New Delhi: From the end of this month, SBI customers will be able to withdraw only Rs 20,000 per day as against the earlier limit of Rs 40,000. The move aims to check an increase in fraudulent transactions and increase digital penetration in the country by pushing people towards cashless transactions. The new limit on debit cards will be effective from October 31.

According to a report in the Economic Times, the bank said in a statement, “In view of the increase in the number of complaints received by banks around fraudulent transactions at ATMs and to encourage digital and cashless transactions, it has been decided to decrease the cash withdrawal limits of debit cards issued or being issued on ‘Classic’ and ‘Maestro’ platforms.”

ATM skimming has become very common these days. Under this, the fraudster either uses a fake keypad or places a camera just over the keypad to extract your PIN number. By obtaining the PIN number it becomes very easy for a fraudster to withdraw the money.

One of the main objectives of demonetization was to increase digital transactions to make the economy more formal. Electronic transactions saw a sharp rise in November 2016, as people during demonetisation period shifted to digital wallets, credit cards and debit cards. Post demonetisation, however, there has been a decline in digital transactions and cash has again become the most convenient medium of exchanges. Against Rs 17.9 trillion rupees before demonetization, currency level has increased to 18.5 trillion rupees in August.

SBI managing director PK Gupta was quoted as saying, “Our internal analysis shows most actual withdrawals are of smaller amounts. So, Rs 20,000 should be adequate for most customers. We are trying to see whether smaller withdrawals could minimise frauds. Customers with a requirement for more can ask for card variants that offer higher withdrawal limits. Such cards are issued to those keeping a higher minimum balance in their bank accounts.”