Post demonetisation, a working ATM flush with cash is what most of us have been looking for. The biggest challenge for the government and cash management firms is recalibrating the ATM machines to enable distribution of the new notes. As mentioned by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, this process may take up to six weeks which means, the pain and hardships for the common man hasn’t ended yet. Even as bankers, government and various cash management agencies are working round the clock to ease public woes, there’s hardly any respite.
In an effort to fill this void, various cash management companies have launched apps/ web portals to help you find a working ATM, but the help is limited. These apps/portals give you access to the ATMs managed by their agency only. This means that if there’s a working ATM in your city with substantial cash, but is not managed by the company whose portal you are browsing, you won’t find it in the list of ATMs that your search shows up. Besides, there’s another downside too. There’s a possibility that after finding a working ATM on a portal, by the time you get to it and your turn comes in the queue, there is no money left in the machine.
CMS Info Systems, which manages close to 55,000 ATMs across the country, has come up with an ‘ATM Finder’ service. This service helps you find a working ATM, which has cash, near you. However, as mentioned above, the ATM-finder portal’s search is limited only to the ATM machines being managed being managed by CMS Info Systems.
Announcing the ATM Finder service, Rajiv Kaul, CEO, CMS Info Systems said “We are very keen to do our bit to help and are working on a war footing to get the cash cycle back to where it was. Within 36 hours (by Nov 11), we have already collected the old high denomination notes from 90% of the ATMs we manage. To ensure ATM machines stay operational to dispense cash, our personnel are replenishing ATM machines thrice a day.”
“Post the demonetisation most ATMs are running at 25% capacity. The typical mix used to be two trays for Rs 500, one for Rs 1000 and one for Rs 100. So, now only one tray – of Rs 100 -is being filled in most ATMs. Each tray takes about 2000-2500 notes.” Kaul added.
Atmsearch.in is another portal that gives you real time picture of working ATM near you. However, it is based on a crowd sourcing model where people can update the situation of an ATM nearby.
While speaking to ET Wealth, Lokesh Verma, IIT Kharagpur graduate and founder of Atmsearch.in said, “Our portal lists all the ATMs in the city and helps people with nearest land mark and the size of the queue at the ATM. Since this portal is based on the crowd sourcing platform, the onus of credibility is on people. If people update correct information others will benefit.”
Reportedly, over four lakh cassettes that hold cash in the ATMs need to be replaced and 2,02,000 ATMs in the country need to be re-programmed. Until the ATMs are recalibrated to dispense new currency notes of Rs 50, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000, you’ll get only Rs 100 notes which means there’s less money for you in the machine.