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ATMs to come up in rural areas

The Economic Times
Mumbai , January 18, 2006

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is keen on introducing low-cost Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in rural areas. "ATMs are concentrated in a particular region of the country but too few in other areas. This anomaly should go. Banks should think of introducing low-cost ATMs in rural areas," RBI executive director R B Barman said on Tuesday on the sidelines of a conference organised by Banknet India here.

Humdrum opening of ATMs by banks in a particular region should be held back, he said, adding the Central bank would pursue banks to introduce such services in rural areas in order to extend the facility and ensure optimal use of ATMs.

The apex bank has already put in place Branch Authorization Policy in order to check overlapping of the branches.

Barman added that the apex bank was in talks with the banks to get rid of the problem. "A few experimentation on this front is currently on in the country," Barman said.

Premier academic institutions like IIT, Chennai and IIT, Mumbai are already working on the modalities of introducing low-cost ATMs, he added.

Informed sources at the central bank said RBI would pursue banks to allow customers of various banks to use a single ATM in a particular place in the rural area.

They said these ATMs would work as multi-service delivery channels providing better services to the customers.

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