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Logistical Nightmare: Majority of ATMs Run Out Of Cash Or Are Still Dysfunctional

Technical difficulties to replace the new currency are to blame.

11/11/2016 6:21 PM IST | Updated 11/11/2016 9:27 PM IST
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Despite banks' assurances that their ATMs will be operational by Friday dispensing cash, a majority of ATMs either ran out of cash or were out of service, because of a cash crunch brought about in the wake of the government's demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes.

According to a Mint report, in Mumbai and Delhi, ATMs of banks including the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, HDFC Bank and Canara Bank are currently not working on Friday.

Earlier this week, the Reserve Bank of India had said it could take a while to reprogram ATMs, which allow people to withdraw up to a maximum of Rs 2,000 per card per day up until 18 November, and then to ₹4,000 a day after November 19.

Each ATM has to be reprogrammed to dispense the new notes and the lower denominations of ₹50 and ₹100.

The Economic Times reported that ATMs can't be expected to be up and running smoothly for another five days. because of overworked staff, technical difficulties, and complicated accounting procedures.

According to the ET report, while cash logistics companies are trying to refill the ATMs with more cash they have been only been to remove 73 per cent of the old notes.

"The new notes are 26% smaller in dimension and hence they cannot be currently dispensed by the cash machines. Engineers need to physically visit the two lakh ATMs in the country to reconfigure them for the new notes, which is bound to take a lot more time," said Rituraj Sinha, president of the Cash Logistics Association of India.

The current logistical challenge is expected to take two or three weeks, the government has said earlier.

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