ATMs Cross 1-Lakh Mark In October; SBI Group Controls 59 P.C

The National Payments Corporation (NPCI) on Tueday said the banking system has reached a landmark of 1 lakh ATMs (automated teller machines) at the end of October.

The NPCI, which has been promoted as an umbrella organisation for retail payments by the Reserve Bank and banks, said as of October-end the total number of ATMs stood at 1,04,500.

The organisation operates the National Financial Switch used for inter-connectivity between banks for ATMs. Also, banks individually report their ATMs in the network section in their quarterly reports.

The State Bank Group, comprising the largest lender SBI and its five subsidiaries, has a network of 61,500 cash vending machines which help it account for a majority 59 per cent share in the ATMs.

Banks started installing ATMs in the late 1990s and have over time replaced the tedious efforts taken to withdraw cash at a branch, which would have to be done only in the business hours.

Many banks have extended the ATM to do other transactions like fund transfer, donations to charities, cheque and cash deposits etc.

According to the NPCI, private sector and foreign banks put together have about 41,800 ATMs accounting for 40 per cent of the network, while co-operative banks and regional rural banks have 1,150 machines, representing 1 per cent of the system.

Nearly 200 million transactions are processed every month through the NFS, the NPCI statement said, adding 75 per cent of this is simple cash withdrawal transactions.

The average ticket size of withdrawals stands at Rs 3,300, it added. The balance 25 per cent transactions, NPCI said, are non-financial transactions.

All the banks put together have plans to install additionally about 1 lakh ATMs over a period of next two years, the NPCI said, noting that this will take up the average to 170 ATMs per million population from the current 85.

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