New Delhi: In a great relief to customers who are in need of withdrawing cash from ATMs, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday decided to impose heavy monetary penalty on banks if their ATMs run out of cash from 1 October 2021.Also Read - Bank Holiday Alert: Banks To Remain Shut For 3 Consecutive Days From Today | Full List Here

“A review of downtime of ATMs due to cash-outs was undertaken and it was observed that ATM operations affected by cash-outs lead to non-availability of cash and cause avoidable inconvenience to the members of the public,” RBI said in a statement. Also Read - Good News For Pensioners: SBI Revamps Pension Seva Website For Ease of Services | Check Full List of Facilities

The Central bank further stated it has been decided that the banks/ White Label ATM Operators (WLAOs) shall strengthen their systems/ mechanisms to monitor availability of cash in ATMs and ensure timely replenishment to avoid cash-outs. Any non-compliance in this regard shall be viewed seriously and shall attract monetary penalty. Also Read - SBI Cuts Home Loan Interest Rate to 6.7 Per Cent for Any Amount, Waives Processing Fees | Deets Inside

While launching the ‘Scheme of Penalty for non-replenishment of ATMs’, the central bank said that a penalty of Rs 10,000 per ATM will be levied in the event of a cash-out situation for more than 10 hours in a month.

“In the case of white label ATMs, the penalty would be charged to the bank which is meeting the cash requirement of that particular white label ATM. The bank, may, at its discretion, recover the penalty from the white label ATM operator”, RBI said.

The RBI further said that banks shall submit a system-generated statement on downtime of ATMs due to non- replenishment of cash to the ‘Issue Department’ of RBI under whose jurisdiction these ATMs are located.

“The Scheme of Penalty for non-replenishment of ATMs has been formulated to ensure that sufficient cash is available to the public through ATMs,” the RBI said in a circular.

The Reserve Bank of India has a mandate to issue banknotes and the banks are fulfilling this mandate by dispensing banknotes to the public through their wide network of branches and ATMs. In this connection, it said.

On condition for counting instances of cash-outs in an ATM, the RBI said it would come into play “when the customer is not able to withdraw cash due to non-availability of cash in a particular ATM”.

As per the update, at the end-June 2021, there were 2,13,766 ATMs of different banks in the country.