Withdrawing money in any city in India is a hassle-free affair, unless one happens to be in a rural area, where not only the numbers of ATMs are limited, but also a long queue awaits anyone who wants to withdraw his hard earned money. In Haryana, the scenario is no different. The state is woefully falling short of number of ATMs required for its residents. At present the state has only around 832 ATMs for its 25.35 million (2011) population. People, especially from rural areas, in order to withdraw money, either need to visit their banks, which could be far off from the place where they reside or hunt for an ATM of their bank.
As per reports of National Payments Corporation of India, with just 98 ATMs for every million people, India lags far behind the developed countries in having a good spread of ATMs for its citizens. In the rural areas in Haryana, the spread of ATMs is little or negligent. One major reason behind this is erratic power supply that is required to run an ATM. Another hindrance to setting up of ATMs in rural areas is the illiteracy of people, who are reluctant to use their ATM cards because of fear of losing them or forgetting their PIN numbers.
Vortex ATM, an ATM developed by Vortex engineering, Chennai, can come in handy for Haryana, where power supply is scarce. This ATM consumes less power and also doesn't require its users to be literate, i.e. it permits one to withdraw money simply by authenticating his fingerprint.
In 2012, the central bank allowed non-banking entities to own and operate ATMs, thus making a way out for regions which are short on number of ATMs. These ATMs are known as white-label ATMs, as they are not affiliated with any bank. The other specialty of this ATM is that it accepts all domestic bank-issued cards, which means any person having his account with any bank can freely withdraw his money without any hassle. These ATMs also have a power backup to support its functioning in case of a power failure. The state government of Haryana has till date not encouraged such private operators to set up ATMs in the state to take care of banking needs of people of any of its regions.
ATM services can further be improved in the state by attracting banks to open up their branches in rural areas. It is mostly because of low spread of banking services in rural areas which delays or acts as a hindrance in opening up of new ATMs. Further, the existing ATMs must be upgraded with other features like cheque drop-box facility, to help people more in fulfilling their banking needs. They can also be upgraded with latest technological advancements like cash deposit facility, etc., which will further help in reducing the workload on bank branches.
So, the idea is to upgrade the existing ATMs with the latest features and facilities, apart from installing the fully functional ATMs at the desired locations. Other provisions such as scheduled, timely collection of cheques, can further enhance ATM services in Haryana. In total, ATM services, only when made easily accessible and convenient for people, will be considered improved in the state.