RBI will now allow banks to offer all products and services via ATMs

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To provide more operational freedom for banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that banks can now offer all their products and services through their off-site ATMs. Off-site ATMs are machines that are set up on a standalone basis and not inside a branch. This is done to ensure that the bank reaches out to more geographical areas and that people are able to use its services even when there is no bank branch in the area.

Currently, the facilities that could be provided at off-site ATMs include deposits/withdrawals, PIN change, request for cheque books, statement of accounts and balance enquiry, among others.

“Banks are now free to offer all their products and services through the ATMs channels provided the technology permits the same, and adequate checks are put in place to prevent the channel from being misused to perpetuate frauds on the banks/other genuine customers,” the RBI said in a notification.

Earlier in December 2015, the RBI asked all banks part of the National Financial Switch (NFS) to make changes to their ATMs so that they can allow customers to register for mobile banking. The NFS is a India’s largest network of shared and interconnected ATMs developed by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology and managed by the NPCI. More on that here.

Other developments 

– In December 2015, the RBI set up an helpline for startups to offer guidance and assistance for undertaking cross-border transactions within the ambit of the regulatory framework. Note that while the RBI calls it a helpline, it is an email only service. Companies can send their queries to helpstartup@rbi.org.in.

– In August, the RBI increased the cash withdrawal limits for point-of-sale machines in rural areas. The apex bank enhanced the limit for cash withdrawal at POS for debit cards and open system prepaid cards issued by banks in India from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per day in Tier III to VI centres with immediate effect.