) units that you use to swipe your Credit or Debit Card at retail stores. This Micro-ATM PoS unit will interact with your bank’s payment system to ensure that you can withdraw and deposit cash as soon as you swipe the card.
If it is that small, how will I get cash?
Since the machine itself cannot dispense cash, the cash will be issued by the business correspondent who will be handling the machine. The correspondent will give you cash for withdrawals and receive cash in case of deposits. The transaction is entered in the banking system through the Micro-ATMs and you will get your receipt for the same, just like you would at a regular ATM. The Micro-ATM is usually used in semi-urban and rural areas where bank branches and ATM networks are fewer. In rural areas, shopkeepers and small merchants usually act as business correspondents for Micro-ATMs.
How does the system work?
Micro-ATMs use GPRS technology to transmit data. This is the same technology that mobiles use and is considered to be safe.
What kind of transactions are possible?
Apart from deposits and withdrawals, you can transfer funds and can also check your account balance. Some banks state that you can even open accounts, make utility payments, and make remittances using your nearest Micro-ATM.
How are transactions authenticated?
Micro-ATMs authenticate transactions using biometrics (if your Aadhaar card is linked) or your registered mobile number. Some banks allow you to use your Debit Card number/account number to authenticate transactions.
Which cards work?
Many of the Micro-ATMs in India allow you to withdraw cash using both Credit and Debit Cards. However, it is best to check with business correspondent before you swipe any card.
What will the limit for withdrawals for these ATMs be?
Though this isn’t clear, as these are ATMs too, it is expected that the limits that apply to normal ATMs will apply to Micro-ATMs also. At present, ATM withdrawals are capped at Rs. 2,500 per day.
If you still think that you will face a cash crunch, try going cashless and use your Credit Cards and Debit Cards. According to news reports, the Government is likely to ask banks to waive off charges on these cards. You can even save quite a bit by using a Cashback Credit Card.
Additional Reading: A Must Read If You’re Headed To An ATM/Bank For Cash!