Depositing Money At ATM Is Getting Simpler


Daunting queues, endless tapping of the keyboard andimpatient, ceaseless chatter: just some of the familiar sights and sounds of an average visit to the bank. While withdrawing money has become a breeze - thanks to the prevalence of ATMs in every corner of the country, depositing money is mostly still a tedious process. And every now and then, there is no avoiding a visit to the bank branch.

While well intentioned endeavours were earlier attempted at automating the depositing process at ATMs, it wasn’t very successful. This can be attributed to a fundamental flaw in the prevalent process that required users to deposit cash via envelopes at ATM machines. As the money would be counted, verified and credited later, it failed to provide the customers that vital sense of security, transparency and immediacy regarding their deposits.

Depositing money into your account is set for a sea change, thanks to the new technology known as Bulk Note Acceptors (BNA). One no longer needs to endure the hassle of queuing up at bank branches to deposit cash anymore. The leap in intelligent deposit technology allows you to make quick cash deposits and receive mini-statements with instant credit updates through ATMs. Further, these machines can be programmed to disburse cash that they accept, reason they are called Cash Recyclers.

Cash Recyclers are new generation, secure ATMs authorized by The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that allow quick deposits, counting and authentication of up to 200 currency notes at an incredible time span of 8-10 seconds. Here’s the breakdown of the entire depositing process: first a customer walks into an ATM where the Cash Recycler is deployed. Once she is there, she needs to simply insert her ATM card, type in the PIN, select the deposit option, and insert currency into the slot indicated. The customer is first asked to verify the deposit amount to ensure that it tallies with the notes fed and upon confirmation of the same, it is instantly credited into her account or a linked account (like parents’ or  kids’ accounts). It really is that simple. Depending upon the bank, customers can deposit up to a maximum of two lakh rupees in a single attempt.

Cash Recyclers are geared for accepting clean and authenticated currency as a result of a dual level check. Over a long period of time, with enough of these machines deployed, this can have a significant impact on the quality of the currency in circulation. They eliminate the human intervention while simultaneously giving customers supreme control and security of their transactions. Apart from every other bank customer who could benefit from this, Cash Recyclers are especially useful for small businesses where transactions are based in daily earnings, such as beauty parlour or a kirana shop owner.

It is estimated that on an average, a typical PSU bank spends INR 60-70 per person for every physical transaction that takes place. Multiply that by the population in India that actively transacts at bank branches and the operational costs that is incurred cannot be ignored. The deposit automation process provided by Cash Recyclers along with reduced frequency of cash replenishmentscan reduce this cost significantly. Other added functionalities such as payment of bills, taxes, and domestic money transfers increase their feasibility many times over for a bank.

While recently operational, the idea of a bulk note acceptor has been around for quite a while now. The demand for a deposit system that was actually relevant to the customerled to the development of an ATM concept capable of accepting large quantities of cash, about four years ago.The only concern was that the high cost of development and deployment of these self-service terminals could have played spoil-sport, albeit temporarily. The initial pace of adoption of these machines was slow. To provide a country-wise comparison, with 1.5 lakh-odd ATMs, which allow mostly cash withdrawal and mini-statements, there are only about 3,500 cash deposit machines currently installed in India. On the other hand, a country like China sets up close to 50,000-60,000 BNAs every year.

The potential impact of BNAs on currency circulation and customer service was seen as extremely significant by  the RBI as they went on to subsidize the cost of setting up Cash Recyclers by 50 per cent for urban areas and 75 per cent in rural areas. These subsidies are now acting as the major growth drivers in the number of Cash Recyclers in the market. 2015 itself will see not less than 10,000 Cash Recyclers deployed. First deployed by private sector banks roughly 4-5 years ago, public sector banks have now started rolling out Cash Recyclers at a steady pace over the last 18 months. The Public sector banks currently hold 72.2% of it - quite a large share in the overall number of ATMs in the country according to Ken Research Report on ATM Industry Outlook 2015.

Banking experts believe that as people gain confidence in deposit machines, the demand would further increase. As customer expectations of service levels along with their exposure and confidence with intelligent, self-service machines increase, providers will continue to move to the next level of automation in banking technology.