Hyderabad: The incomplete recalibration of an ATM in Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad led to users getting an unexpected windfall, as the ATM disbursed new Rs 500 denomination notes instead of Rs 100 notes, on Saturday evening.
As air travellers came to know that the ATM was providing Rs 500 instead of Rs 100 notes, they lined up at the ATM belonging to Kotak Mahindra Bank and in an hour as much as Rs 8 lakh was withdrawn from the machine.
Surprised at the rush, the authorities made inquiries and informed the bank’s officials of the glitch. Staff from the bank rushed to the airport at around 9 pm and temporarily shut it down.
An airport security officer said that a passenger withdrew Rs 2,500 and got one Rs 2,000 denomination note and five Rs 500 denomination notes instead of five Rs 100s.
“He got Rs 4,500 instead of Rs 2,500 with the technical error in the machine. As the news spread over the airport, air travellers lined up at the ATM for withdrawals,” he said.
An official from the bank’s Shamshabad branch said it was a mistake by the outsourcing staff of the off-site ATM maintenance agency.
“They mistakenly kept Rs 500 denominations in the Rs 100 slot. We are verifying the matter and shall recover the excess amount withdrawn by customers as per the database after sharing it with the concerned customer’s bank,” the official said. The ATM maintenance agency refused to shoulder the blame, saying that the mistake was made by engineers who recalibrated the machine.
“It is not possible to keep currency of higher denominations in the slot allocated to lower denominations. In such cases the machine identifies the mistake and rolls back the currency into the ATM,” an officer said.
Explaining how the money can be recovered, Federation of Bank Employees secretary M.S. Kumar said, “The bank will raise debit with the account of the customer. The bank officials get the ‘General Print’ of transactions from the ATM maintenance agency. Based on the details of the bank customer, they inform other banks in cases where the customer is not from the home bank. They debit the amount from the customer’s account through ‘debit raise’. If the customer’s account is not having any balance, his account will show as minus balance with the debit.”