Ever since Modi government launched his demonetisation drive, the nation has been facing a severe cash crunch. Following relentless complaints from citizens, Opposition, and bankers too, the government introduced a series of measures to ensure people can withdraw money, and one such measure is micro ATMs.
“Micro ATMs would particularly help address the problems that people are facing in rural and semi-urban areas, where the ATM network is not as strong currently”, Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
There are about 201861 ATMs in India, according to RBI data. Of these, 1,03,282 are onsite and 98,579 offsite. But for the cash starved citizens, this is not enough. Filling up ATMs has been affected because bank staff are under pressure . It is taking far longer to get money for loading and carrying to ATMs. Technical changes for recalibration involved software as well as hardware work. More than 1,000 professionals are on the job.
The government’s announcement of Micro ATM has instantly created a buzz. People are asking questions like what Micro ATMs are, how do they function, etc. ATMs are card swipe machines through which banks can remotely connect to their core banking system. This machine comes with a fingerprint scanner attached to it. In other words, micro ATMs are handheld point of sale terminals used to disburse cash in remote locations where bank branches cannot reach. Micro ATMs are similar to point of sale (PoS) terminals and are a doorstep mobile banking arrangement cum-mobile ATM device.