People also complain that there are no security guards present at the ATMs and sometimes their cards get stuck in the machine and they have no one to come to their aid. Representational image/PTI
HYDERABAD: Attribute it to increased use of digital transactions or sheer scarcity of currency notes, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the city have no currency of Rs 2,000 denomination.
People are forced to withdraw currencies of 100, 200 and 500 denominations at ATMs due to a shortage of Rs 2,000 notes. They have to make multiple withdrawals and end up paying additional amounts in the form of user charge once the permitted number of transactions is availed. Currently, only Rs 2,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 can be withdrawn from ATMs at one go (per withdrawal).
Venkata Ramaiah, general secretary of Bank Employees Federation of India, Telangana unit, said 50 per cent of the ATMs in the city were not functioning. "Even free withdrawals that must be permitted at ATMs in which a person does not have a bank account are not being allowed. People are troubled with half of the services provided by ATMs," he said.
Ronak Kumar Agarwal, a businessman in the city said, "In West Marredpally area, there are hardly any deposit machines working and the amount a person can withdraw one time is extremely low. It is my money. Why is it not available when I want it as per my requirement?"
Another businessman, Arjun Shanai said his business ran on cash and he needed to withdraw money regularly. "I need to withdraw Rs 1 lakh every week because of my business. Earlier the process was smooth, I could withdraw Rs 50,000 at a time and easily withdraw Rs 1 lakh in one minute. But now for the past one month, the situation has gotten worse. I am supposed to withdraw Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 at a time which is not only time consuming but also frustrating. The air conditioners do not work at the ATMs. It is like a boiler where one has to wait for 10 to 15 minutes in order to withdraw Rs 1 lakh and also get charged for withdrawing your own money," he said.
People also complain that there are no security guards present at the ATMs and sometimes their cards get stuck in the machine and they have no one to come to their aid. An employee of SBI bank, G. Ramakrishna said there was no rule to have a security personal so it was okay not to have one.
A convener of United Forum of Bank Union of Telangana said ATMs were out of cash as cash was not being circulated. "There is a shortage of Rs 2,000 notes. Those who have the Rs 2000 note (richer section) are keeping the money with them, so cash is not circulating. Also, the withdrawal limit depends on each card and each bank. The bigger issue is that the ATMs are outdated and new models are required. The process is still very slow in the city. Only a few machines are replaced with new models," said the convener.
Many bank employees said the city witnessed an increase in demand for cash during the Eid festival and the banks were underprepared for the increased demand. This caused most ATMs to run out of cash and thus banks placed a limit on withdrawals. However, residents of the city feel this is a prolonged issue, even before Eid.
People are unaware of the withdrawal charges and later realise when they see their bank statement. "Customers are allowed five free transactions per month in their own bank’s ATM and three per month in other bank ATMs beyond which they are charged Rs 21 per transaction. So, if due to restrictions on withdrawals people swipe multiple times, they end up paying Rs 21 per transaction and most people are not aware of these charges," said Raghav Behani, a finance professional.